A Hundred Yards Over the Rim
|"A Hundred Yards Over the Rim"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Buzz Kulik|
|Written by||Rod Serling|
|Featured music||Fred Steiner|
|Original air date||April 7, 1961|
|“||The year is 1847, the place is the territory of New Mexico, the people are a tiny handful of men and women with a dream. Eleven months ago, they started out from Ohio and headed west. Someone told them about a place called California, about a warm sun and a blue sky, about rich land and fresh air, and at this moment, almost a year later, they've seen nothing but cold, heat, exhaustion, hunger, and sickness. This man's name is Christian Horn. He has a dying eight-year-old son and a heartsick wife, and he's the only one remaining who has even a fragment of the dream left. Mr. Chris Horn, who's going over the top of a rim to look for water and sustenance and in a moment will move into the Twilight Zone.||”|
In the year 1847, Chris Horn is one of the leaders 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 Conestoga wagons. Christian is dangerously ill, and the other leaders 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. Horn sets off alone in a desperate search for water and sustenance.
Horn crosses over a high, sandy hill rim and suddenly finds himself in New Mexico, in 1961. He is stunned to see power lines, a seemingly endless hard black road, and a loud, fast-moving "monster with a face" coming at him. As the truck 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 couple offers Horn water and tends to his injury. They ask where he is from, curious about his old-fashioned clothes and "antique" (yet seemingly new) rifle. While talking, Joe mentions the location of a nearby water source, which will also attract game for food. When Horn is shocked to see September 1961 showing on the wall calendar, the couple assumes the desert heat has made him mentally unstable. Exploring the café, Horn finds an encyclopedia containing a brief biographical entry for "Christian Horn, Jr.", a physician who did great work in late 19th-century California. Horn realizes this must be his son, and it must be Christian's destiny to recover from the illness and go on to help many others.
Joe calls a local doctor to come check on Horn. The doctor finds Horn to be fit and alerts the sheriff, in case Horn's family needs to be found. Horn grabs a bottle of penicillin that can cure his son's illness, then runs back up the sandy hill, followed by Joe and the sheriff. As he runs over the rim, Horn sees the wagon train, then looks back over the rim to find unsettled territory, the power lines and the highway having vanished. After giving his son the medicine, Horn leads the party on toward California.
Joe and the sheriff follow Horn to the top of the rim, but find nothing but Horn's rifle lying on the ground. Joe returns to the café and tells Mary Lou that Horn simply vanished, but that he brought back Horn's gun. The rifle suddenly ages – showing the effects of more than 100 years of exposure to the sun, it falls to pieces at their touch.
|“||Mr. Christian Horn, one of the hearty breed of men who headed west during a time when there were no concrete highways or the solace of civilization. Mr. Christian Horn, and family and party, heading west, after a brief detour to The Twilight Zone.||”|
- Cliff Robertson as Chris Horn
- John Crawford as Joe (1961)
- Miranda Jones as Martha Horn (1847)
- Evans Evans as Mary Lou (1961)
- John Astin as Charlie (1847)
- Edward Platt as Doctor (1961)
- Ken Drake as Man (1847)
- Robert L. McCord III as Sheriff (1961)
- Jennifer Bunker as Woman (1847)
- 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