The Twilight Zone

No Time Like the Past

Season 4, Ep 10, Aired 3/7/63
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  • Episode Description
  • A man travels back in time to try to prevent some of history's catastrophes.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Rod Serling


  • Justus Addiss

  • Herbert Hirschman

  • Ralph W. Nelson

  • Murray Golden

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • A man named Paul Driscoll hates the present day with it's constant threat of nuclear destruction. So Driscoll uses a time machine in an attempt to prevent tragic events in the past. He soon finds that it won't be as easy as he thought.

    By meathead704, Aug 21, 2008

  • One of Serling's weakest scripts

    By PikeBishop, Jul 06, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (3)

    • (Opening Narration) Narrator: Exit one Paul Driscoll, a creature of the twentieth century. He puts to a test a complicated theorum of space-time continuum, but he goes a step further--or tries to. Shortly, he will seek out three moments of the past in a desperate attempt to alter the present--one of the odd and fanciful functions in a shadowland known as the Twilight Zone.

    • Hanford: So what are your world views, Driscoll?
      Paul: ...I don't have any, Mr. Hanford.
      Hanford: Of course you do, man. We all do! Like all this nonsense about giving the Indians land. What we need are twenty General Custers and a hundred thousand men! What we should have done is swept across the prairie, destroying every redskin that stood before us. After that, we should have planted the American flag deep, high and proud!
      Abigail: I think the country is tired of fighting, Mr. Hanford. I think we were bled dry by the Indian Wars. I think anything we can accomplish peacefully, with treaties, we should accomplish that way.
      Hanford: Now, I trust this isn't the path you spoon-feed your students. Treaties, indeed! Peace, indeed! Why, the virility of a nation is in direct proportion to its military prowess. I live for the day when this country sweeps away... You some kind of a pacifist, Driscoll?
      Paul: No, just some sick idiot who's seen too many boys die because of too many men who fight their battles at dining room tables... and who probably wouldn't last forty-five seconds in a real skirmish if they were thrust into it.
      Hanford: I take offense at that remark, Mr. Driscoll!
      Paul: And I take offense at "armchair warriors," who don't know what a shrapnel, or a bullet, or a saber wound feels like... who've never smelled death after three days on an empty battlefield... who've never seen the look on a man's face when he realizes he's lost a limb or two, and his blood is seeping out. Mr. Hanford, you have a great affinity for "planting the flag deep." But you don't have a nodding acquaintance of what it's like for families to bury their sons in the same soil!

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Incident on a July afternoon, 1881. A man named Driscoll who came and went and, in the process, learned a simple lesson, perhaps best said by a poet named Lathbury, who wrote, 'Children of yesterday, heirs of tomorrow, what are you wearing? Labor and sorrow? Look to your looms again, faster and faster fly the great shuttles prepared by the master. Life's in the loom, room for it--room!' Tonight's tale of clocks and calendars--in the Twilight Zone.

    Notes (2)

    • Originally, the beginning scene was filmed with Driscoll having a philosophical discussion with his mentor. This was thought to be too dull for TV, thus was scrapped.

    • This episode, as with all in Season 4, is an hour in running time. All episodes in Season 1-3 & 5 were only 30 minutes.

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