The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
26 user 1 critic

On Thursday We Leave for Home 

The first human space colony's about to be rescued from the forsaken planet they've been on for 3 decades. But their leader's having a hard time accepting that change will happen when they get back to Earth.


Buzz Kulik


Rod Serling, Rod Serling (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
James Whitmore ... Captain William Benteen
Tim O'Connor ... Colonel Sloane
James Broderick ... Al
Paul Langton ... George
Jo Helton ... Julie
Mercedes Shirley Mercedes Shirley ... Joan
Russ Bender ... Hank
Danny Kulick Danny Kulick ... Jo-Jo (as Daniel Kulick)
Madge Kennedy ... Colonist
John Ward John Ward ... Colonist
Shirley O'Hara ... Colonist
Tony Benson Tony Benson ... Colonist (as Anthony Benson)
Lew Gallo ... Lt. Engle


The colonists of Pilgrim I, Earth's first space colony, have spent 30 years on their new home. It's a lonely, barren place more akin to hell then Eden. Now, they're awaiting the arrival of a ship to take them to Earth. Some colonists are at their wits' end; another - the 9th in 6 months - commits suicide. Their leader, William Benteen, a tough drill sergeant-type, who they call Captain, does his best to keep them together. When the ship arrives, they're given 3 days to prepare to leave. As the day of departure approaches, Benteen's assumption that the community will stay together on Earth, is wrong; most will go their own way once on earth. Hearing this, Benteen decides they should stay. When the group decides otherwise, Benteen's left with only one option. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

2 May 1963 (USA) 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?


When the rescue ship from Earth arrives, several colonists ask about various places on Earth during a meeting between the ship's crew and the colonists. One of the questions is about the Finger Lake District of New York. This area had a special significance to script writer Rod Serling. It is located close to his home town of Binghamton, he and his family vacationed there frequently, and Serling named his company that produced "The Twilight Zone," Cayuga Productions, after one of the lakes. He later taught at Ithaca College for the last five years before his death. See more »


The time that elapsed between the first contact with Col. Sloane's ship and its landing is quoted variously as either one or two months. See more »


Narrator: [Opening Narration] This is William Benteen, who officiates on a disintegrating outpost in space. The people are a remnant society who left the Earth looking for a Millennium, a place without war, without jeopardy, without fear - and what they found was a lonely, barren place whose only industry was survival. And this is what they've done for three decades: survive; until the memory of the Earth they came from has become an indistinct and shadowed recollection of another time and another place. ...
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Edited from Forbidden Planet (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Rare stellar episode of TZ
26 January 2010 | by TerminalMadnessSee all my reviews

When I say rare stellar episode of Twilight Zone I mean that it's one of the few good hour long episodes of the anthology series.

I caught this episode on a marathon here in America on the Scyfy channel and found it to be quite excellent.

Sure some of it is padded, but the overall message is pretty powerful. As well the climax is also pretty stunning with a look at what happens when men are given too much power and what it does to their mind and overall sanity.

James Whitmore's performance is quite great as a man who is a mixture of obnoxious, controlling, and just plain pathetic. He's a man whose taken the role of provider much too seriously and thinks of himself as a god of sorts.

I won't ruin the whole episode for you, but it's a really good look at the god complex.

As for the other "Twilight Zone" episodes that run at an hour, they're all really hit or miss, but this one is really quite good.

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