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The Twilight Zone: And When the Sky Was Opened

Three astronauts return from man's first trip into space and begin disappearing one by one... and no one remembers that they ever existed.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x11
Production Number: 173-3611
Airdate: Friday December 11th, 1959

Director: Douglas Heyes
Story: Richard Matheson
Teleplay: Rod Serling


Guest Stars
Charles AidmanCharles Aidman
As Col. Ed Harrington
Rod TaylorRod Taylor
As Col. Clegg Forbes
Jim HuttonJim Hutton
As Major William Gart (as James Hutton)

Co-Guest Stars
Sue RandallSue Randall
As The Nurse
Paul BryarPaul Bryar
As Bartender
Joe BassettJoe Bassett
As Medical Officer

Elizabeth FieldingElizabeth Fielding
As Blonde Nurse
Gloria PallGloria Pall
As Girl at the Bar
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


The X-20, an experimental space interceptor, disappeared off the radar screen for 24 hours before crash landing in the Mojave Desert. One of the crew, Major William Gart, is taken to the hospital for treatment of a broken leg. Colonel Forbes, one of the other two men, goes to see Gart, who wants to know what's going on in the outside world. Forbes, nervous, assures him that the ship is fine. Gart wonders if he's drunk and comments that he looks hungover. They share a pack of cigarettes and Forbes says that something has happened that he doesn't understand. He closes the door and then asks Gart when he left the hospital. Gart wonders what he's talking about and Forbes says that he left the hospital yesterday at 9:30. He asks who he left with, and Gart says that no one left with him. Forbes then shows him a newspaper, saying that two men crashed in the desert. The picture shows Forbes and Gart...

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Episode Notes
This episode is based on the short story "Disappearing Act" by Richard Matheson from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March, 1953.

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Her name: X-20. Her type: an experimental interceptor. Recent history: a crash landing in the Mojave Desert after a thirty-one hour flight nine hundred miles into space. Incidental data: the ship, with the men who flew her, disappeared from the radar screen for twenty-four hours. But the shrouds that cover mysteries are not always made out of a tarpaulin, as this man will soon find out on the other side of a hospital door.

Col. Clegg Forbes: Oh, I know he's not an illusion. I know. He's been yanked out of here. He's been taken away. He told me maybe... he told me maybe... maybe somebody or something made a mistake. Let us get through when we shouldn't have gotten through. They've got to come back to get us. Somebody up there. Aw, Bill... this is weird, just plain weird. Like I just don't belong. Just like I... I don't belong. Aw no. Aw no!!! I don't want this to happen! Bill, I don't want it to happen! I don't want it to happen! I don't want it to happen!

Closing Narration
Once upon a time, there was a man named Harrington, a man named Forbes, a man named Gart. They used to exist, but don't any longer. Someone or something took them somewhere. At least they are no longer a part of the memory of man. And as to the X-20 supposed to be housed here in this hangar, this, too, does not exist. And if any of you have any questions concerning an aircraft and three men who flew her, speak softly of them, and only in the Twilight Zone.

Episode Goofs
Col. Forbes looks into the mirror and sees he is not there, but you can still see his arm in the mirror.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorFred Maguire
CastingMillie Gusse
MusicLeonard Rosenman
Set DecoratorRudy Butler  |  Henry Grace
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorWilliam Ferrari  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton  |  Jean Valentino
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Assistant DirectorEdward O. Denault
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