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 them 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
When Benteen and George are first at the electric panel, the mike keeps entering and exiting the picture's lower right-hand corner. See more »
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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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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