Trying to find his way home after a dogfight in World War I, Royal Flying Corps Flt. Lt. William Terrance Decker lands at a U.S. Air Force base 42 years into the future. No one believes him when he claims to be from 1917, thinking someone is trying to put one over on them. Decker himself admits that before suddenly leaping into the future he was actually flying away from an serial encounter and leaving his friend in a lurch. He also realizes that he may have an opportunity to rectify that situation. Written by
Filmed at Norton AFB, San Bernardino, California--playing the roll of Lafayette Air Base, Reims, France. There was a Reims Air Base in France in 1959 (the year this episode was set), now known as Aerodrome de Reims-Champagne. Norton AFB was decommissioned and closed in 1994. The site is now San Bernardino International Airport. See more »
Decker speaks of Georges Guynemer's disappearance. For Decker the date is March 5, 1917, but Guynemer disappeared on September 11, 1917. See more »
Rod Serling - Narrator:
Witness Flight Lieutenant William Terrance Decker, Royal Flying Corps, returning from a patrol somewhere over France. The year is 1917. The problem is that the Lieutenant is hopelessly lost. Lieutenant Decker will soon discover that a man can be lost not only in terms of maps and miles, but also in time - and time in this case can be measured in eternities.
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This is wonderful television. Sometimes Serling got a little maudlin. In this, he cooks up a situation, puts his characters into play, and treats them with respect. We have the RAF with its codes of honor, its fighting spirit, suddenly thrust into the future. One can't help but say, "This is the way a British officer would act under these circumstances." Once he comes to realize that there is little hope for him in this world, he fights to return. There are elements of time travel that are tricky, but this episode deals with the real humanity of the characters. The modern brain trust is pretty much as we would imagine. They don't know what to do with this guy and they feel for him. It's a really good story.
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