World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Back There

Article Id: WHEBN0000153014
Reproduction Date:

Title: Back There  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: The Twilight Zone (radio series), The Arrival (The Twilight Zone), Nora Marlowe, The Mind and the Matter, Uncle Simon
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Back There

"Back There" is episode 49 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.


  • Opening narration 1
  • Plot 2
  • Closing narration 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Opening narration


On April 14, 1961, young professor Peter Corrigan is involved in a discussion with colleagues at the Potomac Club on the question of whether events in history could be changed if time travel were possible. After bumping into an attendant named William on the way out, Peter feels faint. Confused by the gas lamps and horse-drawn carriages on the street, he notices that he's wearing clothes of a much older style and decides to walk home. He finds that his "home" is a boarding house, and in discussion with the strangers he meets there, he discovers that it's April 14, 1865, the day of Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

Peter rushes to Ford's Theatre to warn everyone but is arrested for disturbing the peace. The police presume him to be a Union soldier under emotional distress. After being held in the police station a short time, he is released into the custody of a Mr. Jonathan Wellington. Peter continues to implore Mr. Wellington, and anyone else he can find, to do something to warn and protect the president. Mr. Wellington offers Peter a drink, and immediately afterwards, Peter realizes that he has been drugged, presumably because Mr. Wellington doesn't believe him and wants him quiet.

After Mr. Wellington's exit, Peter crawls to the door but passes out before he can warn anyone else. When a policeman who overheard his story comes in and rouses him, he notices that the handkerchief left behind by Mr. "Wellington" bears the initials JWB. John Wilkes Booth himself had drugged him to prevent any interference in fulfilling his mission. As he hears the crowd outside spreading the news that the president has just been shot, Peter realizes it is too late. He was unable to change the past.

Peter runs out and finds that he is back in 1961. Unable to explain the shift in time but knowing that he will now be in familiar surroundings, he returns to the Potomac Club and asks for William. His request for an attendant named William is met with only confusion. Back at the table with his colleagues, he finds that the scholarly discussion has moved from time travel to a new topic, and William is at the table participating. When this "new" man of distinction is asked, he reveals that he inherited his wealth from his great-grandfather, a policeman, who was at the police station when Peter was brought in, and had insisted despite all opposition that there would be an assassination attempt on the president that evening. He had been the only person to believe Peter, had made a name for himself trying to stop the assassination, and had become a millionaire.

For Peter, the question of whether past events are unchangeable via time travel is no longer speculation. He states that some events can be changed, and others can't. Overwhelmed by all that has happened, Peter steps aside to wipe his brow with his handkerchief and notices the initials: JWB.

Closing narration

See also


  • DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.