Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?

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"Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 28
Directed by Montgomery Pittman
Written by Rod Serling
Production code 173-3660
Original air date May 26, 1961
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"The Mind and the Matter"
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"The Obsolete Man"
List of season 2 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" is episode 64 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on May 26, 1961 on CBS.

Plot[edit]

One night during a snowstorm, two state troopers are investigating a crash in the woods - just where some woman has reported the landing of a flying saucer. They follow footprints leading from the crash site to a diner where a group of passengers from a bus to Boston are waiting for word that a bridge up ahead is safe to cross. The only patrons of the roadside eatery are 7 bus passengers: 2 sets of married couples, plus a businessman, a professional dancer, and a "crazy" old man. But according to the bus driver, there were 6 people on the bus. Mr. Ross, a skeptical businessman (John Hoyt), thinks the driver must have been mistaken on his count, but the driver swears there were only six.

This creates an instant and mutual suspicion among the stranded travelers, as the passengers try to guess which among them is the alien. It is suggested that since there was only one set of tracks from the lake, that the two married couples be paired off and excluded. The driver then vouches for the dancer. This leaves only Mr Ross, and the old man (Jack Elam) as supects. The old man laughs at this, saying it sounds like science fiction. The troopers immediately ask him for ID, but he claims "I left it in my saucer"; so they quiz him on the results of the previous year's World Series - which he correctly answers, seemingly letting himself off the hook.

Several odd and sinister events immediately occur. The jukebox starts and stops on its own, the lights flicker on and off, and, most alarmingly, sugar bowls begin to explode on the tables. The troopers both draw their guns. But the payphone rings and the troopers receive word that the bridge is safe to cross. The policemen, bus driver and passengers all depart the diner together, leaving only the cook behind.

Shortly afterwards, Mr. Ross returns to the diner alone and tells the cook that the bridge was not safe at all and that it collapsed, killing all the occupants of both the bus and the police car. The cook asks the businessman how he survived without even getting wet. The businessman asks what the word "wet" means, revealing a third arm from under his overcoat as he stirs his coffee and lights a cigarette. He says the music and telephone ringing were all illusions. He reveals to the cook that he is a Martian and that Mars plans to start a colony on Earth. Mockingly, the cook tells him that he's too late, that he himself is from Venus which has already started a colony and that the Martian invasion force has been intercepted by the Venusians. The cook takes off his cap revealing a third eye in the middle of his forehead. The shocked Martian stares nervously at the laughing cook as the episode ends.

Cast[edit]

Quotations[edit]

Opening narration[edit]

Closing narration[edit]

Episode notes[edit]

The episode is unique, as an actual Twilight Zone contributor is mentioned. As the patrons realize that an alien is amongst the group, Jack Elam's character laughs and says, "She's just like science fiction, that what she is. A regular Ray Bradbury." One of Bradbury's stories became a Twilight Zone episode during the third season ("I Sing the Body Electric").

In one of the few times Serling accommodated his sponsor during an episode, "Ross" takes out a pack of cigarettes and lights and smokes one using three hands. The cigarettes were "Oasis" menthol, the brand that Liggett & Myers was advertising on the program at the time. During the 1950s and 60s, advertisers sometimes subtly "placed" products into the shows they sponsored.

A Simpsons Comics Treehouse of Horror issue features a parody of this episode, which is also based on the classic movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers. At the end, one of the characters removes a doctor's head light to reveal a third eye, à la the cook in this episode. Many other invasion plans are revealed in a blend of different fiction. At the end, Sideshow Bob says they are all trapped inside a comic book, and if it is closed they will cease to exist.

The name on the side of the bus is "Cayuga" which is the name of the production company for the Twilight Zone.

On the "2112 / Moving Pictures" episode of the television series Classic Albums, Rush drummer/lyricist Neil Peart commented on the writing of the song "The Twilight Zone," featured on 2112. The two verses refer to "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" and "Stopover in a Quiet Town."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • 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

External links[edit]