The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 11 – And When the Sky Was Opened

This one is painful.  Rod Taylor is astronaut Col. Clegg Forbes.  Along with Col. Ed Harrington and Major William Gart (played by actors I’ve never heard of) he has returned from Earth orbit to crash land in the desert.  And the major mystery of the flight is that they were out of radio contact with Earth for twenty-four-hours (dah, dah, daaah!).  Gart is the only one of the three to require more than a short-term hospital stay.  I think he broke a collar bone.  Forbes and Harrington are in a bar together when Harrington starts to feel strange.  He describes it as if he doesn’t belong on Earth and if he doesn’t resist, he will just disappear.  He calls home and his parents claim to have never known him.  He tells Forbes from the phone booth what happened and disappears as Forbes goes back to the bar to get a drink for Harrington.  Worse still no one else remembers Harrington being there and even a newspaper story about the space mission now only includes Forbes and Gart.  Forbes tells his girlfriend and the commanding officer of their outfit and of course no one has ever heard of Harrington.  He goes to the hospital and even Gart thinks it was just the two of them on the mission.  Next Forbes looks in a mirror and can’t see himself and runs out of the room screaming.  When Gart gets to the doorway Forbes has vanished and nobody but Gart knows who Forbes was and now the newspaper says Gart was on a solo mission.  Next day the hospital room is completely empty and the space craft that was in a hangar under a tarp is just a tarp on the cement floor.

This is another Twilight Zone where a guy runs around screaming, shouting and crying because no one believes him.  Last night it happened in Episode 10 where the U-Boat Commander tried to warn the occupants of the British freighter that his alter ego would sink them in a few minutes.  That was bad enough but now poor Rod Taylor is running around like an hysterical adolescent girl screaming and crying because no one understands him.  Rod had a pretty good career in Hollywood.  He was in The Time Machine and stuff.  He was a decent actor and not bad with decent dialog.  People liked him.  But this is not science fiction.  It’s primal scream therapy.  There was a pretty girl in the bar and that could have added some interest to the show but they just neglected her.  I mean, why couldn’t she have been consulted about the problem.  Maybe she could have consoled him on his last day on Earth.  This is exactly the kind of episode that makes me cynical about television.

Well, I’m sorry this is a D or maybe even a D-.