Space colonists from Pilgrim I, Earth's first spaceship to colonize the outer regions, have spent 30 years in their new home. It's a lonely barren place and they are waiting for a ship from to arrive to transport them home. Some of the colonists are at their wits end and another one, the 9th in six months, commits suicide. They are led by William Benteen, who they call Captain, a tough no-nonsense type who does his best to keep the together. They rejoice when the ship arrives and are given three days to prepare for their departure. As the day approaches however, Benteen assumes the community will stay together on Earth. When he realizes that most in the community will go their own way once they get home, he decides they should stay. When the group decides otherwise, Benteen is left with only one option. Written by
Captain Benteen tells one boy about the magnificent beauty of clouds as he had never seen one. At the end, however, we see a sky filled with white, fluffy clouds. See more »
Isn't living tough enough here we shouldn't have to go by the book? Isn't it hot enough and miserable enough there shouldn't be rules? We shouldn't have to suffer by the numbers? Will somebody please make the simple comment there's more happiness going into that grave? More peace of mind than all the mourners put together. Nothing but anguish here. Captain Benteen, let us live with it our own way. Or let us die from it - in our own way!
[addressing the crowd]
Young Mr. Baines would have us lie ...
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This was one of my favorite TZ episodes and I grew up with them from the beginning. What is interesting about this one is Rod Serling's naming of the starship captain "Captain Benteen" which was the name of one of Custer's doomed company commanders at Little Big Horn. A great historical allusion which is sorely lacking in TV today. James Whitmore did a great job portraying a benevolent dictator trying to hang onto his power, which had become his identity and reason for living. I agree with other reviewers who have said that this episode is not so much a quest for absolute power but rather the trait in human nature that once you get into a position of authority it is hard to relinquish.
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