The Twilight Zone

Season 2 Episode 1

King Nine Will Not Return

Aired Unknown Sep 30, 1960 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
107 votes

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Episode Summary

A WWII captain finds himself in the desert, next to his crashed plane. Where is his crew? And why are futuristic jet planes flying overhead?

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  • A man find himself alone with his bomber plane in a desert after a crash and wonders where his crew disappeared

    Unfortunately one of the weakest episodes in the show...

    It starts nowhere and there is little to go on from there, the acting is mediocre and the scifi element comes like an afterthought to justify the story.

    There is very little to say about the storyline... a man has visual hallucinations as he wanders around a desert, seemingly alone after a bombing mission during WWII... The setup is weak and the "reveal" is even weaker. I won't go into details so as not to spoil it but it is unoriginal even at the time, with the first season already in the can.

    It definitely has the look of a "torn from the headlines" story with an extra micro "unexplained" element added just for show...

    Disappointing start for Season 2moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Enigma buried in the sand, a question mark with broken wings that lies in silent grace as a marker in a desert shrine. Odd how the real consorts with the shadows, how the present fuses with the past. How does it happen? The question is on file in the silent desert. And the answer? The answer is waiting for us in the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Filming Location: Lone Pines, CA desert

    • The inspiration for this episode was an actual, real-life event where a B-24 heavy bomber lost its course during a raid in Italy and crashed in the desert. The plane's crew were not found until 15 years later. Parts from the plane were recovered and used in other aircraft - these aircraft were later lost in other accidents, lending to stories of the plane being haunted.

    • This episode features a new intro: "You're traveling through another dimension--a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind, a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead: Your next stop, The Twilight Zone." This introduction was used throughout the second season.

    • This is the first episode in which Rod Serling appears onscreen at the beginning of an episode to introduce it. He appeared in "A World of His Own" but that was at the end.