The Star (The Twilight Zone)

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"The Star"
The Twilight Zone episode
The Star.jpg
Scene from The Star
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 13c
Directed byGerd Oswald
Written byAlan Brennert
(Based on the short story "The Star", by Arthur C. Clarke. The story was first published in Infinity Science Fiction in November 1955.)
Original air dateDecember 20, 1985
Guest appearance(s)

Fritz Weaver: Fr. Matthew Costigan
Donald Moffat: Dr. Chandler
Elizabeth Huddle: Captain Durant

Episode chronology
← Previous
"But Can She Type?"
Next →
"Still Life"
List of The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episodes

"The Star" is the third and final segment of the thirteenth episode from the first season (1985–86) of the American television series The Twilight Zone.


On an interstellar journey in the future, a medical doctor and a priest debate about the existence of God in the wonders of the universe. Dr. Chandler (Donald Moffat) believes the universe to be random, but Father Matthew Costigan (Fritz Weaver), who's also an astrophysicist, believes in God's grand but ineffable design. During their friendly debate, their spaceship picks up a subspace signal from a long-dead world. Father Matthew claims it is impossible that a civilization could have survived its star going supernova.

Upon landing on the now-dead planet, the explorers discover that it holds the last remains of a race which was destroyed when the supernova's blast hit. Their civilization was quite advanced, and they find remnants of art and other pieces of their culture. A computer record shows that they had one thousand years of peace before their extinction. Father Matthew determines the star went supernova in the year 3120 B.C.

To his dismay, Father Matthew realizes that it would have taken 3,120 years for the light from this explosion to reach Earth in the Eastern Hemisphere. This star was the same star that shone down on Earth the day Jesus was born, "The Star of Bethlehem". Father Matthew's faith is deeply shaken, exclaiming that it is unfair that such a star should have exploded near a world that was harboring life.

Dr. Chandler attempts to comfort him by translating a poem he found among the archives of the dead culture. It says that no one should mourn for them, for they lived in peace and saw the beauty of the universe. It says to grieve for those who live in pain and those who never see the light of peace. Dr. Chandler says that whatever destiny was theirs, they fulfilled it and passed their light onto another world. The doctor's words and this artifact consoles and encourages the priest.

Poem found in the cave[edit]

Closing narration[edit]


This episode is based on a short story, "The Star" by Arthur C. Clarke, which was first published in Infinity Science Fiction (November 1955). However, while Clarke's story ended with the priest in despair after the revelation that the alien civilization had perished in order to light "the Christmas star," the TV episode included the addition of an epitaph by the aliens, revealing their optimism about their place in the universe.

External links[edit]