The Twilight Zone

Season 2 Episode 23

A Hundred Yards over the Rim

Aired Unknown Apr 07, 1961 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
143 votes

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Episode Summary

In 1847 a western settler sets out to find medicine for his dying son - and stumbles into modern-day New Mexico.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • one of the best

    One of the best episodes of the series. Has a wonderfully stark and understated quality for a time-travel show; instead of moving us directly to the big city (like in the Buster Keaton one), we instead stay in the quiet desert and only indirectly do we learn of the leap that the Cliff Robertson character has made. Also note that, somewhat like the pioneers, the folks at the little restaurant are out in the sticks (and away from the mainstream) themselves.moreless
  • A pioneer time travels from 1847 to 1961.

    On paper this is not much of a story. Heck with any other actors it might have been just that. Cliff Robertson was appeared in various episodes of the show pulls of the episodes and makes it memorable despite the lack of action and any real tension in the episode.

    This is more a psychological story than anything else if you think about it which explains the lack of action.

    It's about how a man deals with a different situation with totally unfamiliar elements are thrown at him.

    It is funny how he reacts to things like the truck and calling it a "monster". It's amazing from his point of view how much people will achieve in future time. Now when we think about certain things now it's no big deal. A lot of people just take it for granted. I think that's what this episode is trying to say. It's a nice ode to the pioneers to and that whole spirit of going a direction and not going back despite the unpleasant stuff that lies ahead. Robertson's characters put it all in perspective by the end.moreless
  • A leap in time saves a boy's life, and a community's' spirit, in one of the best series episodes.

    Christian Horn ( Cliff Robertson) is the leader of a small wagon train travelling from Ohio and headed for a new life for them in California in 1847. Instead, along the way, as with many others traversing long distances in search of a better life throughout history, they encounter hunger, thirst, disease, the elements, and hostile Indians. After reaching the scorching Arizona desert, all of his travelling companions, lacking Horn's determination, try to convince him to turn back. That his son appears to be dying is the straw that is about to break the camel's back for him. Still, in desperation, seeing a sand dune nearby, without seeing over it, he makes the trek over the rim, and encounters a whole new world, one which he never imagined, or for which he is not prepared. He is scared by a huge "monster" (a truck) and accidentally shoots himself, a minor wound. He meets a married couple, ownwers of a diner. The wife is a retired nurse's aid and treats his wound, then gives him a bottle of penicillin, something new to 1847 man. While beind treated, his sees a calendar, and the date 1961, meaning he has travelled a hundred yards and 114 years into the future. After reading his son's "future" in an encyclopedia, he realizes his ordeal is not without purpose, so he goes back over the rim, back to his own place and time, gives his son the life-saving medicine, and breathes new life into their journey. He is proud that the world that he briefly encountered was made possible by people like him and his travelling companions.

    This episode, one of the series' best, reminds us that we should never give up. Perhaps more importantly, that we owe a debt of gratitude to those who braved the elements to make months and even years long journeys that enable us to today take only days or hours to travel, and make our world, the world Horn briefly glimpsed, possible. A tip of the hat to the Christian Horns of America's early days.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The American Territory of New Mexico was not created until 1850, three years after the year mentioned in the opening narration, and in the episode itself. In 1847, it would have been Spanish New Mexico.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: The year is 1847, the place is the territory of New Mexico, the people are a tiny handful of men and women with a dream. Eleven months ago, they started out from Ohio and headed west. Someone told them about a place called California, about a warm sun and a blue sky, about rich land and fresh air, and at this moment almost a year later they've seen nothing but cold, heat, exhaustion, hunger, and sickness. This man's name is Christian Horn. He has a dying eight year-old son and a heartsick wife, and he's the only one remaining who has even a fragment of the dream left. Mr. Chris Horn, who's going over the top of a rim to look for water and sustenance and in a moment will move into the Twilight Zone.

    • Christian: I may be crazy, or the world may be turned upside down but I know I've been put here for a reason. A reason.

    • Charlie: Short trip, Chris. Nothing much on the other side, was there?
      Christian: You'd be surprised, Charlie. There's a whole lot on the other side of that rim. There'll be highways and many new things. A whole new land. You know what, Charlie? It was people like us, we made it happen.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Mr. Christian Horn, one of the hardy breed of men who headed west during a time when there were no concrete highways or the solace of civilization. Mr. Christian Horn, family and party, heading west, after a brief detour through the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (0)