The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
9 user 2 critic

A Quality of Mercy 

Hot shot new Lieutanant Katell tries to make his mark on the last day of World War II in the Pacific and gets a unique perspective on his actions.


Buzz Kulik


Rod Serling (teleplay by), Sam Rolfe (based on an idea by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Dean Stockwell ... Lt. Katell / Lt. Yamuri
Albert Salmi ... Sgt. Causarano
Rayford Barnes Rayford Barnes ... Andrew Watkins
Ralph Votrian Ralph Votrian ... Hanachek
Leonard Nimoy ... Hansen
Dale Ishimoto Dale Ishimoto ... Sgt. Yamazaki
Jerry Fujikawa ... Japanese Captain (as J.H. Fujikawa)


On August 6, 1945 - the last day of World War II - a forward platoon acting as artillery spotters get an eager and aggressive Lieutenant Katell. The artillery has been unable to dislodge a Japanese unit from a cave and Katell decides that the unit is going to attack. He suddenly finds himself in 1942 however, leading a Japanese unit that is about to attack Americans who are holed up in a cave. He looks into a mirror of sorts when his Japanese superior orders destroy the American stronghold. When he flashes back to 1945, he has second thoughts about the attack. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

29 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place on August 6, 1945 and May 4, 1942. See more »


Shortly after the perspective shifts to the Japanese one, the camera zooms in on an ammunition box. The casings around it are blanks. You can tell by the crimped ends with no projectile. See more »


[opening narration]
Narrator: It's August 1945, the last grimy pages of a dirty, torn book of war. The place is the Philippine Islands. The men are what's left of a platoon of American Infantry, whose dulled and tired eyes set deep in dulled and tired faces can now look toward a miracle, that moment when the nightmare appears to be coming to an end. But they've got one more battle to fight, and in a moment, we'll observe that battle. August 1945, Philippine Islands - but in reality, it's high noon - in ...
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User Reviews

Great casting
24 September 2012 | by marknycSee all my reviews

I have to disagree with the poster who wrote that Dean Stockwell doesn't look remotely Japanese. It was great casting, as Stockwell's eyes didn't require that much makeup to look Asian, and the work that was done on them was done extremely well. In fact, I caught this episode on TV in the middle and thought that they had cast a Japanese actor in the second part! The episode itself falls prone to Serling's not uncommon habit of hitting you over the head with his point. The American Stockwell and the Japanese commander are so extreme as to be cardboard cutouts. But I guess subtlety wasn't really the point of "The Twilight Zone".

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