The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
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The Jeopardy Room 

A defector is trapped in a hotel room and given 3 hours to find a hidden bomb.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Commissar Vassiloff (as John vanDreelen)
Bob Kelljan ...
Boris - Vassiloff's Assistant (as Robert Kelljan)


After spending twelve years in a Soviet prison, Major Ivan Kuchenko has fled his homeland and is now in transit in a third country hoping to soon leave and seek asylum in the USA. He is not alone however as Comissar Vassiloff, his torturer during his imprisonment, has caught up with him. Vassilof could easily kill him - he has an assassin with him, Boris - but he decides to give him a chance to walk away. He's placed a bomb in Kuchenko's room and he give the Major 3 hours to find and disarm it. Kuchenko proves himself to be a worthy adversary. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

17 April 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A very similar tape recorder comes into play when Martin moves to Mission Impossible. See more »


When Boris initially shoots out the windows, while Ivan is trying to put up a blanket, there are no holes in the wall behind Ivan where the shots would have ended up. See more »


[opening narration]
Narrator: The cast of characters: a cat and a mouse. This is the latter. The intended victim who may or may not know that he is to die, be it by butchery or ballet. His name is Major Ivan Kuchenko. He has, if events go according to certain plans, perhaps three or four more hours of living. But an ignorance shared by both himself and his executioner is of the fact that both of them have taken a first step - into The Twilight Zone.
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Referenced in Payback (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Communism is bad....m'kay?!
8 June 2010 | by See all my reviews

This episode begins with Martin Landau being awoken by a phone call. Some commissar is on the other end--announcing that Landau is going to die! Then, a short time later, the man on the phone comes to Landau's room to toy with him--much like a cat playing with a mouse before ultimately killing it. This seems to last an interminable period of time. Eventually, he drugs Landau and sets up a complicated game--a game where Landau's goal is to escape alive.

While I think Communism, at least in practice, is pretty stupid. HOWEVER, because the episode comes off as so incredibly preachy, by the time the show was over, I was about ready to go down to Party headquarters and sign up as a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA! This sort of anti-Communist message just came off, to me, as heavy-handed and lacked the subtlety that made "The Twilight Zone" such a good show. As a result, it's a rather weak episode--even if there is quite a bit of tension in the second half of the show.

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