The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 5 Episode 15 – The Long Morrow

Douglas Stansfield is an astronaut who has been selected to go on the first interstellar mission.  The round trip will take forty years so Stansfield will be put in suspended animation for the trip.  Right before the flight he meets a girl named Sandra Horn who is working for the space agency.  They fall in love on their one and only date and she tells him that her life will be a meaningless exercise without him and when he returns in forty years, she will greet him at the landing.

When Stansfield’s ship returns the mission, controllers see a note to notify Sandra Horn.  When the controller asks whether he should check the old age homes his colleague says that she is currently in a cryogenic facility.  The base commander meets Sandra when she is revived from suspended animation and gives her the shocking news.  Stansfield set his cryogenic unit to revive him very shortly after his launch from Earth.  He has aged almost the entire forty-year interval.  When Douglas and Sandra meet, she tells him that the age difference won’t matter to her.  But he tells her it would matter and he releases her.  The base commander tells Stansfield that he is honored to have met a man as selfless as he is.

The very pretty Mariette Hartley plays Sandra and she does a good job of representing the tragic love story that sets up the surprise ending.  But anyone who has read a lot of golden age science fiction stories saw this one coming a mile away.  Still in its day it was probably a surprise for the audience.  B.

 

4 thoughts on “The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 5 Episode 15 – The Long Morrow

  • August 22, 2019 at 8:52 am
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    I remember a VERY early issue of Marvel comics used a similar plotline, only it was the relativistic effects that kept the astronaut young while the girl back on earth aged.

    • August 22, 2019 at 9:10 am
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      It’s a nice sentimental story but the idea of intentionally spending forty years in solitary confinement as a gallant gesture is too much for me.

  • August 22, 2019 at 1:22 pm
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    I wonder: Did Rod write a check to the estate of O. Henry for this one?
    Even as a kid, I recognized the direct rip off of “The gift of the Magi”.
    This one never impressed me.

    • August 22, 2019 at 1:36 pm
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      Last night was the first time I ever saw this one and I had it pegged before we even found out she went into suspended animation. In your face Serling (in the voice of Homer Simpson).

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