The Twilight Zone

Season 4 Episode 10

No Time Like the Past

Aired Unknown Mar 07, 1963 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
77 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A man travels back in time to try to prevent some of history's catastrophes.

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  • A man named Paul Driscoll hates the present day with it's constant threat of nuclear destruction. So Driscoll uses a time machine in an attempt to prevent tragic events in the past. He soon finds that it won't be as easy as he thought.moreless

    This episode has a very good premise and it does have its highlights. One such highlight is the scene where Driscoll has a discussion with one of his fellow boarders about American military policy. As a whole, however, this episode is a disappointment. There are some logic loopholes here. For example, why did Driscoll choose to travel to Hiroshima less than one hour before the bomb was dropped? Even if the Japanese police captain believed him, there would not be enough time to evacuate the city so Driscoll's visit serves no purpose and will accomplish nothing. There are better episodes.moreless
  • One of Serling's weakest scripts

    Where to begin? A boring conversation between Driscoll and his mentor with lots of flatulant dialogue about how evil man is and then incredibly poorly staged attempts at changing history. Just what the heck was the good of appearing less than an hour before the bomb fell on Hiroshima even if his warning was believed? The Hitler assasaination attempt was ridiculous, complete with a German maid who knew enough to speak English to the stranger. Driscoll finally makes it to a permanent past and only then learns that he was the cause of the accident and that he should no longer muck about in history. Perhaps the biggest logical gaffe was just how the heck the time travelling worked? Did he trigger it on his own? If so then how? What was the purpose of the guy back at the lab? All we saw was Driscoll surrounded by bad special effects. Rod you have done so much better.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: Exit one Paul Driscoll, a creature of the twentieth century. He puts to a test a complicated theorum of space-time continuum, but he goes a step further--or tries to. Shortly, he will seek out three moments of the past in a desperate attempt to alter the present--one of the odd and fanciful functions in a shadowland known as the Twilight Zone.

    • Hanford: So what are your world views, Driscoll?
      Paul: ...I don't have any, Mr. Hanford.
      Hanford: Of course you do, man. We all do! Like all this nonsense about giving the Indians land. What we need are twenty General Custers and a hundred thousand men! What we should have done is swept across the prairie, destroying every redskin that stood before us. After that, we should have planted the American flag deep, high and proud!
      Abigail: I think the country is tired of fighting, Mr. Hanford. I think we were bled dry by the Indian Wars. I think anything we can accomplish peacefully, with treaties, we should accomplish that way.
      Hanford: Now, I trust this isn't the path you spoon-feed your students. Treaties, indeed! Peace, indeed! Why, the virility of a nation is in direct proportion to its military prowess. I live for the day when this country sweeps away... You some kind of a pacifist, Driscoll?
      Paul: No, just some sick idiot who's seen too many boys die because of too many men who fight their battles at dining room tables... and who probably wouldn't last forty-five seconds in a real skirmish if they were thrust into it.
      Hanford: I take offense at that remark, Mr. Driscoll!
      Paul: And I take offense at "armchair warriors," who don't know what a shrapnel, or a bullet, or a saber wound feels like... who've never smelled death after three days on an empty battlefield... who've never seen the look on a man's face when he realizes he's lost a limb or two, and his blood is seeping out. Mr. Hanford, you have a great affinity for "planting the flag deep." But you don't have a nodding acquaintance of what it's like for families to bury their sons in the same soil!

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Incident on a July afternoon, 1881. A man named Driscoll who came and went and, in the process, learned a simple lesson, perhaps best said by a poet named Lathbury, who wrote, 'Children of yesterday, heirs of tomorrow, what are you wearing? Labor and sorrow? Look to your looms again, faster and faster fly the great shuttles prepared by the master. Life's in the loom, room for it--room!' Tonight's tale of clocks and calendars--in the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Originally, the beginning scene was filmed with Driscoll having a philosophical discussion with his mentor. This was thought to be too dull for TV, thus was scrapped.

    • This episode, as with all in Season 4, is an hour in running time. All episodes in Season 1-3 & 5 were only 30 minutes.