The Twilight Zone: Season 2, Episode Seventeen “Twenty-Two”

Original Air Date: February 10, 1961
Writer: Rod Serling
Director: Jack Smight

“This is Miss Liz Powell. She’s a professional dancer and she’s in the hospital as a result of overwork and nervous fatigue. And at this moment we have just finished walking with her in a nightmare. In a moment she’ll wake up and we’ll remain at her side. The problem here is that both Miss Powell and you will reach a point where it might be difficult to decide which is reality and which is nightmare, a problem uncommon perhaps but rather peculiar to the Twilight Zone.”
-Rod Serling

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In a hospital Miss Liz Powell (played by Barbara Nichols), a former dancer, has a recurring vision in which she follows a nurse down to Room 22, which is later revealed to be the hospital morgue. The nurse smiles coyly and says, “Room for one more, honey.” Powell screams and runs away but she continues to experience the same dream night after night.

When she is finally allowed to leave the hospital she heads to the airport and begins having the same sensation as in her dream. She learns that her flight number is Twenty-Two. Trembling, she starts to board the flight but the flight attendant who greets her is the same nurse from her nightmare. The woman smiles coyly and says, “Room for one more, honey.” Powell shrieks and runs away from the plane. While she is recovering in the airport outside on the runway flight number Twenty-Two bursts into flames.

“Miss Elizabeth Powell, professional dancer. Hospital diagnosis: acute anxiety brought on by overwork and fatigue. Prognosis: with rest and care, she’ll probably recover. But the cure to some nightmares is not to be found in known medical journals. You look for it under ‘potions for bad dreams’ – to be found in the Twilight Zone.”
-Rod Serling

Unexplained phenomena regularly occur in The Twilight Zone. The clever device of the camera makes it seem as if characters like Liz Powell are going insane, however in the end we in the audience are actually gaslit into questing the true nature of reality.

The Twilight Zone Trivia:

  • The story for this episode was adapted by Rod Serling from an anecdote in Famous Ghost Stories edited by Bennett Cerf. In the original story a girl from New York visits a Carolina plantation and has a disturbing dream with the same coachman. When she returns to New York she sees a doctor who dismisses the dream as a meaningless hallucination however when she leaves the doctor’s office she experiences the same nightmare with the elevator doorman.
  • This was one if the six episdes shot on videotape as a cost-cutting measure.

Click here to return to my survey of The Twilight Zone series.

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