A defector is trapped in a hotel room and given 3 hours to find a hidden bomb.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Commissar Vassiloff (as John vanDreelen)
Bob Kelljan ...
Boris - Vassiloff's Assistant (as Robert Kelljan)


After spending twelve years in a Soviet prison, Major Ivan Kuchenko has fled his homeland and is now in transit in a third country hoping to soon leave and seek asylum in the USA. He is not alone however as Comissar Vassiloff, his torturer during his imprisonment, has caught up with him. Vassilof could easily kill him - he has an assassin with him, Boris - but he decides to give him a chance to walk away. He's placed a bomb in Kuchenko's room and he give the Major 3 hours to find and disarm it. Kuchenko proves himself to be a worthy adversary. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

17 April 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A very similar tape recorder comes into play when Martin moves to Mission Impossible. See more »


When Boris initially shoots out the windows, while Ivan is trying to put up a blanket, there are no holes in the wall behind Ivan where the shots would have ended up. See more »


[opening narration]
Narrator: The cast of characters: a cat and a mouse. This is the latter. The intended victim who may or may not know that he is to die, be it by butchery or ballet. His name is Major Ivan Kuchenko. He has, if events go according to certain plans, perhaps three or four more hours of living. But an ignorance shared by both himself and his executioner is of the fact that both of them have taken a first step - into The Twilight Zone.
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Referenced in Payback (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Unusual episode of TZ...
2 February 2008 | by (Plainfield, IL) – See all my reviews

...in that nothing really supernatural, odd, or mysterious happens. Still, a tense and solidly scripted story from Serling about a man pinned down by a sniper, challenged to find a bomb triggered by a seemingly ordinary object in a hotel room. It was nice to see a young Martin Landau as the tormented protagonist. I think two things could have been done to make the story a bit more satisfying. First, the ending always struck me as a trifle tacked on, as if Serling couldn't think of a really good way to resolve the situation and so had the villain do something uncharacteristically stupid. Second, Martin Landau's character should have employed a few more tactics to try to get away before succeeding; as it stands, there's a bit too much time spent looking for the bomb, the location of which is fairly obvious from the start, and the way he escapes also feels a bit too easy.

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