Ep 18. The Last Flight
- February 5, 1960
- 25 min
In The Twilight Zone season 1 episode 18, titled "The Last Flight," the story follows a British Royal Flying Corps pilot named Lieutenant William Terrance Decker who finds himself in a strange situation. He lands his World War I era biplane on an American airbase in France in the year 1959. Initially, the American Air Force personnel on the base, including the commanding officer, assume that Decker has made an unauthorized landing and try to question him. However, Decker is confused as to how he has time-traveled and protests that he did not land on the base knowingly.
Decker soon realizes that he is stuck in a bizarre time loop where the days keep repeating themselves. He is shocked to learn that he died in a dogfight over Saint-Mihiel, France, in 1917, and he was only supposed to live for another day before his death. Decker discovers that the time loop is preventing him from accepting his fate and dying a heroic death as is written in history books. The loop is also affecting the lives of the American Air Force personnel on the base, who are slowly realizing that they are experiencing deja vu from the day before.
Decker forms a bond with a sympathetic American captain named Wilson, who tries to help him break the cycle and find a way back to his original timeline. Decker becomes increasingly desperate to break the loop, but his attempts to escape the base only land him back in the same situation. He eventually realizes that he must embrace his predestined fate and sacrifice himself in order to break the loop.
As the day progresses, Decker prepares himself for his final flight, taking off in his biplane to engage the enemy in one last dogfight. With his fate accepted, the time loop is finally broken, and he wakes up back in 1917, ready for the day's mission.
"The Last Flight" is a classic episode of The Twilight Zone that explores the theme of fate and accepting one's destiny. The episode's clever use of time travel and the eerie time loop creates a sense of tension and desperation that keeps viewers engaged until the very end. The character of Decker is complex, with a mixture of emotions that draw the audience into his struggle to come to terms with his destiny while also trying to find a way out.
The episode is visually stunning, with a focus on the historic World War I era and the new era of modern air combat in the 1950s. The set design and special effects are impressive, making the audience feel as though they are right there on the airbase with Decker and the American personnel.
Overall, "The Last Flight" is a must-watch episode of The Twilight Zone that offers an engaging and thought-provoking story that will stay with viewers long after the credits roll.