The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
23 user 1 critic

King Nine Will Not Return 

A pilot of a downed WW II bomber comes to in the African desert and desperately tries to find out what happened to the rest of his crew.


Buzz Kulik


Rod Serling, Rod Serling (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Robert Cummings ... Capt. James Embry (as Bob Cummings)
Gene Lyons ... Psychiatrist
Paul Lambert ... Doctor
Jenna McMahon Jenna McMahon ... Nurse


A USAF bomber pilot awakens in the desert, lying next to his downed B25 Mitchell. Capt. James Embry commanded the aircraft but has no memory of how he got there. More importantly to him, his crew is nowhere to be found. At one point, he even begins to wonder if he is hallucinating, especially after he sees one of his men momentarily sitting in the cockpit. When he awakens in a hospital bed he thinks it was all a dream but then wonders: did he really go back to the desert. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis








Release Date:

30 September 1960 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Yuma, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


'King Nine' the plane featured here is a B-25 'Mitchell' a 2 Engine WWII era Medium Bomber. Up to this time, the only US Bomber named for a Person, Maj. General William 'Billy' Mitchell. See more »


The captain incorrectly pronounces the name of one of his crew, Jimenez, as "Jim-in-ez" instead of "He-men-ez". See more »


Narrator: [Closing Narration] Enigma buried in the sand, a question mark with broken wings that lies in silent grace as a marker in a desert shrine. Odd how the real consorts with the shadows, how the present fuses with the past. How does it happen? The question is on file in the silent desert, and the answer? The answer is waiting for us - in the Twilight Zone.
See more »


Referenced in Sole Survivor (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

An Oldie but a Goodie !
11 June 2006 | by rltmltSee all my reviews

Robert (Bob) Cummings was a popular actor in the 40s and 50s. He made the transition to TV in it's early days with the "Bob Cummings Show". Unlike much of the entertainment of that era, this show was very funny and creative and a welcomed relief from the recycled Vaudeville entertainment that permeated most TV shows in the early 50s.

It's interesting to note that the actress that played the housekeeper on the long running "Brady Bunch" (American TV) also played Bob's secretary on the earlier "Bob Cumming Show". They made a perfect comedy team. By today's standard, it was funny to watch Bob puff on cigarettes while appearing in the cigarette commercials for his early 50s show as Bob was an avid physical fitness fanatic.

Bob was a decorated World War II bomber commander in real life. This episode of "The Twilight Zone" was written by Rod Serling with Bob's war record in mind and was one of his dramatic roles that he carried very well. This show was one of the few shows of that era that was filmed on location, an expensive proposition for producers of that time. The location used had a vintage WWII bomber aircraft that was the center piece of the story. Media magazines of that period said that the leather bomber jacket worn by Bob was actually his from his military experience in WWII.

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