One of the all-time classic Twilight Zone episodes starred William Shatner, as a salesman who had suffered a nervous breakdown on a commercial airline flight…
After six months’ confinement in a sanatorium, his wife arranges to have him released and books a flight home for the two of them, though she is understandably concerned that his anxiety about being on another flight might trigger a relapse.
Sure enough, when he gets on the plane to go home, the Shatner character (”Bob Wilson”) looks out and thinks he sees a “gremlin” on the plane’s wing. This creature, a mythical little monster conjured up by WWII aviators as a scapegoat for otherwise inexplicable mechanical failures, is seen deliberately reaching into one of the airliner’s engine cowlings and pulling out pieces.
When Shatner points this out to his wife and stewardess, the gremlin ducks out of sight. He knows the others think he’s crazy and might have him recommitted to a mental hospital. He’s even more fearful that if nothing is done, the damage to the plane’s engine by the gremlin will cause it to crash.
There follows a particularly scary scene where Shatner/Wilson is beginning to doubt his own sanity after the gremlin disappears for the fifth or sixth time when he tries to point out what he’s seeing to the others. The stewardess finally shuts the curtain on his window but Shatner/Wilson can’t help but look out again, only to see the grotesque face of the little monster pressed against the window!
This is altogether too much for him and, in his terror and panic; he grabs a revolver from a slumbering police officer across the aisle. Opening the emergency exit, he is almost sucked out when the plane depressurizes but not before shooting and killing the gremlin. Continue reading