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The Twilight Zone: The Odyssey of Flight 33

An unlikely break of the time barrier finds a commercial airliner sent back into the prehistoric age.

Episode Info

Episode number: 2x18
Production Number: 173-3651
Airdate: Friday February 24th, 1961

Director: Justus Addiss
Writer: Rod Serling


Guest Stars
John AndersonJohn Anderson
As Captain Farver
Paul ComiPaul Comi
As 1st Officer Craig
Sandy KenyonSandy Kenyon
As Navigator Hatch
Wayne HeffleyWayne Heffley
As Second Officer Wyatt
Harp McGuireHarp McGuire
As Flight Engineer Purcell

Co-Guest Stars
Betty GardeBetty Garde
As Lady Passenger
Nancy RennickNancy Rennick
As Paula
Jay OverholtsJay Overholts
As Male Passenger
Lester FletcherLester Fletcher
As RAF Captain
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Global Flight 33 is en route from London to New York with Captain Farver in command. The flight crew go about their business as they head for Idlewild on schedule. The head stewardess, Janie, stops in, and Farver suddenly notices a sudden sensation of speed. They wonder if it's a tailwind but they detect nothing. They run a ground speed check and discover they're flying at an impossible 830 knots. They continue to accelerate up to 3000 knots, even though their air speed is steady. They try to contact ground control but are unable to make contact with any tower...

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Episode Notes
Betty Garde was also in "The Midnight Sun."

Jay Overholts was also in "Where is Everybody?," "One for the Angels," "A Thing About Machines," "Twenty-Two," "Static," "The Jungle" and "Showdown with Rance McGrew."

John Anderson was also in "A Passage for Trumpet," "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville" and "The Old Man in the Cave." A mainstay of many Westerns such as Gunsmoke, Anderson is best known as MacGyver's grandfather in six episodes of MacGyver.

Nancy Rennick was also in "The After Hours."

Paul Comi was also in "People Are Alike All Over" and "The Parallel."

Sandy Kenyon was also in "The Shelter" and "Valley of the Shadow."

Wayne Heffley was also in "Black Leather Jackets."

Robert J. Serling, Rod Serling's brother and a professional pilot, is credited as Technical Adviser for the episode.

The dinosaur sequence was credited to Jack Harris, and used a dinosaur model that he created for the 1961 film Dinosaurus. The model was filmed on a tabletop diorama for two brief shots. At $2,500, they were the most expensive shots during the series' run.

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
You're riding on a jet airliner en route from London to New York. You're at 35,000 feet atop an overcast and roughly fifty-five minutes from Idlewild Airport. But what you've seen occur inside the cockpit of this plane is no reflection on the aircraft or the crew. It's a safe, well-engineered, perfectly designed machine, and the men you've just met are a trained, cool, highly efficient team. The problem is simply that the plane is going too fast and there is nothing within the realm of knowledge or at least logic to explain it. Unbeknownst to passenger and crew, this airplane is heading into an unchartered region well off the beaten track of commercial travelers. It's moving into the Twilight Zone. What you're about to see we call The Odyssey of Flight 33.

