display | more...

Third from the Sun is the fourteenth episode of The Twilight Zone, first broadcast in January of 1960. It was written by Rod Serling, and based on a story by Richard Matheson. It starred Fritz Weaver and Joe Maross as scientists Will Sturka and Jerry Riden and Edward Andrews as secret policeman Carling.

The story takes place in a world about to go to war, a war fought with hydrogen bombs and chemical warfare, a war that will probably kill most people on both sides. Two scientists, knowing the war is hopeless, plan to steal a spaceship and take their families to a new planet. Security agent Carling attempts to stop them. There are, of course, a few twists.

It is interesting to see what ages and what doesn't in Twilight Zone stories. This story is very much about The Cold War and Mutually Assured Destruction, and is very much told in the mode of the 1950s, with lots of accompanying zeerust. This episode has housewives drinking lemonade and playing cards as the world is about to end. This didn't age well. What I noticed most about the story was the cinematography: specifically, in a lot of the shots, the camera seems to held at a a few degrees from the horizontal. Everything seems tilted, on edge, but it is subtle enough that it took me a while to realize where my feeling of slight vertigo was coming from. Many decades later, it is this that seems to be the most skillfully done part of the episode, although the producers of the episode might have thought the more garish episodes of the production were the biggest special effects.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.