Twilight Zone S4 – Passage on the Lady Anne (05/09/63)

tzladyanne1Coming off a mediocre Tales of Tomorrow and an unwatchable Fear Itself . . . if it turns out the other passengers on the Lady Anne are just dead, I’ll scream.

Alan and Eileen Ransome go to a Travel Agency to book a trip to London.  They hoped travel by ship, but the Agent says they are all booked.  Well, all the reputable ones are.  Reputable, I fear, meaning ones where all the other passengers are not dead.

Eileen asks about the Lady Anne.  It is the slowest boat on the water, but leaves in less than a week.  Despite Alan and the Agent’s resistance, she insists on purchasing two tickets.

Alan and Eileen arrive at the dock and meet an elderly couple — Toby and Millie — that are pretty close to validating my fear.  Toby can’t believe this young couple actually has tickets and makes them prove it.  Seeing them, he still insists this is a mistake, that this is a private excursion.

tzladyanne3Eileen is thrilled with their large ornate cabin.  Alan is not far off the mark when he proclaims it “maybe the most ridiculous room in the world.”  Of course, he never got to see the gilded New York Casa de Trump.

They go up on deck. Toby and another elderly man ask them again if some mistake has been made.  They try to scare the Ransomes into leaving by telling them what an old dilapidated ship this is.  Then they try to bribe them by offering $10,000.  Ransome must be doing pretty well as he refuses.  In fact, it is his pre-occupation with work that led Eileen to insist on this trip.

The next morning, Eileen is up at the crack of eleven.  They go up on deck for the mandatory Fire Drill training.  They are stunned to see that all the other passengers are old enough to literally remember the Maine, which might explain their enthusiasm for the fire drill.  Alan later finds that they are the only ones on the ship under 75.

tzladyanne2At the bar, they order a couple of martinis.  Eileen tells Alan she wants a divorce. Because, what better time than the first day of an expensive cruise where they will be stuck on a fully-booked ship and share a single room for a week.

They have dinner with Toby and Millie.  Toby gives them the good news that they will be allowed to stay on the ship.  Millie explains that he means they won’t have to die. Hmmmmm.

To make an interminable story short, when Alan thinks he has lost Eileen, he realizes how much he has neglected her.  They learn that the oldsters had fallen in love on the ship eons ago and want to finish their lives together on it.  How they intended to do this is not clear.  Were they going to poison themselves?  Were they going to sink the ship?  Run it aground into a waterfront Farmer’s Market?  Serling only tells us they sailed into the titular Twilight Zone.  The super-annuated passengers are basically sailing to Valinor. [1]

Not what I feared, but not really what I wanted either.  Your nautical mileage may vary.


  • It would just be churlish to question who was crewing this ship.  Were there a bunch of 75 year old men shoveling coal down below?
  • Wilfred Hyde-White (Toby) was always great playing bumbling old Englishmen — actually the same bumbling old Englishman. He didn’t have much range, but was a great character.  And always old.  So old.
  • [1] Kind of a non-sequitur, but I love it:


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