The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 17

Paladin of the Lost Hour

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 08, 1985 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
56 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Paladin of the Lost Hour
A Vietnam vet named Billy saves an old man named Gaspar from a mugging at a cemetery. He discovers that this old man holds the future of time in his watch.

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  • And old man protects the universe from ending with a magical clock.

    Boring! This episode is so boring to me, lots and lots and lots of our main characters just chit-chatting. Although the story is well told and the acting is superb I am more of the creepy-and-supernatural-kind of episode.

    The only scene I like very much is the last one where our paladin is finally passing away, leaving the chore of protecting the universe to our new hero Billy. A good watch if you like drama and good acting. Not so good when all you want is lasers being fired and things going boom.

    Overall a good experience.moreless
  • A series classic, featuring Danny Kaye in his final television performance.

    No doubt a series classic, featuring Danny Kaye in his final television performance. The script sticks very close to the Harlan Ellison story. The dialogue is warm and the rapport between the two main characters develops so naturally as each relate their personal stories.

    I remember reading that the producers had a very hard time cutting this episode down to the required 22 minutes for syndication as so much of this story is so beautifully done. It's another example of the outstanding production values that made the first season's episodes so memorable. The DVD release of the Twilight Zone means that entire episode can be enjoyed in its entirety.

  • The paladin of the lost hour passes on his watch to a friend.

    The New Twilight Zone is kind of like Larry King Live in a way. If the first half of the show features a real loser, the second half is often remarkable. This air date was particluarly like that.

    Danny Kaye delivers his final screen performance in this breath taking, astonishingly scripted short. I missed this episode when it aired in the 80's and I know I would have remembered it if I saw it.

    If there are leit motifs in this series, they are three: fear of nuclear destruction, the sins of Vietnam, and station wagons. This show features the first two. And, upon second viewing, I'm sure I could have spotted a station wagon or two.

    The tender dramatic rapport among the two leads in this episode is what makes it work. Easily one of my favorites.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Billy: Why must that hour never toll?
      Gaspar: The lost hour must never come. If it strikes 12, eternal night falls, of which there is no recall. The light, the wind, the stars, this magnificent place we call the universe, it all ends. And in its place, waiting, always waiting, hungering to be fed, is darkness. No new beginnings, no world without end. Just the infinite emptiness.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, time carries away the names and deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that were, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment. A blessing of the 18th Egyptian Dynasty: "God be between you and harm in all the empty places you walk."

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode features one of Danny Kaye's final screen performances, and was his first episodic TV appearance in 20 years.

    • No opening narration - the ending narration omits any typical mention of "the Twilight Zone."

    • The pseudonym Alan Smithee is used by the director of this episode, Gilbert Cates. Cates used this pseudonym after a disagreement with the producers.

    • The related story "Paladin of the Lost Hour" (written shortly before the teleplay) won Harlan Ellison the 1986 Hugo for Best Novelette. This story was first published in the anthology Universe 15 (1985) and was later published again in Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine (December 1985).