Commander Douglas Stansfield is selected to be the first astronaut to go on a deep space mission. He will be away for 40 years but for much of that, he will be in stasis and on his return he will hardly have aged. Stansfield is a seemingly ideal candidate as he is single and has no close family. Prior to his departure however, he meets the beautiful Sandra Horn and they fall very much in love. Forty years later, Stansfield returns but it seems he and Sandra had their own way of dealing with the 40 years since they last saw each other. Written by
This episode takes place in June 1987, in November 1987, from December 31, 1987 to January 1, 1988, on May 1, 1988 and in 2027. See more »
It is said that Stansfield's destination is 141 light years away, his spaceship will travel at 70 times the speed of light, and the trip will take 40 years. If the ship will travel at 70 times the speed of light, a 141 light year journey should only take a little over two years. See more »
It may be said with a degree of assurance that not everything that meets the eye is as it appears. Case in point: the scene you're watching. This is not a hospital, not a morgue, not a mausoleum, not an undertaker's parlor of the future. What it is is the belly of a spaceship. It is en route to another planetary system an incredible distance from the Earth. This is the crux of our story, a flight into space. It is also the story of the things that might happen to human beings...
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Stansfield (Robert Lansing) is a thirty-one year old astronaut who accepted a forty-year mission in space. He is to undergo suspended animation so as to not age all those years on returning to earth. Stansfield has no family ties to worry about and thus appears to be right for the job.
Suddenly a young employee of the space center, Sandra (Mariette Hartley) appears on the scene. Stansfield and Sandra see love in the stars from first sight. After three and a half hours together they are so deeply in love that Sandra already feels the sadness of loss due to the impending mission.
Rod Serling's often revisited theme of loneliness and space takes the form of a love story right down to the musical score and the gentle pacing of the dialogue. Both lead actors are good in their roles. Mariette Hartley is very expressive and appealing as love-tingly Sandra making this a pleasant and welcome change of mood from the Zone.
Names tend to recur in Rod Serling's scripts. It's as though Sandra Horn, who is in love with a space pioneer, were a descendant of Christian Horn the pioneer from 'A Hundred Yards Above The Rim'-series two.
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