And When the Sky Was Opened

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"And When the Sky Was Opened"
The Twilight Zone episode
Jim Hutton Sue Randall Twilight Zone.JPG
Sue Randall and Jim Hutton
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 11
Directed by Douglas Heyes
Written by Teleplay by
Rod Serling
Based on a short story by
Richard Matheson
Featured music Leonard Rosenman
Production code 173-3611
Original air date December 11, 1959
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Judgment Night"
Next →
"What You Need"
List of season 1 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

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

Plot summary[edit]

Three astronauts flying the X-20 DynaSoar into space for the first time disappear from radar on a test flight, then reappear.

However, all is not as it seems upon their return to Earth. After they crash land, Major Gart is sent to the hospital with a broken leg. The other two, Lt Col. Forbes and Col. Harrington, are quickly discharged from the hospital with no problems. During the evening, the two go to a bar. There, Harrington suddenly gets a strange feeling as if he no longer belongs in the world. He phones his parents, but they tell him they have no son. Then Harrington mysteriously disappears from the phone booth, and no one but Forbes remembers his existence. The headline in a newspaper that previously read "Three Spacemen ..." is now "Two Spacemen ..."

Forbes goes to the hospital and tells his story to Gart, who says he does not know any person named Harrington. Then Forbes looks in the mirror, but there is no reflection of him looking back. Forbes snaps 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. After getting back into bed, he notices the newspaper now says "Lone Spaceman ..." and falls back in horror. Then he too disappears. The aircraft has vanished as well – wiping all evidence of the program off the face of the Earth.


Episode notes[edit]

This episode is loosely based on the short story "Disappearing Act" by Richard Matheson.[1] The story was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (March 1953). Rod Taylor and director Douglas Heyes later worked together on the TV series Bearcats![2]

Although there are no special effects showing the spacecraft in flight, the disappearances are emphasized by props. 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 X-20 was originally housed.

See also[edit]

"Remember Me", an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which Dr. Beverley Crusher undergoes a similar experience.


  1. ^ Zicree, Marc Scott (1982). The Twilight Zone Companion (second ed.). Hollywood: Sillman-James Press. p. 61. 
  2. ^ Stephen Vagg, Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood, Bear Manor Media, 2010 p69

External links[edit]