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The Twilight Zone: On Thursday We Leave For Home

The leader of an expedition on an asteroid tries to convince the others that Earth is not worth returning to.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 4x16
Production Number: 4868
Airdate: Thursday May 02nd, 1963

Director: Buzz Kulik
Writer: Rod Serling

Guest Stars
Jo HeltonJo Helton
As Julie
Lew GalloLew Gallo
As Lt. Engle
Paul LangtonPaul Langton
As George
Russ BenderRuss Bender
As Hank
Shirley OShirley O'Hara
As Colonist
Anthony BensonAnthony Benson
As Colonist
Danny KulickDanny Kulick
As Jo Jo
James WhitmoreJames Whitmore
As William Benteen
John Ward (1)John Ward (1)
As Colonist
Madge KennedyMadge Kennedy
As Colonist
Tim OTim O'Connor
As Col. Sloane
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


William Benteen is a member of a colony of people who left Earth for a better place, with no wars. He has kept the spirit of the people going with tales of the greatness that was Earth. When the rescue ship arrives Benteen realizes that he will no longer have this influence over these people. He now tells them of the Hell Earth really is. No one will believe him, and he decides he will stay. As the spaceship prepares to leave, Benteen returns to the caves and pretends that everyone is still there.While talking about Earth, he remembers what he has been saying all these years. He runs to the ship but finds it has left, and he is now there all alone. ..

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Episode Notes
Daniel Kulick is director Buzz's real-life son.

James Broderick was the father of Matthew.

The spaceship prop was the same one used in the classic 1956 film Forbidden Planet. Footage from the film was also used to depict the ship landing and taking off.

In more recent years, James Whitmore has co-starred in such movies as The Shawshank Redemption.

Jo Helton was also in "The Shelter."

Lew Gallo was also in "The Hitch-Hiker" and "The Rip Van Winkle Caper."

Paul Langton is also in "Where is Everybody?."

Russ Bender is also in "The Hitch-Hiker" and "The Fugitive."

Shirley O'Hara is also in "The Rip Van Winkle Caper."

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
This is William Benteen, who officiates on a disintegrating outpost in space. The people are a remnant society who left the Earth looking for a Millennium, a place without war, without jeopardy, without fear--and what they found was a lonely, barren place whose only industry was survival. And this is what they've done for three decades: survive; until the memory of the Earth they came from has become and indistinct and shadowed recollection of another time and another place. One month ago a signal from Earth announced that a ship would be coming to pick them up and take them home. In just a moment we'll hear more of that ship, more of that home, and what it takes out of mind and body to reach it. This is the Twilight Zone.

Al: Isn't living tough enough here we shouldn't have to go by the book? Isn't it hot enough and miserable enough there shouldn't be rules? We shouldn't have to suffer by the numbers? Will somebody please make the simple comment there's more happiness going into that grave? More peace of mind than all the mourners put together. There's nothing but anguish here. Captain Benteen, let us live within our own way. Or let us die from it... in our own way!
Captain Benteen: (addresses the crowd) Young Mr. Baines would have us lie down in the sun. Young Mr. Baines would have us give in to death... while there is still life. He'd end the rules. Throw away the regulations. No more standing in line for water. We'll let the strong take away from the weak. And no more food rationing. Let the young steal from the old. And when that ship does arrive, it won't find a society. Just a pack. Not one human being left alive. Only animals.

Closing Narration
William Benteen, who had prerogatives: he could lead, he could direct, dictate, judge, legislate. It became a habit, then a pattern and finally a necessity. William Benteen, once a god--now a population of one.

Episode Goofs
In the first scene after the opening narration, with Captain Benteen and George in front of the electrical panel, the boom microphone continually moves in and out of frame in the lower right-hand corner.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBert Granet
Set DesignerHenry Grace
Set DecoratorFrank R. McKelvy
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorGeorge W. Davis  |  Paul Groesse
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorJoe Edmondson  |  Franklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Film EditorAl Clark
Assistant DirectorJohn D. Bloss
Assistant To The DirectorJohn Conwell
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