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"The Shelter" is the third episode of the third season of The Twilight Zone, and was first broadcast in September of 1961. It starred Larry Gates, Jack Albertson, Sandy Kenyon and several other actors.

It is a fine and pleasant evening, and Dr. Bill Stockton (Gates) is hosting a dinner party for his friends. They have all known each other since college, and as a doctor, Bill has ministered to the children of his friends. Their close fellowship seems unshakable, but in a piece of subtle foreshadowing, his friends tease him for the time and effort he has put into building a nuclear blast shelter, which could not possibly be useful. As can be imagined, this subtle foreshadowing is followed by the radio announcing that early warning systems have picked up signals that may be a missile attack. What happens when all the dinner party guests want to get into Dr. Stockton's shelter, which only can fit three people?

"The Monsters are Due on Maple Street", from the first season, dealt with mob rule, and this episode reiterates the theme. But this episode is more explicitly about current events of the time, with no fantastical elements present. In fact, this is one of the few Twilight Zone episodes with no fantastical element at all, with the episode being rather a straight-forward attempt at topical drama. Although the specific topic this episode addressed is no longer totally relevant, the social criticism is still meaningful. This episode also continues a trend, started in the season opener "Two", dealing with military conflict and a more "realistic" brand of science fiction, that will seem to develop in the third season.

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