"Execution" is the twenty-sixth episode of the The Twilight Zone.

Episode Details

Opening Narration

"Commonplace - if somewhat grim - unsocial event known as a necktie party, the guest of dishonor a cowboy named Joe Caswell, just a moment away from a rope, a short dance several feet off the ground, and then the dark eternity of all evil men. Mr. Joe Caswell, who, when the good Lord passed out a conscience, a heart, a feeling for fellow men, must have been out for a beer and missed out. Mr. Joe Caswell, in the last, quiet moment of a violent life."

Episode Summary

In 1880 a man named Joe Caswell is about to be hanged for murder; but as the noose tightens around his neck, he suddenly disappears...and finds himself in 1959, in the laboratory of Professor Manion. Manion explains that he used a time machine to pluck Caswell from the past. But when Manion sees Caswell's rope burns around his neck, and hears Caswell's admission that in his life he had murdered over twenty men he knows he must try to send Caswell back. The discussion leads to an argument...Caswell attacks the Professor, killing the Professor with a desk lamp. Caswell flees from the laboratory into a busy street, but becomes so overwhelmed by the lights and the noise that he returns to the lab. Caswell, distraught and desperate, breaks down, pleading for the dead scientist to help him. Suddenly a thief enters the lab. Caswell fights with the thief, but the thief gets the upper hand in the fight and strangles Caswell with the cord from the window curtains. As the thief tries to find Manion's safe, he accidentally activates the time machine — and is sent back to 1880, appearing in the noose intended for Caswell, just in time to be hanged.

Closing Narration

"This is November 1880, the aftermath of a necktie party. The victim's name - Paul Johnson, a minor-league criminal and the taker of another human life. No comment on his death save this: justice can span years. Retribution is not subject to a calendar. Tonight's case in point in The Twilight Zone."

Preview for Next Week's Story

The man who lives in this tenement is an aging fighter named Bolie Jackson, over the hill at age 36 from leaving too much of himself in too many arenas for too many years before too many screaming people. And next week, he looks for a miracle and he finds it in a little boy. On The Twilight Zone next week, "The Big Tall Wish", something very, very special. I hope we'll see you then.

Preview for Another CBS Show

"Be sure to see the fun-filled family life on one of America's greatest entertainers, The Danny Thomas Show, Monday nights over the most of these stations!"

Background Information


  • Rod Serling as Narrator (voice only); uncredited
  • Albert Salmi as Joe Caswell
  • Russell Johnson as Professor Manion
  • Than Wyenn as Paul Johnson
  • George Mitchell as Old Man
  • Jon Lormer as Minister
  • Fay Roope as Judge
  • Richard Karlan as Bartender
  • Joe Haworth as TV Cowboy; uncredited


  • Rod Serling (executive producer: Cayuga Productions)
  • Buck Houghton (producer)
  • George T. Clemens (director of photography)
  • Joseph Gluck (film editor)
  • George W. Davis (art director)
  • Merrill Pye (art director)
  • F. Keogh Gleason (set decorator; credited: Keogh Gleason)
  • Henry Grace (set decorator)
  • Ralph W. Nelson (production manager)
  • Kurt Neumann (assistant director)
  • Franklin Milton (sound; credited: Frank Milton)
  • Philip Mitchell (sound)
  • Van Allen James (sound effects editor; uncredited)

Production Companies


  • Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1960) (USA) (TV) (original airing)


  • United Productions of America (UPA) (animated title)

Notes and References

External Links

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