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The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 11

And When the Sky Was Opened

Aired Unknown Dec 11, 1959 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
185 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Three astronauts have returned from this first space flight. Major Gart is hospitalized with a broken leg. The other two, Colonels Harrington and Forbes head for a bar. Harrington gets a strange feeling…

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  • Where'd He Go?! Where's Herrington?

    I don't want to like this episode, but I can't help it - I think it's a great episode. Think of the logical contradictions that exist when examining quantum phenomena - the idea that an object can be in two places at one time, or time travel, or parallel universes -- or not! Some of y'all will love this episode. Others will hate it.
  • my favorite TZ!

    Okay, there's no denying that the plot makes little (if any) sense....I mean, how in the world could you remove the expedition by thirds until finally you come down to zero?! But I love it anyway, because it's so damn creepy and eerie! Granted, you could say that a good part of the reason for that is because--like when Glenn Close lunges at Michael Douglas from the bottom of the bathtub in Fatal Attraction--it's palpably impossible. But no matter, I don't care...the die is cast...this is one submission that definitely meets with my approval! Exquisitely well-filmed, -acted and -directed. Also you gotta love that Serling actually says: "...someone...or some thing..." lol Oh well, maybe that wasn't as corny back in 1960.moreless
  • It raises more questions than answers, but there's nothing wrong with that.

    This is "Twilight Zone" at its best - ordinary people caught up in extraordinary situations, trying to convince disbelievers of their plight and only finally figure it all out when it's too late. We never know what happens to the men and their ship - what explanation could match the drama of the story? It's merely enough for us to know that they are vanishing and leaving behind no memory of their existence. If there had been an effort to quantify or explain what was behind all of this, its impact would be diminished. The unknown is always more frightening than an identifiable menace - the men have no idea what they're up against and are powerless against it. With the suspense perfectly doled out until the final moments, this is a classic of "The Twilight Zone."moreless
  • One of the best episodes written by Rod Serling.

    Ah, what can I say about "And When the Sky Was Opened"? One thing that I definitely loved about the episode was the plot, I found it to be quite original and one of the best that Rod Serling has done through the course of the series.

    When the episode starts, out, we find Colonel Forbes, an astronaut going to the hospital to visit a colleague in the hospital following their return from a space mission gone wrong. From the point when Colonel Forbes went inside Major Gart's room to tell him the story about the strange things that has been going on since he and Colonel Harrington; another astronaut from their mission, left Gart in the hospital, I found the story very intriguing, thanks to the way Forbes was acting as he was retelling his story.

    It was when Colonels Forbes and Harrington went to a bar after visiting Major Gart that Harrington was feeling like something was wrong. What I found interesting as they sat at the bar was when the two Military men were talking and Harrington felt like he didn’t belong where he was, like their space ship shouldn’t have made it back to earth after it disappeared in the sky. The reason why I found this to be interesting was what happened afterwards: Harrington just disappeared and the people in the bar thought Forbes was loosing his mind when he started asking about his friend.

    However, what I found to be the most entertaining part of the episode happened when Forbes began to realize why Harrington was feeling the way he was before he disappeared, mainly because it started a domino effect that made the remaining astronauts believe that they truly didn’t deserve to return to earth in their ship after being lost in space, and they ultimately disappeared themselves.

    In all, I found this episode to be quite entertaining; it is a really intriguing storyline that most likely couldn’t be duplicated in its brilliance in Sci-Fi shows of today.moreless
Rod Taylor

Rod Taylor

Col. Clegg Forbes

Jim Hutton

Jim Hutton

Major William Gart

Charles Aidman

Charles Aidman

Col. Ed Harrington

Rod Serling

Rod Serling


Paul Bryar

Paul Bryar


Guest Star

Sue Randall

Sue Randall

The Nurse

Guest Star

Joe Bassett

Joe Bassett

Medical Officer

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Following Col. Forbes' flashback in the major's room, the colonel looks into the mirror and sees he is not there, only you can still see his arm in the mirror

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: Her name: X-20. Her type: an experimental interceptor. Recent history: a crash landing in the Mojave Desert after a thirty-one hour flight nine hundred miles into space. Incidental data: the ship, with the men who flew her, disappeared from the radar screen for twenty-four hours. But the shrouds that cover mysteries are not always made out of a tarpaulin, as this man will soon find out on the other side of a hospital door.

    • Forbes: Oh, I know he's not an illusion. I know. He's been yanked out of here. He's been taken away. He told me maybe... he told me maybe... maybe somebody or something made a mistake. Let us get through when we shouldn't have gotten through. They've got to come back to get us. Somebody up there. Aw, Bill... this is weird, just plain weird. Like I just don't belong. Just like I... I don't belong. Aw no. Aw no!!! I don't want this to happen! Bill, I don't want it to happen! I don't want it to happen! I don't want it to happen!

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a man named Harrington, a man named Forbes, a man named Gart. They used to exist, but don't any longer. Someone or something took them somewhere. At least they are no longer a part of the memory of man. And as to the X-20 supposed to be housed here in this hangar, this, too, does not exist. And if any of you have any questions concerning an aircraft and three men who flew her, speak softly of them, and only in the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode is based on the short story "Disappearing Act" by Richard Matheson. The story was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (March, 1953).