The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
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King Nine Will Not Return 

A pilot of a downed WW II bomber comes to in the African desert and desperately tries to find out what happened to the rest of his crew.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Capt. James Embry (as Bob Cummings)
Jenna McMahon ...


A USAF bomber pilot awakens in the desert, lying next to his downed B25 Mitchell. Capt. James Embry commanded the aircraft but has no memory of how he got there. More importantly to him, his crew is nowhere to be found. At one point, he even begins to wonder if he is hallucinating, especially after he sees one of his men momentarily sitting in the cockpit. When he awakens in a hospital bed he thinks it was all a dream but then wonders: did he really go back to the desert. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

30 September 1960 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


'King Nine' the plane featured here is a B-25 'Mitchell' a 2 Engine WWII era Medium Bomber. Up to this time, the only US Bomber named for a Person, Maj. General William 'Billy' Mitchell. See more »


The shape of the B-25's top gun turret is completely different from the turrets actually used on these bombers. See more »


Narrator: [Closing Narration] Enigma buried in the sand, a question mark with broken wings that lies in silent grace as a marker in a desert shrine. Odd how the real consorts with the shadows, how the present fuses with the past. How does it happen? The question is on file in the silent desert, and the answer? The answer is waiting for us - in the Twilight Zone.
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Referenced in Sole Survivor (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

Maybe They Went to Disney World
27 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

There's some good suspense in this lead-off entry for the second season. Where the heck has the crew of King-9 gone. Cummings, the pilot, wakes up belly-down in the sand next to a crashed B-29. He's alive, but pretty groggy. However, where's the rest of his crew. He stumbles around the rotting hulk and shouts out names, but the only response is a deadening silence. Then too, what are those strange things flying overhead?

Naturally, the producers of a series try to hook viewers into another season with a better-than-average lead episode. Here they took something of a chance, because Cummings has to carry the plot with superior acting-- being a lone survivor in the middle of the desert. At the time, however, Cummings was not considered anything more than a light comedian, slightly on the inane side. Still and all, he comes through here well enough. Also, if memory serves, remains of a downed WWII bomber were discovered in North Africa in the spring of 1959. So the episode may well have been inspired by fact.

Frankly, the twist seems a little too facile for my liking. Nonetheless, the show remains a well-produced half-hour of suspense and a worthy entry into a new season.

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