A U.S. army lieutenant serving in the Philippines during WWII develops a harrowing ability to see in the faces of the men of his platoon, who will be the next ones to die.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Capt. Phil Riker
Lt. Fitzgerald
S. John Launer ...
Lieutenant Colonel
Marc Cavell ...
Jeep Driver
Harmonica Man


In the Philippines in 1945, army Lt. Fitzgerald has developed the disturbing ability to look into his men's faces and know who will be killed in the next battle. He says it's like a light is shined on their face. His superior, Capt. Phil Riker, consults the medical officer but he finds nothing conclusive. Fitzgerald passes out when visiting one of his wounded men in the hospital after he sees the light on his face. When he sees the light on Riker's face, he begs him not to go out. After they return from the operation, he sees that there will be one other casualty that day. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

12 February 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Rod Serling served in the US Army's 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division, during the liberation of the Philippines, where this episode is set. See more »


Rod Serling's narration says at the end of that the title phrase Purple Testament comes from the William Shakespeare play "Richard III". It is actually Richard II, Act 3, Scene 3. See more »


Lt. Fitzgerald: I'm five for five captain. How many coincidences add up to a fact?
See more »


Referenced in The Twilight Zone: Into the Light (2003) See more »


The Caissons Go Rolling Along
Written by Edmund L. Gruber
Arranged by Lucien Moraweck
See more »

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User Reviews

The Light Of Death
25 October 2014 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

William Reynolds plays Army Lt. Fitzgerald, who is stationed in the Phillipine Islands in World War II in 1945, who discovers to his dismay that he has developed the ability to see who will soon die by a mysterious glowing light that becomes visible on their faces. His superior(played by Dick York) doesn't believe him of course, but after more predicted deaths come true, it becomes obvious to Fitzgerald that only one course of action is possible, especially after seeing the glowing light in his own reflection... Highly effective and poignant outing made more so because of the added air of authenticity by writer Rod Serling, who was a World War II veteran himself.

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