Captain Farver: Hold it. Hold it a minute. Did you feel anything?
First Officer Craig: Feel anything? No. What do you mean?
Captain Farver: I don't know. I felt something. Something funny. Like a sensation of speed. I can't put my finger on it. Guess I'm getting old.
First Officer Craig: True airspeed 470. We're level. Suppose we picked up a tail wind?
Captain Farver: Yeah, maybe. Those jet streams are tricky. It's that crazy feeling I can't shake. You can't feel a tail wind but I feel something.
First Officer Craig: Everything looks fine.
Captain Farver: Magellan, try and get me a ground speed check with the Doppler.
Navigator Hatch: Indicates nine hundred. That's impossible. I'd better check with Loran.
Janie: What's going on?
Navigator Hatch: Hold it a minute. Skipper, Loran indicates a ground speed of 830 knots. I never heard of a tailwind like that.
Captain Farver: Check it again. See if you can raise the weather ship Charlie.
Second Officer Wyatt: Yes, sir.
Captain Farver: Ask them for a radar fix on the ground speed check. Magellan, are you sure about that ground speed?
Navigator Hatch: I'm not only sure, but we're still accelerating. 980 now. 1120. 1500. God in heaven, I can't even keep up with it.
Second Officer Wyatt: (Into the radio) Global 33 to weather ship Charlie. Global 33 to weather ship Charlie. Captain Farver: What about Charlie?
Second Officer Wyatt: Nothing, sir. I can't raise them.
Navigator Hatch: 2100.
First Officer Craig: Oh, I hope the wings stay on.
Captain Farver: They will. Don't worry about the wings. It's the true air speed that counts. Ground speed means nothing. Well, we just hit one lulu of a jet stream. Magellan, my needle just reversed past Gander VOR. How could we get past-? Get me a fast position check.
Navigator Hatch: Skipper, we are past Gander. We must be doing three thousand knots.
Captain Farver: Try to raise Harmon control. If you can't raise them, try Moncton or Boston. At this speed, you might as well try to get Idlewild.
Second Officer Wyatt: (Into the radio) Harmon control, this is Global 33. Harmon, do you read us? Moncton. Moncton, this is Global 33. Boston. Boston control, this is Global 33. Boston, please acknowledge. Idlewild. Idlewild, this is Global 33. Idlewild, do you read us? No soap. I can't raise anyone.

Paula: I'm seeing The Valkyrie tonight. Oh, Janie, I've always had a thing about Valhalla. Be a good egg and tell me I'm going to make it in time for the curtain.
Janie: Let me put it to you this way. I only hope the Valhalla you're talking about is at the Metropolitan Opera House in little old New York.
Paula: Instead of?
Janie: Instead of a conducted tour through the real thing.

First Officer Craig: Skipper, do you know what that is?
Captain Farver: I know exactly what it is. It's the New York World's Fair.
Second Officer Wyatt: New York World's Fair? But that means we'd be back in...
Navigator Hatch: 1939. We came back. We came back...dear God, not far enough!
Captain Farver: Can't land. Can't land at LaGuardia. Can't land in 1939. We've gotta try again.
First Officer Craig: Well, what about the passengers?
Captain Farver: I think we'd better let them in on it. (Into the cabin PA) Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain. What I'm about to tell you...what I'm about to tell you is something I can't explain myself. Your crew is as much in the dark as you are. If you look out on the left-hand side of this aircraft, you'll see directly below an area called Lake Success. And those buildings aren't the United Nations. They happen to be...they happen to be the World's Fair. What I'm trying to tell you is that somehow, someway, in some manner, this aircraft has gone back into time and it's 1939. We're going to try to increase our speed and go back through the same sound barrier we've already done twice before. I don't know if we can do it. All I ask of you is that you remain calm and pray.

Closing Narration
A Global jet airliner, en route from London to New York on an uneventful afternoon in the year 1961, but now reported overdue and missing, and by now searched for on land, sea, and air by anguished human beings fearful of what they'll find. But you and I know where she is, you and I know what's happened. So if some moment, any moment, you hear the sound of jet engines flying atop the overcast, engines that sound searching and lost, engines that sound desperate, shoot up a flare or do something. That would be Global 33 trying to get home from the Twilight Zone.

Episode Goofs
Manhattan Island was not formed yet during the time of the Dinosaurs.

Episode References
The crew observe a landmark as belonging to the New York World's Fair.

The World's Fair would exhibit new products produced from their countries from all over the world. In 1939 the fair came to New York (and again in 1964), being described as the largest ever.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
Associate ProducerDel Reisman
EditorBill Mosher
CastingEthel Winant
Set DecoratorHenry Grace  |  H. Web Arrowsmith
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorPhilip Barber  |  George W. Davis
Sound EditorFranklin Milton  |  Charles Scheid
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Assistant DirectorE. Darrell Hallenbeck
Technical AdvisorRobert J. Serling
Missing Information
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