The Long Morrow
|"The Long Morrow"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Robert Florey|
|Written by||Rod Serling|
|Original air date||January 10, 1964|
Commander Douglas Stansfield (played by Robert Lansing), an astronaut in the year 1987, is sent to a planetary system 141 light-years from Earth. The trip will take 20 years each way. To save him the ordeal of 40 years of loneliness, he is to be placed in (newly developed) suspended animation for the 20 years until he gets there and then again for the 20 year return trip. The suspended animation will also prevent him from growing older, other than the few weeks he would be at the distant planetary system. Before leaving, he meets and becomes enchanted by his young colleague, Sandra Horn (played by Mariette Hartley). However, Horn would be 40 years older and Stansfield would still be young because of the suspended animation. Stansfield goes on his mission and 40 years later he returns (tragically, the job he was sent to do was already completed, using technology developed after he left). He thus returns a forgotten pioneer.
It is revealed upon his arrival home that he voluntarily disabled the suspended animation system about six months into his journey so that he would be the same age as Sandra when he finally returned. Unbeknownst to him, she had placed herself in suspended animation so that she would be his age. In the tragic end, an aged Stansfield sadly urges Horn to live her new life without him.
After Horn leaves, General Walters somewhat consoles him by saying, "Stansfield, you're really quite an incredible man. Maybe the one distinction of my entire life, that I knew you...that I knew a man who put such a premium, on love. Truly...quite a distinction, Stansfield..."; Stansfield nods.
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0