Passage on the Lady Anne

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"Passage on the Lady Anne"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 17
Directed by Lamont Johnson
Written by Charles Beaumont
(from his short story "Song for a Lady")
Featured music Rene Garriguenc
Production code 4869
Original air date May 9, 1963
Recurring/Guest appearances

Lee Philips: Alan Ransome
Joyce Van Patten: Eileen Ransome
Wilfrid Hyde-White: Tobias "Toby" McKenzie
Gladys Cooper: Mrs. Millicent "Millie" McKenzie
Cecil Kellaway: Ian Burgess
Alan Napier: Captain Prothero
Cyril Delevanti: Officer
Don Keefer: Spiereto
Jack Raine: Officer
Colin Campbell: Addicott
Frank Baker: Otto Champion
Sam Harris: Mersia Jones
Colin Kenny: Ship Passenger
Carl M. Leviness: Ship Passenger
Scott Seaton: Ship Passenger
Arthur Tovey: Ship's Greeter

Episode chronology
← Previous
"On Thursday We Leave for Home"
Next →
"The Bard"
List of season 4 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"Passage on the Lady Anne" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. In this episode, a couple whose marriage is struggling travel aboard an aging cruise ship, unaware that the ship is on a final voyage into the afterlife.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

When successful financier Alan Ransome makes plans for a business trip to London, his wife Eileen insists on coming with him and taking the slowest ship in the fleet, the Lady Anne. Eileen hopes the estimated 13-day voyage from New York City will allow them to rekindle their marriage (she later tells another passenger that, due to Alan's unwavering devotion to his career, the two of them have not been sexually intimate since their honeymoon six years before). When they board, several passengers express dismay at their presence, stating that the voyage is a private cruise, and offer the Ransomes the equivalent of 10,000 US dollars if they get off. They refuse, and chalk up the offer to anti-American snobbery.

During the trip Alan is taciturn and grouchy about the lengthy voyage, while Eileen maintains a forced playfulness in an effort to spark their old feelings. Both their tempers are worsened by the discovery that the entire crew and all the other passengers are elderly. A quarrel culminates with the Ransomes agreeing to separate when they reach London.

The next day they accept an invitation to tea from Millie and Toby McKenzie, who apologize for their earlier hostility. They explain that the 50-year-old Lady Anne is a ship for honeymooners, and is being retired following the voyage. Most of those on board are repeat passengers enjoying a farewell cruise. They had not expected newcomers since the Lady Anne has had no new passengers in 15 years. The passengers all speak of the Lady Anne as if it were a sentient being, and credit "her" with enhancing their love for their spouses. Eileen is saddened to learn that one of the passengers is newly widowed, and in attempted reassurance he informs her that he and his wife "will be together again soon."

While the Ransomes are out on deck, Eileen disappears. Alan searches the ship with no success, but the other passengers and crew remain nonchalant about the matter. Toby tells Alan that Eileen isn't really gone, but only seems that way because Alan has "been missing her." When Alan retires to his room, Eileen is there wearing the nightgown that Millie wore on her honeymoon. She says she has been in the room the whole time, even though Alan had already searched there. Overcome with passion, Alan begins kissing her and symbolically throws his pocket watch overboard, later explaining that he had become so focused on rushing all the time that he lost sight of what was most important.

The Ransomes find their love rekindled, and agree with the other passengers that the Lady Anne has a magic which strengthens love. They are dancing in the ship's ballroom when the engines stop. The captain enters and forces the Ransomes off the ship at gunpoint, telling them there isn't time for lengthy explanations. The Ransomes are put into a lifeboat stocked with provisions and set adrift in mid-ocean. Toby assures them that their position has been radioed. The Ransomes are picked up by a cutter after a few hours, but they can find no report of the Lady Anne docking in England or anywhere else.

Closing narration[edit]

Production notes[edit]

This was the last episode actually written by Charles Beaumont. Although there would be other episodes credited to Beaumont later, according to The Twilight Zone Companion, these episodes were ghostwritten, primarily by Jerry Sohl and John Tomerlin, as Beaumont was seriously ill.

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]