The Parallel

The Parallel

"The Parallel" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.

In 1963 a man filed suit alleging that Serling had stolen the idea for this episode from him. On his attorney's advice, Serling settled the matter out of court for $6500. The storyline is similar to the 1969 British sci-fi film, Doppelgänger.

Opening Narration

In the vernacular of space, this is T minus one hour. Sixty minutes before a human being named Major Robert Gaines is lifted off from the Mother Earth and rocketed into the sky, farther and longer than any man ahead of him. Call this one of the first faltering steps of man to sever the umbilical cord of gravity and stretch out a fingertip toward an unknown. Shortly, we'll join this astronaut named Gaines and embark on an adventure, because the environs overhead - the stars, the sky, the infinite space - are all part of a vast question mark known as the Twilight Zone.


An astronaut, Major Robert "Bob" Gaines, is orbiting the Earth in his space capsule. However, at one point the systems malfunction and he blacks out, waking up on Earth. He appears to be none the worse for his experiences, and is released to the custody of his family.

However, inconsistencies quickly pop up. His own daughter does not recognize him, everyone keeps calling him Colonel (confirmed by the rank insignia on his uniform) when he knows he's a Major, and he insists the President of the United States is John F. Kennedy - a man nobody else around him has ever heard of. Gaines concludes that he's slipped into a parallel universe and tries to return to his space capsule, but blacks out again before he can do so.

He immediately finds himself back in orbit, and lands his craft safely. He is prepared to write the whole thing off as a nightmare, but controllers on the ground subsequently receive another transmission - from Colonel Robert Gaines....

Closing Narration

Major Robert Gaines, a latter-day voyager just returned from an adventure. Submitted to you without any recommendations as to belief or disbelief. You can accept or reject; you pays your money and you takes your choice. But credulous or incredulous, don't bother to ask anyone for proof that it could happen. The obligation is a reverse challenge: prove that it couldn't. This happens to be the Twilight Zone.

Preview for Next Week's Story

A new author joins the ranks of the Twilight Zone crew when John Furia, Jr. gives us several stunningly new twists to a classic character in "I Dream of Genie." Join Howard Morris, Patricia Barry and Loring Smith as they take their trip into The Twilight Zone.


  • Sander, Gordon F.:Serling: The Rise And Twilight of Television's Last Angry Man. New York: Penguin Books, 1992.
  • Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition).
  • DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1593931360
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0970331090

External links

Twilight Zone links

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