Twilight Zone: Episode 10: ‘Judgement Night’ (1959) – TV Episode Review

Der Kapitan Lanser is about to learn the horrifying truth of serving in Hitler’s navy when he enters… The Twilight Zone!

Being a fan of both, ‘Horror’ & ‘Science Fiction’ and having researched both genres in depth, I have come to a conclusion… Movies and TV shows (episodes anyway,) that have something mystical or supernatural that in some ways revolve around World Wars 1 or 2 are fun!

Shocking… But true!

A couple of great examples of this being, Hellraiser (1987)… This movie tells the tale of a World War 1 military officer who ends up leading Hell’s campaign to gather up souls… another one being, Shock Waves (1977), a movie about the last Nazi hold out and the Zombie Nazi’s that are protecting the island… (I mean how much better can you get with Zombie Nazis?)

Nazi Zombies… I mean how cool is that!

Another set is the stuff that, ‘The Twilight Zone’ did… Now I haven’t seen much of this yet… But in the anthology movie, there is a segment where a bigot gets transported to Nazi Germany that is pure genius!

And then there is an episode that I finally got to see all the way through that was absolutely genius… And that episode being: Episode 10: ‘Judgement Night’ (1959)!

Written by: Rod Serling (Planet Of The Apes) & Directed By: John Brahm (Shane). Starring: Nemiah Persoff (Twins), Deirdre Owens (Thriller), Patrick Macnee (The Howling), Ben Wright (The Bionic Woman) & Leslie Bradley (Attack Of The Crab Monsters). 

“We’ll ride the ghost of that ship every night.  Every night, Der Kapitan, for eternity.  They could die only once, just once, but we could die a hundred million times. We could ride the ghost of that ship every night.  Every night for eternity.” – Lt. Mueller (James Franciscus: A quote from: Twilight Zone – The Original Series episode: ‘Judgement Night’ (1959)!)

This brilliantly crafted tale, tells the story of a German man by the name of, ‘Lanser’ (Played by: Nemiah Persoff)…. Now this guy seems to know who he is… But not where he is… That essentially he is on a ship of the damned! 

Lanser, as he is trying to figure out what is going on…
You see the S.S. Queen Of Glasgow is transporting people across the ocean in 1942… A time when the German submarine corps of Nazi Germany was basically sinking any none, ‘Axis’ boat… And especially, ‘Allied’ boats!

Now this boat has lost it’s way in a fog and has drifted out of sight of it’s convoy… 

And as Lanser starts to put all of the pieces together of what is going on and who he is, he begins to realize that not only is he on a doomed ship… But that due to an absolutely supernatural circumstance, he may never get off!

Lanser with a steward begins to get the first clue of what is going on…

In the end this episode is fun for many reasons: 

1. It is brilliantly crafted… As a matter of fact, this episode is great in it’s less then 30 minute format, and could also make for an absolutely brilliant movie! 

2. Another thing is the talent… You rarely get to see talent of that caliber these days, and these guys that made this episode did so well, it was like watching a novel unfold!

3. The last thing that I wanted to say is that this episode… considering when it was made… This episode had absolutely brilliant special effects! 

In the end, the only thing that I did not understand is why they put an, ‘American’ in a, ‘German’ role and not sound German? 

Either way, this episode is a total blast and well worth watching… Check it out, I think you might agree!  

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