A lost script from The Twilight Zone, 1959, Season 1 Episode 39
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.
Open on a university lecture hall: men and women sit in a packed audience as the lights dim and the professor takes the stage. Cameras flash from the foot of the stage where the press has gathered, small notebooks in hand, as a hush falls over the audience.
Professor: “Good afternoon students, faculty, members of the press, and esteemed colleagues. I have a very interesting discovery to share with you all. I have kept it shrouded in secrecy until now, but I can prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that soul mates are indeed real.”
The crowd murmurs as a photo appears on the screen from the slide projector on a small table on stage.
Professor: “I would like to submit one Rhett James Mclaughin and one Charles Lincoln “Link” Neal the third. Note their differences. One is exceptionally tall, blonde, athletic, sure of speech, and thinks about the big picture. The other is brunette, awkward both in speech and movement, albeit incredibly intelligent, and is obsessive about fine details.”
Reporter: “But they’re not husband and wife! How can they be soul mates?!”
Professor: “Please save your questions till the end of the presentation. But yes, they are not husband and wife, they are something much more rare. They are literally a soul that was split in two, resulting in two boys, born eight months apart, one in Georgia and one in North Carolina. It only took five years for their souls to find each other, meeting on the first day of first grade. Rhett’s family moved across the country and back again but he instantly recognized his souls counterpart in Link.”
A class picture flashes on the screen with young Rhett and Link’s faces highlighted.
The audience murmurs.
Pictures cycle from youth to teen to young adult
Professor: “From the outside these two men may just seem like friends, business partners. But they are indeed soul mates. For example, they do not say hello or goodbye to each other because by their reasoning it would be like saying goodbye to yourself. Rhett says that even in kindergarten, before he met Link, that he felt like something was missing, that he was only half of something.”
A photo of the McLaughlin and Neal families together, wives and children flashes on the screen
Professor: “They walk into each other’s homes unannounced. Their children view them as second fathers, turning to them equally as their own biological father. As you can see from these pictures it’s almost impossible to decipher who is whose progeny. Notice how the tall blonde man has taken a shorter brunette wife, and the shorter brunette man has taken a tall blonde wife, almost as if they were trying to find qualities of their soul mate in their spouse. ”
Reporter: “But how do you know they are soul mates?”
Professor scowls at reporter: “Well, if you would quit interrupting I will tell you.”
A slide of Rhett looking at a card with a black star on it shows on the screen with Link behind a partition holding up the matching card.
Professor: “Both men have inquisitive minds and when approached by the university, agreed to submit to a series of tests. We did tests to see if they could read each others minds and they both scored exceptionally, guessing the symbol on the card the other was holding. When we tried the experiment with a stranger they scored poorly.”
The reporters scribble furiously on their note pads.
An image of Link with his arm outstretched and an shock device attached shows on the screen.
Professor “We wanted to see if they had physical empathy as well, so we shocked Mr. Neal. Once we reached level three Mr. Mclaughlin, a usually calm man, came beating on door to the sequestered room, demanding that we stop hurting Link. There was no way he could have known we were administering a shock, a very mild one at that.”
The audience murmurs again.
Professor: “of course I told you I could unequivocally prove they are soul mates. Unfortunately there was… an incident.”
A hush falls over the audience and press as a recent picture appears of the two men. Link looking up at Rhett smiling who is looking down at him, mid laugh, cheeks high and round. They look young and full of life and exuberance.
Professor: “Mr. Neal was walking down the corridor after a test, on his way to get a cup of coffee while we performed a test on Mr. McLaughlin. He slipped on a wet floor and smashed his skull on a bronze bust of Carl Jung, he died instantly.”
Horrified gasps from the audience.
Professor: “I was with Mr. Mclaughlin at the time and he became agitated. When i asked what was wrong he said, ‘I don’t feel whole. Like half of me is gone. What is happening? Where is Link?!’ He dropped dead on the spot. A perfectly healthy 39 year old man, dead, within minutes of his soul mate expiring. These men simply share a soul, one could not live without the other. I am gravely sorry for both of their deaths, but I take some solace in knowing they have changed the face of metaphysical science forever.”
Reporter: “That still doesn’t prove anything!”
Professor, angrily “Would. You. Let . Me. FINISH!”
A photo of two new men shows up on the screen, both in their early twenties, one short and blonde, the other a tall brunette.
Professor: “Because both men were young and healthy when they died they were both ideal candidates for organ donation. Thankfully their families agreed and their hearts were transplanted into these two men, Timmy Smith and Zachary Johnston. Their surgeries were performed within hours of each other in the same hospital. They woke up in the same recovery ward and these two men, who had never met before, met in the hallway. Recognizing each other instantly.”
Zoom in on photograph and cut to action of two men from still
Short blonde man to brunette: “Link!?”
Blonde grasping brunette tightly: “yeah brother!”
Brunette: “how? Why? Wait, you’re short.”
Zoom back out to lecture hall
Professor: “These two men had no recollection of their life as Timmy and Zachary, their hearts, their identities, their souls had been replaced.
The press begin to shout questions, flashbulbs go off, colleagues rush the stage to shake the professor’s hand.