Voices in the Earth

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"Voices in the Earth"
The New Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 34b
Directed by Curtis Harrington
Written by Alan Brennert
Original air date July 10, 1987
Guest appearance(s)

Martin Balsam: Donald Knowles
Jenny Agutter: Jacinda Carlyle
Wortham Krimmer: Ghost Leader
Tim Russ: Archer
Dennis Haskins: Bledsoe

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Time and Teresa Golowitz"
Next →
"Song of the Younger World"
List of The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episodes

"Voices in the Earth" is the second segment of the thirty-fourth episode and the tenth episode of the second season (1986–87) of the television series The Twilight Zone.


Donald Knowles is a professor and joint commander of an expedition team who returns to a barren Earth 1,000 years after all life has been destroyed by an unspecified disaster. His fellow commander, Jacinda Carlyle, is only interested in finding whatever resources are left. Knowles only has four days to explore before mining ships come to strip the planet of whatever useful resources it may have left. As Knowles explores the ruins of the planet, he proceeds to play a CD on an old CD player. As Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 begins to play, Knowles is confronted by ghosts of those that died in the disaster that has befallen the planet. He finds them in an abandoned café, where the voices ask him not to forget them. Knowles pleads with Carlyle not to strip the planet, but she insists.

Knowles soon discovers that the ghosts are spirits of the forefathers who had not left the Earth when life began dissolving. They believe that humans are coming back to repopulate the planet. Knowles explains what their true mission is. He tries to get them to leave the planet, but they say they cannot leave on conventional ships because of how they warp space in a way that makes it impossible for them to survive the trip. They then plead with him not to let the others dig and destroy what remains of the planet in their search for valuable minerals. Carlyle continues to ignore him, until he takes her to the café to hear the voices for herself. However, once there, they refuse to speak to him, and Carlyle concludes that he is going insane. Later on, the specters try to possess Knowles and force him to destroy the mission, but Carlyle and the other crew members stop him, thinking he is doing it of his own free will. Carlyle, feeling sorry for her friend, does not report it and gives him medical leave.

Knowles returns to the café to confront the ghosts. They tell him he is their only hope of leaving, by channeling through him, although the procedure may not work. He angrily refuses, stating that it was their fault the Earth was destroyed. When they claim that there is nothing else to be done, Knowles reminds them that if they were able to change the methane to oxygen to allow him to breathe without a spacesuit, surely they could change the planet into a living world again. They claim they may not be able to do so without losing their lifeforce in the process. He calls them cowards for not trying. Without a response, he returns to the ship. Suddenly, a miracle occurs: it begins raining, restoring the biosphere. The first stages of life are discovered in the oceans. Evolution is accelerated, returning Earth to a living planet once again. Knowles steps outside and—not knowing if they can hear him or not—calls out that one day they will be back.

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