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

No Time Like the Past 

A scientist attempts to use a time machine to prevent tragedies, both in world history and in his own past.



, (created by)

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video





Episode complete credited cast:
... Paul Driscoll
... Abigail Sloan
... Prof. Eliot
... Hanford
... Horn Player
... Bartender (as Lindsay Workman)
... Mrs. Chamberlain
... Captain of Lusitania
James Yagi ... Japanese Police Captain
... Harvey
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Himself (archive footage)


Paul Driscoll doesn't much like the way the 20th century has developed thus far and decides to go back in time to change mankind's future. He first travels to Hiroshima and tries to warn an English-speaking policeman of what is to come, but to no avail. He then travels to Nazi Germany and attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler but is thwarted when his rifle misfires. He then finds himself aboard the Lusitania but again is unable to convince the ship's captain to alter course before it is torpedoed. When he returns to the present, he agrees with his colleague Harvey that the past cannot be changed. He still doesn't like the present and so decides to back to July 1881 and live his life in the small town of Homeville, Indiana. Unfortunately he learns yet again that past events cannot be changed. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






| |

Release Date:

7 March 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title is a play on words of the expression "No time like the present." See more »


When the horn player is sitting on the steps of the gazebo, in the background there appears to be a modern multi-story office building. See more »


Hanford: I'll not sit here and take talk like that.
Paul Driscoll: No, of course not. You'll go back to your bank, and it'll be business as usual... until next dinnertime, when you'll give us another vacuous speech about enlarging and strengthening countries by filling graveyards. Well, if THIS country shares your devilishly virile sentiments - as I dread it just might - then you're in for some gratifying times, Mr. Hanford. Believe me, there'll be a lot of graveyards for America to fill... and not just her own. We'll...
See more »


Referenced in The Twilight Zone: Cradle of Darkness (2002) See more »


Columbia, The Gem Of The Ocean
Written by David T. Shaw
Sung by the school children
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Another Trip to Some Contrived Paradise
23 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

How many times has the Twilight Zone gone back to that town with the bandstand and those big wheeled bicycles, the picket fences and the candy stores. Apparently, modern technology has developed some sort of time travel device, and despite the immutability of time, sends people back. In this case a man is fed up with the way of the world. We have reverted to a cesspool. One country develops a nuke; then the other develops theirs; and bingo the world is blown into a million pieces. He decides to go on a mission to change things. First he goes to Hiroshima to warn them about the atom bomb, then he tries to assassinate Hitler (the gun misfires), and finally tries to talk the commander of the Lusitania into changing course. Because he sounds like a nut and has absolutely no authority, none of the people are willing to listen to him (and rightfully so). His disillusionment continues and he asks to be sent back to this bucolic utopia of the 1800's. In one scene he faces off against a banker who is spouting all his jingoistic malarky about planting the old American flag on every piece of land on the earth (stepping on the bodies of the heathens that inhabit these places). He meets a pretty young schoolteacher (of course) who finds his views intriguing. He is caught between a rock and a hard place because he has knowledge of the future but must do nothing to alter time. He hears of the shooting of President Garfield and can't do anything but wait for the inevitable. He finally comes to a point where he has to decide whether to act or not. There are so many holes in this thing and the man is so clueless at times, it begs the question whether he should have been allowed this freedom.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial