A Hundred Yards Over the Rim

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"A Hundred Yards Over the Rim"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 23
Directed by Buzz Kulik
Written by Rod Serling
Featured music Fred Steiner
Production code 173-3654
Original air date April 7, 1961
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Long Distance Call"
Next →
"The Rip Van Winkle Caper"
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series) (season 2)
List of The Twilight Zone episodes

"A Hundred Yards Over the Rim" is episode 59 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on April 7, 1961, on CBS.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

In the year 1847, Chris Horn is the leader of a small wagon train from Ohio attempting to reach California. Horn's wife and young son Christian are riding in one of the group's covered wagons. Christian is dangerously ill, and the others advise Horn the group wishes to turn back, as they're almost out of food and water, and they lack medicine for those who are sick, like young Christian. Determined not to turn back, Horn sets off alone in a desperate search for water and sustenance, which he tells himself he'll find over the rim of a nearby hill.

Horn crosses the sandy rim and suddenly finds himself in 1961 New Mexico. He is perplexed to see power lines, a hard black road, and a large truck coming at him, horn blaring. As the loud, fast-moving "monster with a face" zooms past the unnerved Horn, he stumbles, accidentally firing his rifle and grazing his arm.

He comes to a small café and gas station, owned by Joe and Mary Lou. The friendly Joe gives Horn water and Mary Lou tends to his injury, offering him penicillin, which she explains will ward off infection. They ask where he is from, curious about his old-fashioned clothes and "antique" (yet seemingly new) rifle; they don't believe his story of traveling by wagon from Ohio. When Horn says he was looking for water, Joe mentions the location of a nearby water source, which also attracts game for food. Horn is then shocked to see the year "1961" on a wall calendar, and the couple is convinced the desert heat has made him mentally unstable.

Joe calls a local doctor to come check on Horn. The doctor finds Horn to be fit and seemingly rational, with only the implausibility of the man's biography giving him reason to think otherwise. He calls the sheriff as the appropriate authority to look after him. Meanwhile, Horn has found an encyclopedia containing a brief biographical entry for "Horn, Christian Jr., M.D.", who did great work with children's diseases in late 19th-century California. Horn proudly concludes this is his son, and believes that he's been brought to this place to save him. Taking the penicillin tablets with him, he bolts from the café and runs back toward where he came from.

The sheriff arrives, and he and Joe go after Horn, nearly catching up to him. Horn stumbles, dropping his rifle before scrambling back over the rim. There he sees the wagon train where he had left it, then looks back over the rim to find the territory unsettled, with no power lines or highway. After giving his son a dose of penicillin, Horn leads the party toward the water and game he'd learned of, and onward to California.

Meanwhile, Joe and the sheriff have returned to the café. Joe tells Mary Lou that Horn simply vanished; all they found was Horn's rifle on the ground where he dropped it. Looking at it, they see that it now shows the effects of more than 100 years of exposure to the sun, its metal corroded and its wooden parts falling to pieces at their touch.

Closing narration[edit]

Cast[edit]

See also[edit]

  • List of The Twilight Zone episodes
  • "The Last Flight" - An episode from season one with a similar premise.
  • Causal loop - Christian Horn learns that his son will become a pioneer in medicine during the turn of the century from an encyclopedia in 1961; he later returns to 1847 with a bottle of penicillin from 1961, using a few tablets to save his son's life and possibly giving Christian Jr. the chance to study the rest of the tablets before it was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928.

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]