The Twilight Zone

The Last Flight

Season 1, Ep 18, Aired 2/5/60
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  • Episode Description
  • A World War I flying ace flies through a mysterious cloud - and lands at a modern U.S. air base in the year 1959!

  • Cast & Crew
  • Rod Serling

    Executive Producer for Cayuga Productions

  • Harry Raybould


  • Kenneth Haigh

    Flight Lt. Decker

  • Alexander Scourby

    General Harper

  • Ralph W. Nelson

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • An episode that ends with a positive note and speaks in its own subtle way about the laws of cause and effect.

    By Proteus710, Mar 27, 2006

  • A World War I fighter pilot lands his plane at an American Air Force Base 42 years after he took off.

    By Skeeter_700, Mar 20, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (3)

    • (Opening Narration) Narrator: Witness Flight Lieutenant William Terrance Decker, Royal Flying Corps, returning from a patrol somewhere over France. The year is 1917. The problem is that the Lieutenant is hopelessly lost. Lieutenant Decker will soon discover that a man can be lost not only in terms of maps and miles, but also in time, and time in this case can be measured in eternities.

    • Decker: I tell you, I can't see him. Wilson: Why not? Decker: Because he'll know me for what I am. Wilson: Well what are you?! Decker: I'm a coward! I'm a coward! I've always been a coward. All my life I've been running away pretending to be something I never was, never could be. That's why I'm here, because I was trying to run away. Because I wanted so desperately to escape that I did escape. I got by with my pretending well enough. My kind of strained idiocy was exactly the brand we all put on. Playing the part, you know, boys on a lark, laughing, joking, drinking. Oh, it's too much, all of it. Then turning into deadly, ice-cold killers in the sky. Although not me,, you of course. No, not me. Up there, I'm just as afraid as I am on the ground. And Mac and I are supposed to go on patrols together, but I can usually manage to persuade him into splitting up. You know, I think he actually hopes he'll run into some trouble. Me, well I just linger in the clouds, flying back and forth, dreading the possibility that I might see an enemy plane. Just hoping for enough time to pass so that I can go back. You know, sometimes I think I'll land behind the German lines and I'll let myself be captured. The pilots always get the best of treatment, you know. But I'm afraid of doing that even. I'm afraid that I'd be discovered and discredited. I couldn't bear that. I have to carry on the self-delusion, you know. You know, I've actually fired bullets through the cockpit walls so that the chaps will see them and be impressed. God help me.

    • (Closing Narration) Narrator: Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. There are more things in heaven and earth, and in the sky, that perhaps can be dreamt of. And somewhere in between heaven, the sky, the earth, lies the Twilight Zone.

    Notes (3)

    • Writer Richard Matheson intended the title "The Last Flight" to have a double meaning - refering both to Flight Lt Decker's final mission as well as his final flight from cowardness.

    • The vintage 1918 Nieuport biplane was both owned and flown by Frank Gifford Tallman, and had previously appeared in many World War I motion pictures.

    • Filmed on location at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California.

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