The place is here, the time is now, and the journey into the shadows that we're about to watch could be our journey.
Up there, up there in the vastness of space, in the void that is sky, up there is an enemy known as isolation. It sits there in the stars waiting, waiting with the patience of eons, forever waiting... in the Twilight Zone.
In the written form of the story, published as a collection of Rod Serling stories, as Mike is carried on a stretcher away from the isolation booth, a ticket falls out of his pocket. It is the ticket to the movie he saw in his "hallucination." He really WAS there, it seems. But the TV version omits this.
There is a sixth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area that might be called The Twilight Zone
The barrier of loneliness: the palpable, desperate need of the human animal to be with his fellow man. Up there, up there in the vastness of space, in the void that is sky, up there is an enemy known as isolation. It sits there in the stars waiting, waiting with the patience of eons, forever waiting... in the Twilight Zone.
Next week, I'll have a reunion with a unique talent and a valued friend, our first since Requiem for a Heavyweight. Next week on The Twilight Zone, Mr. Ed Wynn stars in "One for the Angels," playing an old pitchman who sells mechanical toys like this, but whose competition is Mr. Death. We hope you'll join us then. Thank you and good night.
Once the episode had been given the green light and filming had concluded, it originally featured narration by announcer Westbrook Van Voorhis. As Voorhis was unavailable for subsequent episodes, however, Serling himself recorded the narration (for both the episode and the introduction) for consistency; his presence later became a hallmark of the series. This is when the Twilight Zone became the fifth dimension rather than the sixth in the original pilot naration. Additionally, because he is the only person to appear, or at least play a part, in every episode, he is technically listed as the star, with the rest of the cast considered guests.
Several years later, Serling adapted this and other episodes into short stories for a book, Stories From the Twilight Zone. Reportedly dissatisfied with the lack of science fiction content, he added an additional twist to the end by having Mike Ferris discover a movie ticket in his pocket after being carried away on the stretcher. A variation on this twist was later used in "King Nine Will Not Return".
As part of the Sci Fi Channel's participation in Cable in the Classroom, "Where is Everybody?" may be recorded and retained indefinitely for educational exhibition. A suggested lesson plan expands on the concept of aloneness vs. loneliness by shifting the focus to "using a gift for personal gain or for the benefit of others" and how students might help those who are most affected by isolation and the effects of social deprivation.
Mr. Serling conceived his playlet in imaginative terms and underscored his point that science cannot foretell what may be the effect of total isolation on a human being. Indeed, the play's situation was almost bound to be better than its resolution, which by comparison seemed trite and anticlimactic. In the desultory field of filmed half-hour drama, however, Mr. Serling should not have much trouble in making his mark. At least his series promises to be different.
Later that year, in the December issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science-Fiction, Charles Beaumont wrote:
...I read Serling's first script. It was, or seemed to be, an end-of-the-world story. Resisting the impulse to throw the wretched thing across the room, I read on. A man is alone in a town which shows every sign of having been recently occupied. He finds cigarettes burning in ash trays. Stoves are still warm. Chimneys are smoking. But no one is there, only this one frightened man who can't even remember his name...Old stuff? Of course. I thought so at the time, and I think so now. But there was one element in the story which kept me from my customary bitterness. The element was quality. Quality shone on every page. It shone in the dialogue and in the scene set-ups. And because of this, the story seemed fresh and new and powerful. There was one compromise, but it was made for the purpose of selling the series.