Twilight Zone: Season 4, Episode 16

On Thursday We Leave for Home (2 May 1963)
"The Twilight Zone" On Thursday We Leave for Home (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
8.5
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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 »

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Title: On Thursday We Leave for Home (02 May 1963)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
Col. Sloane
...
Al
...
George
Jo Helton ...
Julie
Mercedes Shirley ...
Joan
Russ Bender ...
Hank
Danny Kulick ...
Jo-Jo (as Daniel Kulick)
Madge Kennedy ...
Colonist
John Ward ...
Colonist
Shirley O'Hara ...
Colonist
Tony Benson ...
Colonist (as Anthony Benson)
Lew Gallo ...
Lt. Engle
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

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2 May 1963 (USA)  »

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Trivia

When the rescue ship from Earth arrives, several colonists ask about various places on Earth during a meeting between the ship's crew and the colonists. One of the questions is about the Finger Lake District of New York. This area had a special significance to script writer Rod Serling. It is located close to his home town of Binghamton, he and his family vacationed there frequently, and Serling named his company that produced "The Twilight Zone," Cayuga Productions, after one of the lakes. He later taught at Ithaca College for the last five years before his death. See more »

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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 »

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Narrator: [Opening Narration] 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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Edited from Forbidden Planet (1956) See more »

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Not easy to abdicate being God
13 October 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

James Whitmore leader of a group of space colonizers from earth has led a group out in space for thirty years and truth be told he's done a job. Through his own indomitable will he's kept the people together on a hard planet which orbits two suns and is like Mercury with no spinning on its axis. The group lives underground, it's the only way they can live.

But rescue in the form of a ship from earth commanded by Tim O'Connor has arrived and they want to take them back to earth which according to O'Connor hasn't had any cataclysmic wars or other kinds of events. Just about the same as those who remember of the colonists do.

At first Whitmore is as excited as the rest of them and then it hits him, he's really no longer needed. He's used to being God like in his authority and its not easy to abdicate being God.

This is not really a true Twilight Zone type story, no paranormal events, no unearthly beings. Still it's well acted and constructed and Whitmore and O'Connor make a fine pair of adversaries. A great lesson in the use of power and when you have to surrender it.


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