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May 9 in Twilight Zone History: Celebrating the 1963 premiere of 'Passage on the Lady Anne'

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May 9, 2018

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.

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Wilfred Hyde-White and Gladys Cooper are the McKenzies, an elderly couple who have booked a final voyage in "Passage on the Lady Anne."

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.

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Joyce Van Patten plays Eileen Ransome, a troubled wife who hopes an ocean voyage can save her marriage in "Passage on the Lady Anne."

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.