Astronaut Major Robert Gaines is the latest to orbit the Earth but something happens while there. Ground control loses all contact with him and although he returns safely, he apparently blacked out and has no recollection of what may have happened. Nor can he explain how the craft landed on land - completely undamaged - when it was meant to splash down in the ocean. When Gaines returns home he finds that little things are different: he's now a full colonel and has been for some time; his house now has a picket fence; he no longer seems to take sugar in his coffee; and even his wife senses he is different after she kisses him. It is soon apparent that Gaines has returned to an Earth in an alternate universe. Written by
In the parallel universe, the World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker was never found after the crash of Eastern Air Lines Flight 21 on February 26, 1941. In Gaines' universe, Rickenbacker and the other survivors were found only eight hours after the crash. He died on July 23, 1973 at the age of 82, more than ten years after this episode was broadcast. See more »
By the time the astronaut is seeing fire out his window. He would not be able to be communicating with ground control. As the spacecraft reenters the atmosphere and the outside of craft heats. Ionization occurs and radio traffic is impossible. By the time "fire" is seen through the window. Radio traffic would be impossible. See more »
Major Robert Gaines, a latter-day voyager just returned from an adventure. Submitted to you without any recommendation as to belief or disbelief. You can accept or reject; you pays your money and you takes your choice. But credulous or incredulous, don't bother to ask anyone for proof that it could happen. The obligation is a reverse challenge: prove that it couldn't. This happens to be... the Twilight Zone.
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This is a typical episode, somewhat interesting, with the men acting really stiff and trying to look smart.
The part I found interesting was the reference to JFK. I checked the date and the episode (March 1963) was released about six months before the fateful day in Dallas (Nov 1963).
I suppose the significant part about that is the lack of recognition to JFK in other episodes of the same period.
I have noticed in television shows of the era a hesitancy to talk about current politicians. Often there will be a fictitious congressman or local official, but the president is usually a vague figure, not identified.
This episode is worth watching just for the historical references.
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