The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 5 Episode 10 – The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms

A three-man tank team of National Guardsmen participating in war games in Montana find a wigwam close to the Little Bighorn River.  Pvt. McClusky and Sgt. Connors are familiar with the history of Custer’s Last Stand and after finding a canteen with 7th Cavalry inscribed on it they explain to Cpl. Langsford that the location of the wigwam jibes with the events of Custer’s route.  The next day they are sent along the stretch of ground where the battle occurred and one by one, they experience all the signs that preceded the battle.  They see smoke signals, find a village and McCluskey is actually shot in the back with an arrow.  In the next scene the crew climbs over a ridge on foot and sees the battle occurring.  They prime their machine guns and pistols and charge into the battle.

Back at the War Games Headquarters Captain Dennet learns that the tank crewed by McClusky, Connors and Langsford was found abandoned.  Dennet has the soldiers declared AWOL.  While walking through the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Dennet and his assistant Lieutenant Woodard notice that McClusky, Connors and Langsford’s names are inscribed on the memorial.  Finally, Dennet says out loud, “Too bad they couldn’t have brought the tank.  It would’ve helped.”

This is a simple and straightforward fantasy.  I think it was quite well done.  And of course, it would have ruined the integrity of historical evidence and the ghostly aspect of the story but I have to agree with Dennet.  I wish they had brought the tank.  That would have been one hell of a story.  B+.