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The Twilight Zone: The Shelter

A news report turns a group of party goers into an angry mob when the host refuses to make room in his bomb shelter for his friends.

Episode Info

Episode number: 3x3
Production Number: 4803
Airdate: Friday September 29th, 1961

  • Currently 7.2/10
7.2/10 (5 Votes cast)
Co-Guest Stars
Jack Albertson
As Jerry Harlowe
Sandy Kenyon
As Frank Henderson
Jo Helton
As Martha Harlowe
Mary Gregory
As Frank's Wife
John McLiam
As Neighbor
Larry Gates
As Dr. William Stockton
Joseph Bernard
As Marty Weiss
Peggy Stewart
As Grace Stockton
Michael Burns (1)
As Paul Stockton
Moria Turner
As Mrs. Weiss
Main Cast
Rod Serling
As Narrator/Host


At a suburban home, Jerry Harlowe calls a toast for his friend Dr. William Stockton at the end of their surprise party. They joke about Stockton's construction of a bomb shelter and the noise keeping them up and the concrete trucks coming through. Stockton's son Paul comes in to announce that the TV has gone out and the announcer has told people to turn to the radio station. The radio broadcast announces that incoming unidentified flying objects have been picked up and everyone is advised to go to their shelter or store up provisions. The Harlowe, Henderson, and Weiss couples run to their homes as air sirens go off...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Jack Albertson's best known role is that of Ed Brown in the sitcom, Chico and the Man.

Larry Gates is best remembered as patriarch Harlan Lewis on TV's The Guiding Light.

Jack Albertson is also in "I Dream of Genie."

Jo Helton can also be seen in "On Thursday We Leave For Home."

John McLiam was also in "Miniature" and "Uncle Simon."

Mary Gregory is also in "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" and "The Lateness of the Hour."

Sandy Kenyon is also in "The Odyssey of Flight 33" and "Valley of the Shadow."

One of the few TZ episodes with no fantastical or supernatural elements.

Episode Quotes
Harlowe: As a little personal aside, I'd like to conclude this way.
Stockton: It'll probably be the best part of the speech.

Opening Narration
What you are about to watch is a nightmare. It is not meant to be prophetic, it need not happen, it's the fervent and urgent prayer of all men of good will that it never shall happen. But in this place, in this moment, it does happen. This is the Twilight Zone.

Jerry Harlowe: We could throw a nice big block party, just like old times! Anything to get back to normal! Right, Bill?
Dr. William Stockton: Normal? ...I don't know what normal is. I thought I did once; I don't anymore.
Jerry Harlowe: Oh, we'll pay for all the damages, Bill.
Dr. William Stockton: Damages? I wonder...if any of us has any idea what those "damages" really are. Maybe one of them was finding out what we're really like when we're "normal." The kind of people we are, just underneath the skin--and I mean all of us--a lot of naked, wild animals who put such a price on staying alive that they'll claw their own neighbors to death just for the privilege! We were spared a bomb tonight, but I wonder... if we weren't destroyed even without it.

Closing Narration
No moral, no message, no prophetic tract. Just a simple statement of fact. For civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized. Tonight's very small exercise in logic from the Twilight Zone.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorJason H. Bernie
Set DecoratorH. Web Arrowsmith  |  Henry Grace
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorGeorge W. Davis  |  Philip Barber
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
SoundWilliam Edmondson
Warning: The Twilight Zone season 3 episode 3 guide may contain spoilers
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