The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
25 user 8 critic

And When the Sky Was Opened 

Three astronauts return to Earth after seemingly having made an encounter that dooms them and their craft to erasure from existence itself.


Douglas Heyes


Rod Serling (teleplay by), Richard Matheson (based on a short story by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Rod Taylor ... Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes
Jim Hutton ... Major William Gart (as James Hutton)
Charles Aidman ... Colonel Ed Harrington
Maxine Cooper ... Amy
Paul Bryar ... Bartender
Sue Randall ... Nurse
Joe Bassett Joe Bassett ... Medical Officer


Three U.S. astronauts blast off from Earth on an initial test flight in an experimental rocket-ship, but during the flight into space the ship disappears from radar, then reappears. On return, the rocket-ship is hangared and put under a tarp, pending an investigation. One crewman is hospitalized for a leg broken on landing, and is visited by the other two. Next the pair go for a drink, and then one crewman phones his parents from a bar phone-booth - but they say they have no son! The astronaut immediately disappears, and no one in the bar remembers him, except the other astronaut in the bar, the Captain. Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

11 December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

And When the Sky Was Opened See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Rod Serling wrote the character Forbes was terrified throughout but Douglas Heyes suggested the sensation of being pulled from existence should be euphoric. See more »


Major Gart was hospitalized with a broken leg, established early in the show. Near the end he jumps out of the hospital bed and runs to the door, but nothing seems to be wrong with his leg and no cast is visible. See more »


Rod Serling - Narrator: [Opening Narration] Her name: X-20. Her type: an experimental interceptor. Recent history: a crash landing in the Mojave Desert after a thirty-one hour flight nine hundred miles into space. Incidental data: the ship, with the men who flew her, disappeared from the radar screen for twenty-four hours.
Rod Serling - Narrator: [continuing narration, subsequent to character dialogue] But the shrouds that cover mysteries are not always made out of a tarpaulin, as this man will soon find out on the other side of a hospital ...
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Referenced in Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) See more »


It's Never June
Music by Bruce Campbell
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User Reviews

A Great Twist on a Classic Theme
16 August 2013 | by emvanSee all my reviews

Here we have a story you've seen countless times: someone has experienced something remarkable and unbelievable, and not even his best friend (let alone the bartender in a bar) buys it. "Am I crazy?" wonders the hero. "But no, I can't be; I *know what I saw.* You must believe me! Even if no one in the world remembers things the way I do!" That's the starting point, and then it goes in an entirely unexpected direction.

Some reviewers have stated that the brilliant "twist" is telegraphed very early. This isn't true at all. What they really mean is that the twist is revealed not in the final moments, but several scenes previously, and that the final scenes then play out with a dread that is all the more chilling because is it predictable, inevitable -- to both us and the characters.

Certainly one of the underrated gems of the series.

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