The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 15

I Shot an Arrow into the Air

Aired Unknown Jan 15, 1960 on CBS



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • (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

  • Allusions

    • The episode title is a reference to the poem "The Arrow and the Song" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.