And When the Sky Was Opened

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Rod Taylor: Col. Clegg Forbes
Charles Aidman: Col. Ed Harrington
Jim Hutton: Major William Gart
Maxine Cooper: Amy
Sue Randall: Nurse
Paul Bryar: Bartender
Joe Bassett: Medical officer
Gloria Pall: Girl in bar
Elizabeth Fielding: Blonde nurse

"And When the Sky Was Opened" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It was first aired on December 11, 1959.



Three astronauts flying the X-20 DynaSoar into space for the first time disappear from radar on a test flight, then reappear. Serling's voiceover is spoken showing the ship represented in a hangar by a canvas-covered form.

However, all is not as it seems upon their return to Earth. After they land, Gart is sent to the hospital with a broken leg. During the evening the other two, Forbes and Harrington, go to a bar. There, Harrington suddenly gets a strange feeling as if he no longer belongs in the world. He immediately goes to a phone booth to call his parents, but they tell him they have no son. Then Harrington mysteriously disappears, and no one but Forbes remembers his existence. Forbes tells his story to Gart, who says he does not know any person named Harrington. Then Forbes looks in the mirror, only to find there is no reflection and runs out of the room. By the time Gart gets up to run after him, Forbes has mysteriously disappeared too, and nobody remembers him. Then Gart himself mysteriously disappears, and the ship does too – wiping them off the face of the Earth.

Although there are no special effects showing the spacecraft in flight, the disappearances are emphasized by props. The headline on the newspaper first says "Three Men..." then "Two Men..." and finally "Lone Man..." There is one fewer bed in the hospital room when one man disappears. At the end, the hospital room is shown empty, as is the hangar where the ship was originally housed.

Episode notes

This episode is thinly based on the short story "Disappearing Act" by Richard Matheson[1], which is being adapted into a 2011 film called "Countdown". The story was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (March 1953).

See also


External links

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