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 byMontgomery Pittman
Written byRod Serling
Production code173-3660
Original air dateMay 26, 1961 (1961-05-26)
Guest appearances
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)
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"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]

Wintry February night, the present. Order of events: a phone call from a frightened woman notating the arrival of an unidentified flying object, then the checkout you've just witnessed, with two state troopers verifying the event – but with nothing more enlightening to add beyond evidence of some tracks leading across the highway to a diner. You've heard of trying to find a needle in a haystack? Well, stay with us now, and you'll be part of an investigating team whose mission is not to find that proverbial needle, no, their task is even harder. They've got to find a Martian in a diner, and in just a moment you'll search with them, because you've just landed – in The Twilight Zone.

Plot[edit]

While investigating reports about a UFO, state troopers Dan Perry and Bill Padgett find evidence that something crashed in a frozen pond and its occupant fled to a nearby diner called the Hi-Way Cafe. Upon arriving, the troopers find a bus parked outside. Inside the diner, they find the cook Haley, bus driver Olmstead, and his passengers: young married couple Connie and George Prince, older married couple Rose and Peter Kramer, Ethel McConnell, a professional dancer, outlandish old man Avery, and craggy businessman Ross.

The troopers announce a suspected alien may be among them and asks for everyone to identify themselves. After introducing himself, Olmstead states he was forced to stop at the diner due to the snowstorm outside and the nearby icy hill prevents him from returning to his previous destination. After learning the bridge ahead is closed, the troopers tell the passengers they may have to wait until morning pending an inspection by the county engineer. Olmstead states he counted six passengers on initial boarding, but the troopers point out seven in the diner. Haley claims the diner was empty before the bus arrived and they were the only customers he had in hours.

Following initial debate, Ethel suggests the couples should be cleared of suspicion as the spouses know each other. Both couples readily agree, but begin suspecting each other. The troopers ask for Ethel's ID, but she claims it was sent ahead with her luggage. Despite this, Olmstead vouches for her, admitting he did notice her. As Avery jokes and Ross complains about not being able to make an important meeting, tensions rise and suspicions are confirmed that someone present must be the alien after the jukebox flashes and the tabletop sugar dispensers explode. However, the troopers seemingly receive a phone call from the engineer telling them the bridge is safe to cross. Olmstead is concerned about its instability, but the troopers assuage his fears and everyone leaves after paying Haley.

Sometime later, to Haley's surprise, Ross returns alone and explains the bridge collapsed, with Olmstead, the passengers, and the troopers drowning in the river below. When Haley asks how Ross survived, the latter calmly reveals himself as the alien by displaying three arms, and that everything that happened earlier, such as the jukebox and phone call, were illusions. He reveals further that he is a Martian scout sent ahead of his arriving fleet to ensure Earth is ready for Martian colonization. However, Haley reveals he is also an alien by displaying a third eye on his forehead hidden by a cap and that the Martian fleet was intercepted by his kind, the Venusians, who had already claimed Earth.

Closing narration[edit]

Incident on a small island, to be believed or disbelieved. However, if a sour-faced dandy named Ross or a big, good-natured counterman who handles a spatula as if he'd been born with one in his mouth, – if either of these two entities walk onto your premises, you'd better hold their hands – all three of them – or check the color of their eyes – all three of them. The gentlemen in question might try to pull you in – to The Twilight Zone.

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]