The Fugitive (The Twilight Zone)

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"The Fugitive"
The Twilight Zone episode
J. Pat O'Malley Susan Gordon Twilight Zone 1962.jpg
Scene from "The Fugitive" with Old Ben and Jenny.
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 25
Directed by Richard L. Bare
Written by Charles Beaumont
Featured music Stock
Production code 4816
Original air date March 9, 1962
Guest appearance(s)

J. Pat O'Malley: Old Ben
Susan Gordon: Jenny
Nancy Kulp: Mrs. Gann
Wesley Lau: First Pursuer
Paul Tripp: Second Pursuer
Russ Bender: Doctor
Stephen Talbot: Howie Gutliff
Johnny Eiman: Pitcher

Episode chronology
← Previous
"To Serve Man"
Next →
"Little Girl Lost"
List of season 3 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"The Fugitive" is episode 90 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

At a public park, a group of children are playing softball with Old Ben, an elderly but playful gentleman. When it is Old Ben's turn at bat, he hits the ball over the fence and out of sight. When they play "Spaceman", Old Ben takes on the form of a nightmarish, shelled monster. The kids are accustomed to Old Ben's supernatural abilities, referring to them as his "magic".

Old Ben's favorite of the children is Jenny. He carries Jenny home (she walks with a leg brace), where she lives with her abrasively unsympathetic aunt, Agnes Gann. As they approach the rowhouse, Ben causes his roller skates to dematerialize. This phenomenon is observed by two men who are watching the house from across the street. They enter the apartment building, identify themselves as police, and question Agnes about Ben. Jenny overhears the conversation and limps upstairs to Old Ben's apartment to warn him. Old Ben takes on the form of a mouse, fooling the men into thinking he has left his apartment.

Jenny takes the "mouse" back to her room. Old Ben tells Jenny that he is an alien from another planet, and that his appearance is only a disguise, as he is a fugitive from justice. Old Ben says he must flee to another planet, but before departing he uses a device to heal Jenny's leg. The two strangers run into Jenny walking down the stairs without her brace. They recognize Old Ben's handiwork, but Jenny refuses to tell them anything. One of the men uses a device to make Jenny deathly ill, using her as bait for Ben.

Old Ben comes back to Jenny's room and makes her well again. As she thanks him, she sees the two men watching Old Ben. They address him as "Your Majesty." Old Ben admits to Jenny that he is not a criminal but rather the king of his planet; he fled because the perks of leadership were eclipsed by red tape, and by having most of his authority overridden by "The Council". The strangers tell Jenny that Old Ben's people love him as much as she does; they want him to return and continue his 5-millennium reign. Jenny insists that if Old Ben cannot stay with her, she will go with him; anything is preferable to the idea of Jenny becoming like her aunt. The two men say this is forbidden, but allow Old Ben a moment alone with Jenny to say goodbye after he promises not to run away. Following a plan whispered to him by Jenny, Ben takes the form of her identical twin. Since Old Ben's subjects are now unable to tell them apart, they are forced to return with both of them...and to accept the occasional irritations of Ben's leadership which will come along with its conveniences.

At the end of the episode, Rod Serling holds up an 8-by-10 black-and-white photograph of a handsome young man, noting that the photo shows Old Ben's true appearance and that when Jenny grows up, she will become his queen.

Closing narration[edit]

References[edit]

  • DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1593931360
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0970331090

External links[edit]