Director: Justus Addiss
Writer: Rod Serling
Cast: John Anderson, Paul Comi, Sandy Kenyon, Wayne Heffley, Harp McGuire, Betty Garde, Beverly Brown, Nancy Rennick, Jay Overholts, and Lester Fletcher
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 2/24/1961
Production Code: 173-3651
While en route from London to New York City, Global Airlines Flight 33 accelerates to a remarkable speed. Unable to diagnose and correct the problem, Captain Farver (John Anderson) and his crew find themselves unprepared for that which happens next.
A modern reimagining of the Flying Dutchman legend, “The Odyssey of Flight 33” generates intrigue from a simple, one-note premise. Fans of The Twilight Zone are therefore advised to view this classic episode, technical and budgetary limitations notwithstanding.
When the Boeing 707 enters a jet stream, a thick cloud layer is employed to exemplify the fear, paranoia, and uncertainty felt by passengers and experienced crew members alike—a subtle manner of suspense building that, around the halfway mark, culminates in an abrupt and thus effective twist (i.e. dinosaurs appearing along the Manhattan coastline, indicating that a temporal anomaly has just occurred).
Upon noticing modern structures in place of extinct animals, said passengers (and the audience) are lulled back into a sense of security; however, when additional (albeit less obvious) anachronisms are revealed in the following moments, Captain Farver and his navigators learn that familiar surroundings cannot always be trusted at face value. Possibly a commentary on the arrogance of man, the above scenario demonstrates how the mundane, innocuous, and ordinary aspects of our world can become dangerous when taken for granted.
Though entirely fantastic, “The Odyssey of Flight 33” makes a compelling case that humans are subject to the whims of nature; not the other way around. Specifically, Captain Farver and his team of confident, seasoned flight technicians remain incapable of countering the fluke disturbance affecting their own aircraft—likely a statement on how even the most intelligent and skilled among us have little to offer when disaster strikes.
“The Odyssey of Flight 33” is yet another ominous, riveting, and atmospheric piece of experimental television. For time travel enthusiasts in particular, this episode is a must.
Overall Quality: 9/10
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