Twilight Zone First Season

"Her name is the S.S. Queen of Glasgow. Her registry: British. Gross tonnage: five thousand. Age: indeterminate. At this moment she's one day out of Liverpool, her destination New York. Duly recorded on this ship's log is the sailing time, course to destination, weather conditions, temperature, longitude and latitude. But what is never recorded in a log is the fear that washes over a deck like fog and ocean spray. Fear like the throbbing strokes of engine pistons, each like a heartbeat, parceling out every hour into breathless minutes of watching, waiting and dreading. For the year is 1942, and this particular ship has lost its convoy. It travels alone like an aged blind thing groping through the unfriendly dark, stalked by unseen periscopes of steel killers. Yes, the Queen of Glasgow is a frightened ship, and she carries with her a premonition of death."

Carl Lanser is a German on board the Glasgow. He has no memory of how he got there, but he has a strange feeling that he knows the passengers. Lanser is certain that they are being stalked by an enemy sub. He also feels something is going to happen at 1:15 a.m. At 1:15 a.m. a U-boat surfaces. Looking through binoculars, Lanser sees that the captain is himself. The U-boat sinks the boat, and machine-guns the survivors. Later a lieutenant on the U-boat suggests that they may all face damnation for their actions. Kapitan Lanser dismisses the idea - not realizing that he is doomed to repeat the sinking of the ship for eternity.

"The S.S. Queen of Glasgow, heading for New York, and the time is 1942. For one man, it is always 1942 - and the man will ride the ghost of that ship every night for eternity. This is what is meant by paying the fiddler. This is the comeuppance awaiting every man when the ledger of his life is opened and examined, the tally made, and then the reward or the penalty paid. And in the case of Carl Lanser, former Kapitan Lieutenant, Navy of the Third Reich, this is the penalty. This is the justice meted out. This is judgment night in the Twilight Zone."

Notes: Five of the seven intros starting with "Judgment Night" and continuing through '"The Hitch-Hiker" begin with "Her name" or "His name." The people/things named include one man, one woman, one boat, and two spacecraft. After this group of seven episodes, Rod never began a narration with either of these phrases again.

Notes and corrected narrations courtesy of Twilight Zone Cafe Moderator, Matt Vandermast (aka "James B.W. Bevis")


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