The Parallel

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"The Parallel"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 11
Directed byAlan Crosland, Jr.
Written byRod Serling
Featured musicStock
Production code4859
Original air dateMarch 14, 1963
Guest appearance(s)

Steve Forrest: Robert Gaines
Jacqueline Scott: Helen Gaines
Shari Lee Bernath [1]: Maggie Gaines
Frank Aletter: Colonel Bill Connacher
Philip Abbott: Gen. Eaton
Morgan Jones: Captain
William Sargent: Project Manager
Paul Comi: Psychiatrist

Episode chronology
← Previous
"No Time Like the Past"
Next →
"I Dream of Genie"
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series) (season 4)
List of The Twilight Zone episodes

"The Parallel" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. In this episode an astronaut returns from a voyage to find the world not quite the same as he remembers it.

Opening narration[edit]


An astronaut, Major Robert Gaines, is orbiting Earth in his space capsule. Suddenly, his communication systems stop functioning and he blacks out, waking up on Earth with no memory of his return. He appears to be none the worse for his experiences and is released to the custody of his family.

However, inconsistencies quickly pop up. His daughter senses that he is not the same person. His house has a white picket fence that he's never seen, though his wife insists that it was there when they bought the house. Everyone calls him Colonel (confirmed by the rank insignia on his uniform) when he knows he's a Major, and he insists that the President of the United States is John F. Kennedy, a man whom no one else has ever heard of. Gaines concludes that he has slipped into a parallel universe. His acquaintances see this as nonsense until a mechanic reports his space capsule is not completely identical to the one he was sent out in. Gaines is summoned to examine the capsule, but when he approaches it he is gradually returned to the point at which he left his own universe.

He lands his craft safely and reports what happened to his superiors. They are prepared to write it off as a nightmare, but controllers on the ground subsequently receive another transmission—from Colonel Robert Gaines. The transmission cuts out a few seconds later, and the Colonel disappears from radar. The Major returns home and happily confirms that his daughter now recognizes him and the white picket fence is absent.

Closing narration[edit]


  • Sander, Gordon F.:Serling: The Rise And Twilight of Television's Last Angry Man. New York: Penguin Books, 1992.
  • Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition).
  • 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]