Twilight Zone: Season 1, Episode 8

Time Enough at Last (20 Nov. 1959)
"The Twilight Zone" Time Enough at Last (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
9.1
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Ratings: 9.1/10 from 2,359 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 3 critic

A henpecked book lover finds himself blissfully alone with his books after a nuclear war.

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(teleplay by), (based on a short story by), 1 more credit »
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Title: Time Enough at Last (20 Nov 1959)

Time Enough at Last (20 Nov 1959) on IMDb 9.1/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Jacqueline deWit ...
Helen Bemis (as Jaqueline deWit)
Lela Bliss ...
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Storyline

Henry Bemis loves to read. The only problem is that he can find neither the time nor the place to enjoy his pastime. At work, his boss has let him know in no uncertain terms that he is not to read during working hours. At home, his shrewish wife won't even let him read a newspaper, let alone a book. One day, he sneaks down to the vault in the bank's basement to read a bit and suddenly, there is a huge explosion above. He emerges to find the world destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. He does find books from the library and he sees a great deal of reading time ahead of him. Except for one small unintended event. Written by garykmcd

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20 November 1959 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of four times when Rod Serling used a mid-episode narration. See more »

Goofs

Mr. Bemis expects to live "years and years and years" post-attack. In 1959, the effects of nuclear fallout were still under initial study and not widely understood. We see Bemis emerging from the bank vault more or less immediately after a thermonuclear blast (bomb-shelter protocol says to wait at least two weeks for the worst of the radioactivity to decay), eating packaged food that was probably irradiated, etc. So even with his glasses, Bemis would have not lived to enjoy his books for very long. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [Opening Narration] Witness Mr. Henry Bemis, a charter member in the fraternity of dreamers. A bookish little man whose passion is the printed page but who is conspired against by a bank president and a wife and a world full of tongue-cluckers and the unrelenting hands of a clock. But in just a moment, Mr. Bemis will enter a world without bank presidents or wives or clocks or anything else. He'll have a world all to himself - without anyone.
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Featured in Pioneers of Television: Science Fiction (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Has haunted me forever
17 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

From the first time I saw this episode in its original form to today, the events of this simple tale have stayed with me. I have been an English teacher for 35 years and have used this on numerous occasions to teach irony. Of course, this is the story of a man who is so incredibly unhappy. His adversaries are people who see his fascination with books as a consummate waste of time. His wife, his boss, his customers all see him as a loser. He seems like a delightful man, full of ideas, but in the world of his bank job he is merely inefficient. I love the line "go back to your cage" delivered by his boss. Of course, as most anyone knows, he gets his chance to have everything he wants, except he has one weakness. The reason I give this a nine rather than a ten is that there are some things that just don't fit the post nuclear world. Serling must have been a little impatient; and, of course, he was on an incredibly grueling schedule. Suffice it to say, once you've seen the ending, it never leaves you.


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