The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 16

The Hitch-Hiker

Aired Unknown Jan 22, 1960 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • When she swerves to hit the hitchhiker, the scene shows a dark colored 1955 or 1956 Ford rather then the Edsel that she is actually driving.

    • Throughout the episode, there is no rear-view mirror, until the very final scene when needed.

  • Quotes

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: Her name is Nan Adams. She's twenty-seven years old. Her occupation: buyer at a New York department store, at present on vacation, driving cross-country to Los Angeles, California, from Manhattan. Minor incident on Highway 11 in Pennsylvania, perhaps to be filed away under accidents you walk away from. But from this moment on, Nan Adams's companion on a trip to California will be terror; her route--fear; her destination--quite unknown.

    • Nan: Stabbing little thoughts gouge my brain. Ugly, frightened thoughts. Projections of tomorrow and the next day, driving through plains, driving through the desert, unspeakably nightmarishly alone. And I know I'll see him. I'll see him at detours, at railroad crossings. He'll be looking at me at spotlights. I don't know what to do now. I don't know what to do. I just don't know what to do.

    • Nan: Towns go by without names, landscapes without form. Now it isn't even a trip, it's a flight. Route 80 isn't a highway anymore, it's an escape route.

    • Hitch-Hiker: I believe you're way?

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Nan Adams, age twenty-seven. She was driving to California, to Los Angeles. She didn't make it. There was a detour through the Twilight Zone.

  • Notes

    • Inger Stevens' character, "Nan", was named after Rod Serling's daughter. In the original radio play, the character's name was "Ronald Adams."

    • The episode's origins as a radio play are clearly evident - Inger Stevens provides voiceover narration during large portions of the show.

    • The story was originally written with the main character being a man but Rod Serling thought that a woman would garner more sympathy from the public.

    • This episode is based on "The Hitch-Hiker" by Lucille Fletcher. "The Hitch-Hiker" originally was performed for radio on The Mercury Theatre on the Air on November 17, 1941.

  • Allusions