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
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This is William Benteen, who officiates on a disintegrating outpost in space. The people are a remnant society who left the Earth looking for a Millennium, a place without war, without jeopardy, without fear - and what they found was a lonely, barren place whose only industry was survival. And this is what they've done for three decades: survive; until the memory of the Earth they came from has become an indistinct and shadowed recollection of another time and another place. ...
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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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