The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 15

I Shot an Arrow into the Air

Aired Unknown Jan 15, 1960 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
162 votes

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Episode Summary


Three astronauts crash on what they believe to be an asteroid. Unfortunately they have only limited water supplies to sustain them.

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Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • A fantastic tale about Malthusian measures, and irrational rationality

    This is a fantastic tale against the Malthusian ideas, and similar decision to sacrify few humans to save the group.

    If you can do that at the last minute, when deaths it staring at you in the eyes, don't do that using prediction model, deciding to let people die, to kill them, to same "the planet", "the group" "the nation"...

    you never know is behind the dune there is a surprise.

    This episode inspired me, and make me resist to current fashion.

    And guess what ? I have seen beyond the dune, and yes we are saved, once again.moreless
  • telephone polls

    if only that dumb ass cory had waited they couldve all lived
  • absurd premise

    The actual adventure part of the story is quite good. Unfortunately, the whole thing crashes and burns at the end with the ridiculous twist. I mean, any group of astronauts who can't figure out that they're back on earth pretty much deserve to die, in my book.
  • Amazing twist at the end!!!

    This episode is one of my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone. I never ever expected it to end the way it did. Where did Rod Serling come up with this stuff!? He's a genius! At the end where the guy sees the telephone poles, my mouth was literally hanging wide open. That was so good! I just couldn't believe it! The whole time I, along with the three men in the episode, thought they were on an asteroid. And then it turns out that they hadn't even made it off the earth. This is truly a series classic .moreless
  • Wonderfully written!

    I Shot An Arrow Into The Air is one of my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone. Like all Twilight Zone episodes it has a surprising twist at the end. Personally this is one of my favorite endings to an episode. I just never ever expected it. It was such a big shocker to find out that they had actually still been on the earth the whole entire time. I loved the guys reaction when he discovered what had happened. And then seeing the sign and the telephone poles at the very end. Truly awesome! And I love the little rhyme that goes along with the title:

    "I shot an arrow into the air It fell to earth, I know not where."

    I supposed this shoud have been a big clue to the ending! Anyways I love and truly enjoy everytime I get to see this episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: Her name is the Arrow One. She represents four and a half years of planning, preparation and training, and a thousand years of science and mathematics, and the projected dreams and hopes of not only a nation but a world. She is the first manned aircraft into space. And this is the countdown, the last five seconds before man shot an arrow into the air.

    • Langford: So an aircraft with an eight-man crew just disappears like a puff of smoke. One moment she's there, the next moment she's gone. "I shot an arrow into the air, it landed I know not where." Nursery rhyme for the age of space. Gentlemen, wherever you are, God help you.

    • Corey: Colonel! This man is going to die!
      Donlin: If he dies, he dies. But nobody gets behind to push. If he's thirsty, we give him water. If he's hot, we move him into the shade. Then if he goes, we give him a prayer or two.

    • Donlin: You were out there nearly six hours and you didn't touch a drop.
      Corey: Put me in for a medal.
      Donlin: Buddy, what I'm going to give you can't be pinned on a uniform.

    • Corey: I'm genuinely sorry, Colonel. I really am. But you brought the book to the wrong place. You brought the protocol, and the chain of command, and the numbers, and none of them fit here. You know, Colonel, this is a jungle where only the tough animals survive. And they don't do it according to the rules. You know your trouble, Colonel? You were looking for morality in the wrong place.

    • Narrator: Now you make tracks, Mr. Corey. You move out and up like some kind of ghostly billy club was tapping at your ankles and telling you that it's later than you think. You scrabble up rock hills and feel hot sand underneath your feet, and every now and then, take a look over your shoulder at a giant sun suspended in the dead and motionless sky. Like an unblinking eye that probes at the back of your head in a prolonged accusation. Mr. Corey, last remaining member of a doomed crew, keep moving. Make tracks, Mr. Corey, push up and push out. Because if you stop, if you stop maybe sanity will get you by the throat. Maybe realization will pry open your mind and the horror you left down in the sand will seep in. Yeah, Mr. Corey, yeah, you'd better keep moving. That's the order of the moment. Keep moving.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Practical joke perpetrated by Mother Nature and a combination of improbable events. Practical joke wearing the trappings of nightmare, of terror, of desperation. Small human drama played out in a desert 97 miles from Reno, NV, USA, continent of North America, the Earth, and of course… the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (1)