Global Flight 33 is en route from London to New York in what appears to be a routine flight in a modern jetliner. Suddenly however, the jet's speed increases to an incredible 3000 knots and they arrive in New York rather quickly. Neither the captain or his well-trained crew can explain what happened - a strange tail-wind perhaps - but they are certainly not prepared for what they find as they survey the land below them. Written by
The "dinosaur sequence" was credited to Jack H. Harris, and used a brontosaurus model taken from Dinosaurus! (1960). The expense of the two brief shots ran $2,500, making it the most expensive footage in the original Twilight Zone (1959). See more »
When the plane is making its first descent, the radio operator's headphones are lowered to his neck, then over his head and ears, and finally back across his neck. See more »
In one of the simplest and yet most effective twilight zones, a passenger jet full of people unexpectedly accelerates to unheard of speeds and suddenly finds itself transported into the distant past. Time travel is one of the few endlessly entertaining storytelling premises, and although this story is presented almost entirely through dialogue, it is still one of the more vintage twilight episodes that I've seen. The first half of the episode is a little too simplistic, if only because we are trying to believe an airplane is travelling at thousands of knots, and yet there is not the slightest bit of vibration or noise in the cockpit. It looks more like they're sitting on the ground on a movie set, which they are.
But when the time travel takes place, I have to think that it had some inspiration on some later time travel movies, most notably the Back to the Future films, given the acceleration to a certain speed and the rather violent shock that accompanies the, uh, temporal displacement, if you will.
The payoff of the show is nothing more than a primitive go-motion dinosaur and some stock footage of the World's Fair in New York (which gives it the feeling that the entire episode was made to fit around that aerial stock footage of the World's Fair like a raindrop around a bit of dust), but this is an excellent example of how a simple idea and some quality writing and performances can make for a highly entertaining half hour. Excellent!
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