The Twilight Zone: Season 3, Episode 13

Once Upon a Time (15 Dec. 1961)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 739 users  
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Janitor Woodrow Mulligan gets a trip from 1890 to 1962 courtesy of his employer's time helmet.



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Title: Once Upon a Time (15 Dec 1961)

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Episode complete credited cast:
James Flavin ...
Gil Lamb ...
Officer Flannagan
Jesse White ...
Repair Man


In 1890, janitor Woodrow Mulligan uses his employers' invention to transport himself to the future. He imagines an Eden but finds a polluted, busy world that he doesn't find at all attractive. He meets Rollo who is also disgusted with the world he lives imagining life in the 1890s as idyllic. When Woodrow goes back to his own time Rollo goes with him but he is soon bored without any of the conveniences of modern life. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

15 December 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Leslie Goodwins was uncredited for writing the fix-it shop episode more than a month after production of the episode had ended and the bulk of the photography was finished. He came down to do the pick ups. See more »


[closing narration]
Narrator: 'To each his own' - so goes another old phrase to which Mr. Woodrow Mulligan would heartily subscribe, for he has learned - definitely the hard way - that there's much wisdom in a third old phrase, which goes as follows: 'Stay in your own backyard.' To which it might be added, 'and, if possible, assist others to stay in their's' - via, of course, The Twilight Zone.
See more »


References The Garage (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

Hooray for Buster!
14 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Buster absolutely shines in this episode, which is the only vehicle I've seen towards the end of the career that allowed him to do the physical (and silent!) comedy that made him famous. It's still a shock to hear his gravelly voice in the talkie sequences - his voice is about the only thing I don't care for, as far as Buster is concerned - but his ability to take a pratfall is still unparalleled. He even repeats some of the gags used in his early two-reelers with Roscoe Arbuckle.

My deepest gratitude to Rod Serling for presenting us with this episode, and for giving Buster's genius full scope. He didn't have much time (one episode) to do it in, but this is a touching tribute to Hollywood's greatest genius.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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