Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?

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"Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 28
Directed by Montgomery Pittman
Written by Rod Serling
Production code 173-3660
Original air date May 26, 1961
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Mind and the Matter"
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"The Obsolete Man"
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series) (season 2)
List of The Twilight Zone episodes

"Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" is episode 64 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on May 26, 1961 on CBS.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

Two state troopers are investigating a report about a UFO. They find evidence that something crashed in a frozen pond, and footprints in the snow from the pond to a nearby diner. Inside the diner are its chef, and the passengers and driver of a bus, which was forced to stop there due to the snow storm, and they are now stuck there because the bridge ahead is closed.

The officers seek to identify which person in the diner came from the crashed UFO, but no one is certain which of them were on the bus. The driver only knows that there were definitely six passengers; he didn't pay attention to who they were, and neither did they pay attention to each other. But there are seven people presenting themselves as passengers: a younger couple, an older couple, a pretty dancer, a crazy old man, and a stuffy businessman. The couples are cleared on the grounds that their spouses know each of them, but even they view each other with a hint of suspicion. The dancer has no ID, but the driver vouches for her, admitting that he did notice her. The crazy man jokes and cackles about the situation, and the businessman complains about the inconvenience of it all. Meanwhile, the chef expresses bafflement at the situation. The jukebox starts and stops, the lights come and go, and tabletop items explode, raising tensions and confirming suspicions that one of those present must be a Martian.

The pay phone rings, bringing a report that the bridge is now safe. Unable to hold them, the troopers let all seven people plus the driver board the bus and drive on, before they leave too.

The businessman later returns to the diner, orders a coffee, and explains to the chef that the bridge was not in fact safe: it collapsed and everyone drowned except him. The chef asks the businessman why he isn't wet... a word the man doesn't understand. He calmly explains who he really is, reveals a third arm from under his cloak, and uses all three hands to stir his coffee and light a cigarette. Everything that happened earlier were illusions he created, including the call on the pay phone. He is a scout from Mars who has identified this area as a perfect spot for colonization. But the chef then takes off his hat to show a third eye on his forehead; he is from Venus. He explains that the Venusians had the same idea years ago, having set up a colony already, and the Martian fleet... is about to be intercepted.

Closing narration[edit]

Cast[edit]

Episode notes[edit]

The episode is unique, as an actual Twilight Zone contributor is mentioned. As the patrons realize that an alien is among the group, Jack Elam's character laughs and says, "She's just like science fiction, that what she is. A regular Ray Bradbury." One of Bradbury's stories became a Twilight Zone episode during the third season. ("I Sing The Body Electric!" was the episode in question; it was later produced again as the standalone made-for-television film The Electric Grandmother.)[citation needed]

In one of the few times Serling accommodated his sponsor during an episode, "Ross" takes out a pack of cigarettes and lights and smokes one using three hands, commenting on how much he enjoys them. The cigarettes were "Oasis" menthol, the brand that Liggett & Myers was advertising on the program at the time. During the 1950s and 60s, advertisers sometimes subtly "placed" products into the shows they sponsored.

The name on the side of the bus is "Cayuga" which is the name of the production company for the Twilight Zone.

This episode is frequently ranked as one of the greatest episodes in The Original Series.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • 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]