The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
33 user 3 critic

The Odyssey of Flight 33 

Passing through the sound barrier, a commercial airliner inadvertently travels back in time.


Justus Addiss


Rod Serling, Rod Serling (created by)




Episode complete credited cast:
John Anderson ... Capt. 'Skipper' Farver
Paul Comi ... 1st Officer John Craig
Sandy Kenyon ... Navigator Hatch
Wayne Heffley ... 2nd Officer Wyatt
Harp McGuire ... Flight Engineer Purcell
Betty Garde ... Passenger
Beverly Brown Beverly Brown ... Janie
Nancy Rennick Nancy Rennick ... Paula
Jay Overholts Jay Overholts ... Passenger
Lester Fletcher ... RAF Man


Global Flight 33 is en route from London to New York in what appears to be a routine flight in a modern jetliner. Suddenly however, the jet's speed increases to an incredible 3000 knots and they arrive in New York rather quickly. Neither the captain or his well-trained crew can explain what happened - a strange tail-wind perhaps - but they are certainly not prepared for what they find as they survey the land below them. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Did You Know?


Stephen King lifted elements of the plot of "The Odyssey of Flight 33" for his novella "The Langoliers," first published in September 1990. "The Langoliers" concerns a group of airplane passengers that are left in the past where they must find a way back to the present or face the terror of the title creatures, who literally eat past time and space. A character in the story recalls the plot of "The Odyssey of Flight 33" during the course of the action. See more »


The cockpit has a rear wall in the front shots but has obviously been removed from the shots from the rear. See more »


Narrator: [Closing Narration] A Global jet airliner, en route from London to New York on an uneventful afternoon in the year 1961, but now reported overdue and missing, and by now, searched for on land, sea, and air by anguished human beings, fearful of what they'll find. But you and I know where she is. You and I know what's happened. So if some moment, any moment, you hear the sound of jet engines flying atop the overcast - engines that sound searching and lost - engines that sound desperate - shoot up ...
See more »


References Dinosaurus! (1960) See more »

User Reviews

Houston, we have a problem...
7 July 2008 | by Anonymous_MaxineSee all my reviews

In one of the simplest and yet most effective twilight zones, a passenger jet full of people unexpectedly accelerates to unheard of speeds and suddenly finds itself transported into the distant past. Time travel is one of the few endlessly entertaining storytelling premises, and although this story is presented almost entirely through dialogue, it is still one of the more vintage twilight episodes that I've seen. The first half of the episode is a little too simplistic, if only because we are trying to believe an airplane is travelling at thousands of knots, and yet there is not the slightest bit of vibration or noise in the cockpit. It looks more like they're sitting on the ground on a movie set, which they are.

But when the time travel takes place, I have to think that it had some inspiration on some later time travel movies, most notably the Back to the Future films, given the acceleration to a certain speed and the rather violent shock that accompanies the, uh, temporal displacement, if you will.

The payoff of the show is nothing more than a primitive go-motion dinosaur and some stock footage of the World's Fair in New York (which gives it the feeling that the entire episode was made to fit around that aerial stock footage of the World's Fair like a raindrop around a bit of dust), but this is an excellent example of how a simple idea and some quality writing and performances can make for a highly entertaining half hour. Excellent!

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Release Date:

24 February 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Odyssey of Flight 33 See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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