The Twilight Zone

Season 5 Episode 15

The Long Morrow

Aired Unknown Jan 10, 1964 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
120 votes

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Episode Summary

Before leaving on his mission, an astronaut meets a woman. They fall in love…

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • "Saw it coming ending," but nevertheless a tender story for TZ

    Boy is about to embark on highly lauded, pioneering mission to outer space which will take 40 years. Boy meets girl. Falls in love. Girl remarks at their farewell that she'll be the little old lady in the shawl waving when he returns 40 years in the future - while he'll still be young from technological hibernation/freezing. Boy departs, and returns 40 years later to...

    While the ending could be seen light years in advance, the story was dealt with in an unusually compassionate way for Sci-Fi. Mariette Hartley's superior acting was gripping and believable.

    The episode could have been given more dimension with the explanation of what a world that had aged half a century would look like to a man returning there the same age as he left. The other grossly unresolved issue was why a low-level employee at NASA would have the resources and accessibility to hibernation for 40 years.

    All in all, this episode was entertaining and sweet, and kind of non-traditional for Twilight Zone.moreless
  • A good episode. Don't let anyone else tell you different.

    Sorry, everyone. This episode is a great one. If you're in the mood for a sweet love story with a happy ending, you're in the wrong Twilight Zone, if you catch my drift. But if you're like most of America and a sad ending is for you, stick around.

    The worst part is the very end. I'm sorry, but it's unbelievable. If you're an old man, and a beautifult twenty-something is in love with you, and you love her back, Why would you say NO? What could've been a bittersweet tale of "Love knows no boundaries," we instead get a depressing story of, "Whoops. Guess it does."moreless
  • One of Serling's less impressive efforts.

    Back in 1964, many folks apparently still assumed that space exploration would require sending people on journeys of many years. The idea of robotic explorers hadn't gained much currency. So this TZ episode features a 40-year round trip for Robert Lansing, who's put into suspended animation and launched into the void at seven times the speed of light -- both accomplishments requiring technology that hasn't yet been achieved. He's assured he'll have aged only six months when he gets home.

    And his lady friend, Mariette Hartley, who apparently is a rather low-level employee of the space agency, somehow is allowed to abandon whatever her duties are and spend the same 40 years in "hibernation" so she'll be the same age when he gets back.

    We're given no reason why Lansing decides to exit hibernation immediately on leaving earth and so returns, not 6 months older, but 40 years older, having spent the entire trip in the cockpit of his spacecraft. (That he's now 71 years old is evidenced by the really bad makeup job and clotted white hair he sports in the last scene.) Nor is it explained how a person in suspended animation can make such decisions and act on them.

    The dramatic climax of the episode consists merely in the aged Lansing confronting the still dewy and nubile Hartley and telling her he's too old for her. The scientific knowledge produced by this trip apparently is that space travel and/or age can severely diminish one's libido.moreless
  • An astronaut is given a mission to explore the other side of the solar system while in hibernation and falls in love.

    I was looking forward to science part of this episode as space exploration was something that was a big part of TZ instead we get a straightforward without the happy ending love story. That about sums it up.

    There were great TZ stories that were really complex and then you had these simple TZ stories by Serling that while nostalgic and fun really don't fit into Zone much.

    An astronaut is given the chance to fly across the other side of the solar system while remaining in suspended animation. He, however, does something rather impulsive during the mission for the girl he just met.

    The ending I would have like to have been happier as this was a simple story instead it doesn't leave the viewer with much other than scientific progress eventually eclipses the pioneers of yesteryear.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: It may be said with a degree of assurance that not everything that meets the eye is as it appears. Case in point: the scene you're watching. This is not a hospital, not a morgue, not a mausoleum, not an undertaker's parlor of the future. What it is is the belly of a spaceship. It is en route to another planetary system an incredible distance from the Earth. This is the crux of our story, a flight into space. It is also the story of the things that might happen to human beings who take a step beyond, unable to anticipate everything that might await them out there... Commander Douglas Stansfield, astronaut, a man about to embark on one of history's longest journeys--forty years out into endless space and hopefully back again. This is the beginning, the first step toward man's longest leap into the unknown. Science has solved the mechanical details, and now it's up to one human being to breathe life into blueprints and computers, to prove once and for all that man can live half a lifetime in the total void of outer space, forty years alone in the unknown. This is Earth. Ahead lies a planetary system. The vast region in between is the Twilight Zone.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Commander Douglas Stansfield, one of the forgotten pioneers of the space age. He's been pushed aside by the flow of progress and the passage of years--and the ferocious travesty of fate. Tonight's tale of the ionosphere and irony, delivered from--the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode was mentioned in the 9/26/06 episode "The Long Morrow" of Gilmore Girls. and the show also deliberately used this episode's title.