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
The night of the planned air date, a plane carrying Richard L. Bare and William Reynolds crashed in the Carribean Sea, injuring both (though not seriously). It is believed that during their swim to land, they discussed the episode that night and Bare requested Reynolds not to look at him. He later admitted that he commended Buck Houghton's decision to reschedule rather than use the incident for publicity. 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 »
From William Shakespeare, Richard the Third, a small excerpt. The line reads, 'He has come to open the purple testament of bleeding war.' And for Lieutenant William Fitzgerald, A Company, First Platoon, the testament is closed. Lieutenant Fitzgerald has found the Twilight Zone.
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(aka Going Home) (uncredited)
from Symphony No. 9 in E Minor 'From the New World', Op. 95
Music by Antonín Dvorák
Arranged by Lucien Moraweck
Played by the 'Harmonica Man' when Captain Riker puts some photos and his wedding ring on the table,
and again at the end See more »
This is a very nice episode. It is about a curse. A World War II platoon leader is able to see a light in the face of those who will die that day. It is a true curse because he is responsible for them in battle. This puts him in a very difficult position. He can't eat. He can't sleep. He also can't convince others that he is not crazy. Much of the episode is about his efforts to be listened to. He sees the light in the face of his best friend and fellow officer, played by Dick York. This is a human story with a supernatural element. The acting is very good. The war is presented. The faces of the men show the incredible strain of battle. Of course, Serling sets us up for a classic Twilight Zone moment.
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