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The Twilight Zone: The Midnight Sun

The Earth grows warmer each day after falling out of its orbit and is drawn closer to the Sun.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 3x10
Production Number: 4818
Airdate: Friday November 17th, 1961

Director: Anton Leader
Writer: Rod Serling

Guest Stars
Betty GardeBetty Garde
As Mrs. Bronson

Co-Guest Stars
Jason WingreenJason Wingreen
As Mr. Shuster
William KeeneWilliam Keene
As Doctor
Tom ReeseTom Reese
As Intruder
Juney EllisJuney Ellis
As Mrs. Shuster

Robert J. StevensonRobert J. Stevenson
voiced Announcer
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


In her apartment, Norma is painting a picture of the sun and looks outside to see it burning bright in the sky… at midnight. Everything is hot although the air conditioner is running full blast. Norma checks the time and then pours herself a small glass of cool water from her rationed supply. A little girl knocks on the door and stares at Norma’s glass, and Norma offers her a sip. Suzy’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Shuster, are packed to leave and tell Suzy to leave Norma alone. Mrs. Bronson, the landlady, comes out and Mr. Shuster explains that they’re heading north to Canada to avoid the head. Mrs. Bronson warns that there are gas shortages and the highways are jammed up. He wishes them luck and leaves with his family, and Mrs. Bronson notes that she and Norma are the only two left. Norma doesn’t plan to leave and thinks that she’s dreaming and will wake up in a cool bed. She looks out on the street, which is deserted. Mrs. Bronson notes that for the last month the Earth is heading closer for the Sun but is unable to admit that they’re doomed...

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Episode Notes
Betty Garde (1905-1989) was best known for playing the role of Aunt Eller in the original Broadway cast of Oklahoma!

Jason Wingreen was best known as bartender Harry Snowden on Archie Bunkers Place.

Lois Nettleton, Semi-finalist at the 1948 Miss America Pageant and sometimes credited as Lydia Scott was once married to Jean Sheppard.

Betty Garde is also in "The Odyssey of Flight 33."

Jason Wingreen is also in "A Stop at Willoughby."

William Keene is also in "The Prime Mover."

The episode was produced on a budget of $52,577. Because of this, 2 extra characters, a policeman and a refrigerator repairman were cut out of the final print. The policeman was to be played by John McLiam and the repairman was to be Ned Glass.

Mark Scott Zicree's The Twilight Zone Companion refers to two actor who don't appear in the any aired version of the episode, including the Definitive Season 3 Edition. They are Ned Glass as Refrigerator Repairman, and John McLiam as Policeman.

The effect of the melting paint was created by a wax reproduction of the painting being heated by a hot plate.

Mrs. Bronson says that the painting made her think of the tallest waterfall in Ithaca, New York, an area where Rod Serling had taught for several years.

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
The word that Mrs. Bronson is unable to put into the hot, still, sodden air is 'doomed,' because the people you've just seen have been handed a death sentence. One month ago, the Earth suddenly changed its elliptical orbit and in doing so began to follow a path which gradually, moment by moment, day by day, took it closer to the sun. And all of man's little devices to stir up the air are now no longer luxuries - they happen to be pitiful and panicky keys to survival. The time is five minutes to twelve, midnight. There is no more darkness. The place is New York City and this is the eve of the end, because even at midnight it's high noon, the hottest day in history, and you're about to spend it in the Twilight Zone.

Norma: Mrs. Bronson, I had such a terrible dream. It was so hot. It was daylight all the time. There was a midnight sun, there was no night at all. Mmmm, isn’t it wonderful to have darkness and coolness?
Mrs. Bronson: (looking at the snow outside) Yes, my dear: it’s wonderful.

Closing Narration
The poles of fear, the extremes of how the Earth might conceivably be doomed. Minor exercise in the care and feeding of a nightmare, respectfully submitted by all the thermometer-watchers in the Twilight Zone.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorJason H. Bernie
MusicVan Cleave
Set DecoratorHenry Grace  |  H. Web Arrowsmith
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorPhilip Barber
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
SoundWilliam Edmondson
Assistant DirectorE. Darrell Hallenbeck
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