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... See full summary »
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
The time that elapsed between the first contact with Col. Sloane's ship and its landing is quoted variously as either one or two months. See more »
William Benteen, who had prerogatives: he could lead, he could direct, dictate, judge, legislate. It became a habit, then a pattern, and finally a necessity. William Benteen, once a god - now a population of one.
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Rod Serling was a genius and this episode is certainly proof of that. His writing and plot development are superb here. The character "Captain" Benteen's rise to dominance could be viewed an allegory for need of some people to dominate others in a general sense. James Whitmore's acting is excellent as well and he does a great job of bringing the self-appointed autocrat "Captain" Benteen to life. Whitmore's soliloquy at the close of the episode is especially memorable and poignant. As an afterthought, this storyline would probably translate well to a play as it all takes place in one basic environment, and so would require only a simple stage set up - so would be fairly easy from a "Props" perspective for a small theater company to perform.
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