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 »
Now listen to me. I want to tell you some things about the Earth that you haven't heard before. Things that are ugly. Things that are wrong. Things - that cannot be lived with. There is violence on Earth. There are hatreds! And jealousy! Now listen to me, listen to me and listen carefully. The Earth is a place we do not know. The Earth is a place we have never lived in. It is a society we do not belong in. If we leave here, we will die. We will *die*! We'll be committing suicide, if we go back ...
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Captain Benteen is a leader. He has led this group of "pioneers" leading a hard scrabble existence on a lonely, barren rock of a planet for 30 years, and tomorrow, a space ship is coming to take the forlorn group back to earth. All he has ever known is to be the leader of this group of 187. And when the ship comes, and everyone goes home and gets to live in freedom, what will happen to him then? This is the primary question brought up by this episode. How will Benteen deal with the loss of his authority and power? Will he be eager to lose his position as the leader of these people? Well, maybe this episode is a warning about what happens when power becomes ingrained.
This is one of the most effective and memorable Twilight Zone episodes. It still resonates with power and meaning today.
If this episode isn't an allegory for the dangers of totalitarianism, socialism or just those who think they know what's best for the rest of us, it ought to be.
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