The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
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The Midnight Sun 

When the Earth falls out of orbit, two women try to cope with increasingly oppressive heat in a nearly abandoned city.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Mr. Shuster
Juney Ellis ...
Mrs. Shuster (as June Ellis)


In a world that is getting ever nearer to the sun, people are trying to find ways to deal with the extreme heat. Most people have gone north with Norma and Mrs. Bronson the only two people left in their apartment building. There is little or no infrastructure remaining and water is one commodity that is very much in demand. They panic when an intruder breaks into Norma's apartment and holds them, at least for a few moments, at gunpoint. All is not as it seems however. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

17 November 1961 (USA)  »

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?


Rod Serling's original script featured two characters who did not appear in the finished episode, a police officer and a refrigerator repairman. These roles are significant not only because Serling wrote them, but because he went so far as to cast them before he cut them from the script (Ned Glass was slated to be the repairman and John McLiam the police officer). Why they were cut probably traces back to Twilight Zone's budget problems, which had been growing significantly since James T. Aubrey, Jr. became chief executive of CBS in the show's second season. Similar problems occurred during the shooting of The Twilight Zone: The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross (1964). See more »


A global disaster such as that portrayed in this episode would have caused the government to declare an emergency. At the time of production of this episode people would have been instructed to tune their radios to 640 or 1240 Kc (Kilocycles) for the Conelrad (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) bulletins. But when we hear the announcer on Norma's radio it is shown to be tuned to exactly 700 Kc. See more »


[opening narration]
Narrator: The word that Mrs. Bronson is unable to put into the hot, still, sodden air is 'doomed,' because the people you've just seen have been handed a death sentence. One month ago, the Earth suddenly changed its elliptical orbit and in doing so began to follow a path which gradually, moment by moment, day by day, took it closer to the sun. And all of man's little devices to stir up the air are now no longer luxuries - they happen to be pitiful and panicky keys to survival. The time...
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Referenced in Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

What if the sun turned on the Earth?
25 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

The Midnight Sun isn't one of the best episodes of The Twilight Zone for me, but even lesser entries in Rod Serling's excellent Sci-Fi mystery series show great invention and imagination, and this is no exception to that rule. The plot follows the nightmarish idea of the Earth gravitating so far towards the sun that the water is evaporating and the climate has risen heavily. Typically, we focus on just one house, in which two women are the inhabitants. The attention to detail in this story is great, and director Anton Leader does a great job of ensuring that the situation is always present. Things such as the fact that the characters find themselves caked in sweat ensure this. This episode carries with it a real nightmarish feel, which is well placed in a tale that sees the world's life blood taken away. The Midnight Sun isn't as surreal or trippy as some of the other episodes in the series, and on the whole it actually feels quite down to Earth; but the image of the sun burning in the sky is certainly indelible, and the way that the characters break down increases the potency of the world that they have found themselves in. The fact that each entry in The Twilight Zone is just twenty five minutes long and yet manages to set out a story that has more substance than a lot of feature length films is stunning, and I've got to say that I've been impressed with every episode that I've seen.

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