The Twilight Zone/Recap/S1/E15 I Shot an Arrow in the Air

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.


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    Rod Sterling: Her name is the Arrow One. She represents four and a half years of planning, preparation and training, and a thousand years of science and mathematics and the projected dreams and hopes of not only a nation but a world. She is the first manned aircraft into space. And this is the countdown, the last five seconds before man shot an arrow into the air.

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    A manned space flight crash lands on what the astronauts believe to be an unknown asteroid. Their expectations of survival or rescue are bleak. Only four of the crew survive, one of whom is barely alive. After he dies, the three remaining men, Corey (Dewey Martin), Donlin (Edward Burns), and Pierson (Ted Otis) decide to trek out into the barren desert to see if there is anything that might improve their chances of survival. When Corey and Donlin reconvene, it seems that Pierson is dead and Corey filched the water supply from his dead body. Donlin, the commanding officer, forces Corey at gunpoint to lead him to Pierson's body.

    They find Pierson, still barely alive, who with his last bit of strength draws a primitive diagram in the sand with his finger. Corey then kills Donlin and sets out alone, confident that he will survive longer now that he has all of the water supply. Corey later sees a sign for Reno, and then sees telephone poles, which were what Pierson had attempted to draw before he died. Realizing that they had in fact never left Earth and that he had killed his partners for nothing, Corey breaks down weeping.

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    Rod Sterling: Practical joke perpetrated by Mother Nature and a combination of improbable events. Practical joke wearing the trappings of nightmare, of terror, of desperation. Small human drama played out in... The Twilight Zone.

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    Tropes: