The Wall (The Twilight Zone)
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|The New Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3|
|Directed by||Atom Egoyan|
|Written by||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Original air date||February 25, 1989|
|“||Alexander McAndrews, former test pilot, with a paper trail of commendations and a closet full of broken records. A man for whom the unknown is to be faced, not feared; conquered, not surrendered to. Alexander McAndrews, who is about to face yet another unknown, but this one is unlike all the others, for this one burns at the very heart...of the Twilight Zone.||”|
Major Alex McAndrews is escorted into an extremely secure facility where he meets with a General Greg Slater. The general explains that two months prior, a hole appeared and a bright light started to emerge. Scientists believe it is a gate to somewhere and that if it closes, they may not be able to open it again. Slater explains that four volunteers have entered but never returned. Slater wants Alex to be the fifth volunteer.
Alex, dressed in a spacesuit, enters the hole and a frenzy of light and flashes. He blacks out and awakens later in what looks like a meadow on Earth. There is atmosphere to support life, but no sign of the "gate." He meets one of the earlier volunteers, Kincaid, who is accompanied with a strangely dressed woman named Baret. Baret claims they are in Heaven. The other volunteers arrive. They have determined from star maps that they are no where near earth, and there is no way to return from this side. The indigenous people welcome them to their peaceful idyllic community. Alex remains suspicious. Back on Earth the government decides to send another volunteer.
Alex discovers that the volunteers lied about the gate. It is still there but can only be seen at night. The volunteers claim that if they went back the government would send in the military and ruin the paradise they have found. Alex disagrees and escapes to go back. Baret follows him and begs him not to return. Alex reports what he found and discovers that the government will indeed use the gate technology to further war-like goals. Alex decides to return to the community. He destroys the computer and runs through the gate. Back in the community, Alex explains to Baret that without the computer, the gate can never be reopened.
|“||Major Alexander McAndrews, retired, who learned that there is a better world, and that sometimes heaven is a place better left untouched by human hands. There may be one more commendation yet to come for the major: One that says 'for services rendered in the Twilight Zone.'||”|
This episode is vaguely similar to the final episode of the original Twilight Zone series called "The Bewitchin' Pool", where two children living with rich, yet emotionally negligent parents about to divorce each other escape their miserable life by diving in their backyard pool and swimming to a parallel universe where a poor, yet caring woman looks after children in an isolated meadow.
It is also similar, in all but a few respects, to an episode of the anthology series Night Visions. In that version, effectively exactly the same series of events happen, save for the protagonist wearing a spacesuit and that, once on the other side, he is quickly devoured by the monsters there – monsters which resemble humans at a glance, but have mouths filled with needle-like teeth. He dies and the monsters "close" the gate...an illusion, as they are shown figuring out how to open a second one.