A Matter of Minutes

"A Matter of Minutes" is the third segment of the fifteenth episode from the first season (1985–86) of the television series The Twilight Zone.

"A Matter of Minutes"
The Twilight Zone episode
A Matter of Minutes.jpg
Scene from "A Matter of Minutes"
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 15c
Directed bySheldon Larry
Written byHarlan Ellison
Rockne S. O'Bannon
Original air dateJanuary 24, 1986
Guest appearance(s)

Adam Arkin: Michael Wright
Karen Austin: Maureen Wright
Adolph Caesar: Supervisor
Marianne Muellerleile: First Woman in Accident
Alan David Gelman: Heavyset Man

Episode chronology
← Previous
"A Small Talent for War"
Next →
"The Elevator"
List of The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episodes


The Wrights, a young married couple, wake up on April 27, 1986 to the sounds of construction. When they investigate they find time has stopped. Meanwhile, a crew of blue-clad construction workers are busy removing the furniture in their house and replacing it with new. In terror, the Wrights run outside to find things being rebuilt all over the neighborhood - things that have already existed. The Wrights start to go in the direction of a voice which seems to be commanding the workers, but then turn once the voice commands the workers to capture the Wrights.

Confused and frightened, the couple run into a back alley and enter a void of white space. They discover a man in yellow who helps them out of the void and explains to them that he is the supervisor of the maintenance of time. They have somehow slipped into a loophole and while they should be in an earlier time - 9:33 a.m. - for some reason they have hopped over into 11:37 a.m. Showing them exactly how time is maintained, he reveals to them a new understanding of how the universe works: every minute is essentially a separate world which must be built, maintained, and torn down once it is over. The supervisor informs them that they cannot return for two reasons: 1) they cannot reveal to anyone the true nature of time and 2) the supervisor isn't even certain they could return if they wanted to. The Wrights flee from the foreman and his crew, and try to find a way to slip back to their own time. They hide inside a theater ticket booth and wait until 11:37 a.m. rolls around so they can catch up. The foreman finds them too late as the Wrights suddenly emerge into their own world again. Back in their own time, they find a blue wrench sitting on a public telephone which convinces them they had not dreamed their experience.

Closing narrationEdit


This episode is based on Theodore Sturgeon's short story "Yesterday Was Monday", first published in June 1941.

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