The Twilight Zone: Season 1 Episode 15 I Shot an Arrow Into the Air

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

Three survivors of a spaceship that crash lands in a desert struggle to survive.

Series Index

The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)


Narrator - Rod Serling

Corey - Dewey Martin

Colonel Donlin - Edward Binns

Pearson - Ted Otis

Langford - Harry Bartell

Brandt - Leslie Barrett

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Detailed Synopsis

The Arrow One launches from Earth, but as a half hour passes, it disappears from Space Control's radar. Brandt tells Langford that Arrow One is completely gone. Langford asks if a change of course would cause the spaceship to lose contact, but Brandt insists Colonel Donlin wouldn't change course. Langford recites the Longfellow poem, The Arrow and the Song, and wishes the crew luck.

Donlin writes the situation down in his log book that the Arrow One appears to have crash landed on an uncharted asteroid. He continues that the crash was caused by an explosion. He lists the survivors of the crash as Corey, Pearson, the severely injured Hudack and himself. He writes that the radio is gone and the bulk of supplies have been destroyed in the crash. Corey walks over and angrily grabs the log book and Donlin tells him that they are still a crew and there will continue to be discipline and protocol. He takes back the log book and Corey tells him to expend the energy figuring out a way for them to save themselves. Pearson yells at Corey and Donlin walks over and asks Pearson what happened to Corey to cause his behavior. As Donlin is giving water to Hudack, Corey accuses him of wasting water. He argues that Hudack is going to die, but Donlin refuses speed along his death. Donlin then tells Pearson to start digging the graves for the others.

Pearson notices that the Sun is similar in location to where it is on Earth and thinks the asteroid they are on is in the same orbit as Earth. Later, Donlin and Corey return from surveying the area and when Corey sees Donlin giving Hudack water again, he grabs the canteen and he and Donlin fight over it. Pearson checks on Hudack and says tells the others that Hudack has died. Corey tries to steal Hudack's gear before Pearson stops him. In the evening, they again survey the area to look for resources. Donlin is back at the camp when Corey returns alone. Corey tells him that he didn't find anything. Donlin asks where Pearson is and Corey says that they split up. Donlin notices that Corey still has a lot of water in his canteen even after trekking in the sun and accuses Corey of killing Pearson. Corey says that he found Pearson dead and Donlin forces him to take him to Pearson's body by rifle point. They go to the location where Corey says he found Pearson, but Pearson's body is not there. They find some tracks and Donlin follows them and finds Pearson laying on the ground with blood coming from his head. Before dying Pearson draws an image in the sand of two lines and a third line in the center. Donlin walks towards a ridge and Corey grabs his rifle and shoots him dead. Corey then continues to walk until he crests a hill and realizes what Pearson drew in the sand, an image of telephone poles. He stares at a sign for Reno and realizes the spaceship never left Earth.