What's in the Box

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"What's in the Box"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 24
Directed by Richard L. Bare
Written by Martin Goldsmith
Featured music Stock
Production code 2635
Original air date March 13, 1964
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"The Masks"
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"What's in the Box" is episode 144 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on March 13, 1964 on CBS.


Joe and Phyllis Britt are an old married couple in New York City who do not get along. Joe gets home from his job as a cab driver late one night and Phyllis accuses him of seeing another woman. In the meantime, a television repairman is in the next room fixing their broken set. Irritated, Joe harasses the repairman about the inconvenience and cost. The repairman abruptly closes the open TV panel and announces the TV is fixed. After stating the job is free, he leaves and the TV starts getting channel 10, a station showing the past, present, and future of Joe and Phyllis's lives. However, only Joe can see it. The TV shows Joe seeing another woman, killing Phyllis in a fight, his trial and conviction for murder, and his execution in the electric chair. Phyllis is convinced that Joe has lost his mind and taunts him. Joe, angered, attacks her and kills her by accident by punching her out a window during a fight, just as he had seen on the television screen. As Joe is arrested by the police, he comes face-to-face with the TV repairman, who asks if he will recommend him to others. The repairman breaks the fourth wall, smirking to the audience as Joe is taken away.


  • Joan Blondell as Phyllis Britt
  • William Demarest as Joe Britt
  • Sterling Holloway as T.V. Repairman
  • Herbert Lytton as Dr. Saltman
  • Sandra Gould as Woman On T.V.
  • Howard Wright as Judge
  • Douglas Bank as Prosecutor (uncredited)
  • Ted Christy as The Wild Panther (uncredited)
  • Robert McCord as Electric Chair Guard (uncredited)
  • Tony Miller as Announcer (uncredited)
  • Mitchell Rhein as Neighbour (uncredited)
  • Rod Serling as Host / Narrator - Himself (uncredited)
  • Ron Stokes as Car Salesman (uncredited)
  • John L. Sullivan as The Russian Duke (uncredited)

Opening narration[edit]

"Portrait of a TV fan- name Joe Britt, occupation cabdriver. Tonight Mr. Britt is going to watch a really big 'shew', something special for the cabbie who's seen everything. Joe Britt doesn't know it yet but his flag is down and his meter is running, and he's in high gear, on his way to the Twilight Zone."

Closing narration[edit]

"The next time your TV set is on the blink; when you're in the need of a first rate repairman, may we suggest our own specialist? Factory trained, prompt, honest, 24-hour service. You won't find him in the phone book, but his office is conveniently located in the Twilight Zone."


External links[edit]