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The Time Element 

A man is sent back in time to December 6, 1941 and tries to warn people about the upcoming Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


Allen Reisner


Rod Serling


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Episode complete credited cast:
William Bendix ... Peter Jenson
Martin Balsam ... Dr. Arnold Gillespie
Darryl Hickman ... Ensign Janoski
Jesse White ... Bartender
Carolyn Kearney ... Edna Janoski
Jesslyn Fax ... Maid
Alan Baxter ... Army Doctor
Bartlett Robinson ... Mr. Gibbons
Don Keefer ... Hannify
Joe DeRita ... Man at Bar (as Joe De Rita)
Paul Bryar ... Bartender at Andy's


A man is sent back in time to December 6, 1941 and tries to warn people about the upcoming Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Written by GusF

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

time travel | See All (1) »









Release Date:

24 November 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Desilu Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Martin Balsam (Dr. Arnold Gillespie) later played Admiral Husband Kimmel in Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), which likewise concerned the attack on Pearl Harbor. See more »


On December 6, 1941, Hannify claims that Dwight D. Eisenhower is a lieutenant colonel and a member of the General Staff in Washington, D.C.. However, he was promoted to brigadier general on October 3, 1941 and was not appointed to the General Staff until after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. See more »


Peter Jenson: [When the Japanese start to attack] I told you! I told you!
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Spin-off The Twilight Zone (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Exactly like an episode of the Twilight Zone
25 March 2019 | by jjturleySee all my reviews

It is October, 1958, and "Peter Jenson" (played by William Bendix) is in the office of a New York psychiatrist named "Dr. Arnold Gillespie" (played by Martin Balsam.) Peter made the appointment since he has been suffering from the same nightmare for the last several nights. He is very anxious.

In this dream, Peter always finds himself at a hotel in Honolulu. The date is December 6th, 1941, which is the day before the Pearl Harbor attack. So, how can he warn people of the impending doom?

Dr. Gillespie listens patiently and tries to help convince Peter that it is all just a dream, regardless of how real it might feel at the time.

Together, the two men smoke a lot of cigarettes as they try to get to the bottom of what all this means... wait for the twist ending!

This was a well-done drama. Convincing characters and intriguing story. I strongly recommend it.

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