Today, May 9th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1963 premiere of "Passage on the Lady Anne."
Lee Philips and Joyce Van Patten portray the Ransomes, a bickering couple who, to save their crumbling marriage, book passage on the Lady Anne, an overage liner headed for the scrap heap. What they don't figure on is their very friendly fellow passengers – all people in their 80s or older. Two of those passengers, McKenzie (Wilfred Hyde-White) and Burgess (Cecil Kellaway), try to buy them off the vessel, but the Ransomes are determined to get to London by boat, and nothing will stop them.
This one-hour episode from Season 4 makes for a reunion of a number of TZ veterans. Lee Philips would return as columnist Jordy Herrick in "Queen of the Nile." Cecil Kellaway had previously played the mysterious Wickwire the caretaker in "Elegy," and Gladys Cooper, who plays McKenzie's wife, starred opposite Robert Redford in "Nothing in the Dark" and would shortly appear as the bedridden widow in "Night Call."
One of the Zone's top directors, Lamont Johnson, kept this floating mystery moving, and the acting was all top notch.
So let's raise a glass of imported brandy to the Ransomes, their elderly friends, and the Lady Anne herself, an ocean liner that set out for London but detoured deep into the shadowy depths of The Twilight Zone.