One in this fantasy/science fiction anthology series, hosted by Roald Dahl. This episode opens with an elaborate introduction by Dahl that explains the history of the "periodical cicada," an insect that lives seventeen years underground before living seventeen days above ground. The narrative begins as a military captain is awakened from a nightmare by a lesser officer; he quickly dresses and rushes to take his post at an underground nuclear-missile-launching site. As soon as the captain has settled in for "another dull day," a strange new officer named Sergeant Gee shows up at the launching site to take over for the soldier who is placed in charge of the buttons that launch the nuclear missiles. Gee hasn't even been in the room for five minutes before a full red alert is called. When the underground launching site suddenly loses contact with the world above, the men have to make a quick decision: should they wait out the alert and see if anyone calls them, or launch their own nuclear missiles in retaliation for what may have been a nuclear holocaust above? Includes commercials and promos.

Cataloged in memory of Reuben Joseph, who shared this with his son.


  • DATE: April 28, 1961 Friday 9:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:29:28
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:61549
  • GENRE: Drama, fantasy/science fiction
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, fantasy/science fiction
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV series, 1961
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - L&M cigarettes^TV - Promos - "The Ed Sullivan Show"^TV - Promos - "The Twilight Zone"


  • David Susskind … Executive Producer
  • Jacqueline Babbin … Producer
  • Fred Wardenburg … Associate Producer
  • Tom Donovan … Director
  • Elliot Baker … Writer
  • Luening, Ussachevsky, Dockstader … Music by
  • Robert Cobert … Music by
  • Roald Dahl … Host
  • Tim O'Connor … Cast, Captain Stone
  • Warren Finnerty … Cast, Sgt. Gee
  • William Traylor … Cast, 2nd. Lt. Hubbard
  • Conrad Fowkes … Cast, Sgt. Burke
  • Sean Garrison … Cast, Specialist Willis
  • Lee Richardson … Cast, Cast Canelli
  • Dick O'Neill … Cast, Sgt. Rockovitch
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