The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
16 user 1 critic

The Arrival 

Federal aviation investigator Grant Sheckly must deal with a mystery when a plane lands at an airport without pilots, passengers or luggage.


Boris Sagal


Rod Serling, Rod Serling (created by)




Episode complete credited cast:
Harold J. Stone ... Grant Sheckly
Fredd Wayne ... Paul Malloy
Noah Keen ... Airline Executive Bengston (as Noah Keene)
Robert Karnes ... Robbins
Bing Russell ... George Cousins
Jim Boles Jim Boles ... Dispatcher


A commercial airliner makes a normal landing at an airport and taxis to its normal stop. The only problem is that when the doors are opened, there are no passengers and no pilots. An experienced FAA investigator, Grant Sheckly. is assigned to the case. Sheckly has a good reputation and good track record at solving crashes but this case is a difficult one explain. It all begins to get clearer when he realizes that not everyone is seeing exactly the same thing. For some the seats are blue, others see brown and others see red. They all see different registration numbers on the aircraft. Sheckly can only come to one conclusion: what they are seeing is an illusion. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 September 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Arrival See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The characters all concluded that there is no way possible that an airplane could simply land itself. However, several years earlier in Missouri in 1957, a US Air Force DC-3 - the same type as used in the show - ran out of fuel while carrying people, who all bailed out to safety. The plane glided itself, landing on an empty cornfield, intact. See more »


After Sheckly's meeting with the airline personnel in Bengston's office he dismisses them saying "stay around where you can be reached." As the the personnel file out the door the studio lights cast their shadows on the backdrop outside the door of what is supposed to be the airport grounds. See more »


Grant Sheckly: Have you checked out every one of the names on this passenger manifest?
Airline Executive Bengston: No, i have not.That's all i need now is to have a small army of relatives from upstate new york clutching at my lapels, asking me for a definitive statement as to where their loved ones are who took Flight 107 out of Buffalo this morning.
See more »


Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Twilight Zone #9 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

This episode should vanish
3 February 2014 | by darrenpearce111See all my reviews

A Federal Aviation Inspector, Sheckley (Harold J Stone) tries to unravel a very mysterious landing. There are no people on board -so how did the aircraft land? There's a rushed and unsatisfactory ending to this one that will probably make you wish you had not bothered.

'The Arrival' has simply too much in common with the opener from series two, 'King Nine Will Not Return', also written by Rod Serling. The story demands a lot of patience for what is a waste of time whereas at least 'King Nine' seems to have something serious to say if you think about it after.

Fly from this, one of the very dullest of Zones.

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