Elegy (The Twilight Zone)

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Cecil Kellaway: Jeremy Wickwire
Jeff Morrow: Kurt Meyers
Kevin Hagen: Captain James Webber
Don Dubbins: Peter Kirby

"Elegy" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.



Running out of fuel, astronauts Meyers, Webber, and Kirby land their spaceship on a remote asteroid. They find the place quite Earth-like with buildings and people, but walk around and begin to wonder where everyone is. The first place they come to is a farm. The astronauts look around, and find no one. No one, that is, until they see the farmer, with his back to the astronauts, gazing off into the distance. They approach him, tap him on the shoulder and try talking to him, then they realize he is nothing more than a statue.

The men later come across a town hall in which a mayor is being elected, surrounded by people and a band playing. They can hear the music playing, but everyone is stock-still. A beauty pageant is where they find themselves next, where there are several beauty queens being judged on the stage, and lots of people in the audience, but everyone is still as if they were frozen in time. As they exit that room, the camera stays on a person in the audience, who suddenly moves.

The astronauts look for some time, and grow more and more disturbed by their surroundings as they find that everyone is holding still creepily. Finally, they are startled to find someone who does move: Wickwire, the caretaker of this place. Wickwire explains to the astronauts that the asteroid they have landed on is an exclusive cemetery founded in 1973 where rich people can live their greatest wish in life after they die. He is told that a nuclear war destroyed much of the Earth, and that it has taken over two hundred years to recover from it (this happens to be the year 2185). Wickwire serves the three men wine and asks what their greatest wish is. All three reply that they wish they were on their ship heading for home. Suddenly, they realize that their drinks have been poisoned. As the men die, Wickwire (who is actually a robot that has been off for 200 years and only turns on when he's needed, such as to dust) apologizes, saying that he needs to ensure the peaceful tranquility of the cemetery because men are incapable of peace.

Later, Wickwire installs the embalmed bodies back in their ship, posing them as if they were in fact on their way home. Just as they wished.


This episode is based on the short story "Elegy" by Charles Beaumont. The story was first published in Imagination (February, 1953).


  • The Canadian industrial band Skinny Puppy sampled dialogue from this episode on their songs "200 Years", "Chainsaw", and "Dig It".
  • The first half of this episode is extremely similar to the season 3 episode "Still Valley".
  • If you watch closely, you can see the people who are frozen, blink. You can also see them slightly swaying back and forth.
  • The instrumentation sounds aboard the rocket at the beginning of the episode would be reused for the bridge background sounds of the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek series.

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