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The Twilight Zone: Death Ship

An astronaut won't believe that he and his crew may already be dead after seeing a duplicate spaceship crash landed on the planet surface.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 4x6
Production Number: 4850
Airdate: Thursday February 07th, 1963

Director: Don Medford
Writer: Richard Matheson

Guest Stars
Jack KlugmanJack Klugman
As Captain Paul Ross
Mary WebsterMary Webster
As Ruth
Ross ElliottRoss Elliott
As Kramer
Ross Martin (1)Ross Martin (1)
As Lt. Ted Mason
Fred BeirFred Beir
As Lt. Mike Carter
Sara TaftSara Taft
As Mrs. Nolan
Tammy MarihughTammy Marihugh
As Jeannie
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Captain Ross and his crew safely land on a planet and during their exploration, stumble upon a crashed spaceship exactly like theirs. Only in this ship, the crew are killed from the crash. After each crew member has an hallucination involving dead friends and relatives, they are convinced that they are dead. Suddenly, they find themselves back in their spaceship preparing to land. ..

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Episode Notes
Some of the music in this episode was borrowed from Jerry Goldsmith's score to Episode 49, "Back There."

The miniature spaceship prop was the same one used in the classic 1956 film Forbidden Planet.

Jack Klugman is also in "A Passage for Trumpet," "A Game of Pool" and "In Praise of Pip."

Mary Webster is also in "A Passage for Trumpet."

Ross Elliott was also in the episode "In Praise of Pip."

Ross Martin is also in "The Four of Us are Dying."

The short story written by Richard Matheson, was his first attempt at sitting down and penning a science fiction story.

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Picture of the spaceship E-89, cruising above the thirteenth planet of star system fifty-one, the year 1997. In a little while, supposedly, the ship will be landed and specimens taken: vegetable, mineral and, if any, animal. These will be brought back to overpopulated Earth, where technicians will evaluate them and, if everything is satisfactory, stamp their findings with the word "inhabitable" and open up yet another planet for colonization. These are the things that are supposed to happen . . . Picture of the crew of the spaceship E-89: Captain Ross, Lieutenant Mason, Lieutenant Carter. Three men who have just reached a place which is as far from home as they will ever be. Three men who in a matter of minutes will be plunged into the darkest nightmare reaches of the Twilight Zone.

Closing Narration
Picture of a man who will not see anything he does not chose to see--including his own death. A man of such indomitable will that even the two men beneath his command are not allowed to see the truth; which truth is, that they are no longer among the living, that the movements they make and the words they speak have all been made and spoken countless times before--and will be made and spoken countless times again, perhaps even unto eternity. Picture of a latter-day Flying Dutchman, sailing into the Twilight Zone.

Cultural References
This episode is based on the short story "Death Ship" by Richard Matheson. The story was first published in Fantastic Story Magazine March, 1953, and later included in Matheson's Shock! collection Dell, 1961.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerHerbert Hirschman
EditorRichard W. Farrell
Set DesignerHenry Grace
Set DecoratorEdward M. Parker
Director of PhotographyRobert Pittack
Art DirectorEdward C. Carfagno  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorJoe Edmondson  |  Franklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Assistant DirectorRay DeCamp
Assistant To The DirectorJohn Conwell
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