Season 1, Episode 11: And When the Sky Was Opened
Original Air Date: December 11th, 1959
Teleplay by Rod Serling
Original Short Story by Richard Matheson
Test flight lost. But then the three astronauts came back. Gart: broken leg. Forbes & Harrington: unharmed. Relieved, Forbes & Harrington celebrate at the bar. Best friends. Heroes drink free. But Harrington drops his drink. Harrington feels that he doesn't exist. He calls home. His parents are not his parents because he doesn't exist. Forbes doesn't understand when Harrington tells him. Forbes gets Harrington a drink and Harrington is gone. In the newspaper there are only two astronauts, Forbes & Gart. No one remembers Harrington except Forbes. Harrington: no one. Forbes tells Gart. Gart doesn't remember. But the scariest part comes after that. When Forbes faces his own nonexistence. Forbes rages against fate. I don't want this to happen, he says. He runs. Is gone. Is nowhere. No one. Now there is one astronaut. Gart sees only his own face in the newspaper. He remembers Forbes. Gripped by terror, he gives a mute scream. You feel the possibility: of oblivion, the annihilation of your very existence. It's an unimaginable terror and maybe it is that terror alone that blinks that last astronaut out of the universe. You think maybe this can happen to you, it can. Just imagine: You wouldn't even exist to know you were gone.