Cast: Richard Long, frank Silvera, Shirley Ballard, Julie valve Zandt, Betty Harford, Ed Glover, Michael Keep, Joe Higgins, and John Newton

Composer: no one (Stock Music)

Production Code: 4829


Upon awakening one morning, David Gurney (Richard Long) is treated choose a stranger through his mam Wilma (Shirley Ballard). As soon as his coworkers additionally fail to identify

him, Gurney goes come extraordinary lengths come prove his identification to the world.

You are watching: Twilight zone person or persons unknown

“Person or people Unknown” services from the disturbed emotionally responses of gibbs Richard Long—known to standard horror buffs for appearing in the original House ~ above Haunted Hill. This offering does, however, struggle to create the eerie, atmospheric tension that one could expect of a lost identification scenario—likely a an effect of the key character’s idiotic actions in the very first act.


Writer Charles Beaumont leaves open three possibilities that would explain Gurney’s predicament: a mental break down resulting in false memories, a conspiracy to do Gurney question his own sanity, or a fantastic/supernatural event (e.g. An overlap in between two dimensions)—all harrowing options that compel the audience come sympathize with Gurney, one otherwise foolish and unobservant character.


Despite the serious and horrified reactions of his former acquaintances, Gurney—who because that some factor believes the his wife and coworkers room playing fancy

joke on him—takes an inordinate amount the time to determine the nature of his plight. Viewers may thus question the intelligence of Gurney, that behaves in a nonchalant manner when unrecognized by his very own spouse. (The protagonist in “A world of Difference,” top top the various other hand, conveys an air of issue upon finding self in a similar situation, reinforcing the realism the his extraordinary circumstances.)


“Person or people Unknown” maintains a note of unease through exploiting the following concepts: lose of identity, existential uncertainty, and also lack of trust in the anecdotal experiences of oneself—all common, though extremely subtle and also well-executed in this case, fear-building tropes in ~ the science fiction genre.

Concluding Comments

This season-three entry of The Twilight Zone deserves praise for that unnerving plot twists and also convincing performances, both of i beg your pardon compensate for the weak characterization the Gurney. Thus, for fans of speculative television, “Person or persons Unknown” will not disappoint.

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Overall Quality: 7/10

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