I remember the first Twilight Zone episode my dad ever showed me… I was 7 years old and he scarred me. I couldn’t sleep for days but I mean come on, I was 7! I refused to watch it until years later and boy, was I missing out all those years.
For those of you who have never seen Twilight Zone, its a TV show created in the late 50s/early 60s filmed in black and white. Stay with me though! Its like Black Mirror before there was Black Mirror — it’s the original! Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it: “The Twilight Zone is an American science-fiction, fantasy, psychological-supernatural horror anthology television series created by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964. The series consists of unrelated dramas depicting characters dealing with paranormal, futuristic, Kafkaesque, or otherwise disturbing or unusual events; characters who find themselves dealing with these strange, sometimes inexplicable happenings are said to have crossed over into ‘The Twilight Zone’. Each story typically features a moral and a surprise ending.”
ARE YOU NOT INTERESTED?
This series does have a cult-following and for good reason. It makes you think and it sticks with you… I still have a hard time looking at mannequins. I’m sure most of you are also familiar with the Tower of Terror ride that just left Disneyland, California (RIP) but that is Twilight Zone inspired!
So no matter if you’re a Twilight Zone junkie or just starting out, here’s a list of the highest rated and favorite episodes from the series (all summaries are available on Wikipedia — click title to access):
- Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (S. 5, Ep. 3)
The one that scared my mom as a kid so much so she refused to go on a plane
A man, newly recovered from a nervous breakdown, becomes convinced that a monster only he sees is damaging the plane he’s flying in.
To Serve Man (Season 3, Ep. 24)
An alien race comes to earth, promising peace and sharing technology. A linguist and his team set out to translate the aliens’ language.
The Eye of the Beholder (S. 2, Ep. 6)
With her head wrapped in bandages, a hospitalized young woman awaits the outcome of a State-mandated surgical procedure to make her face look normal.
Living Doll (S. 5, Ep. 6)
A father does battle with his stepdaughter’s talking doll, whose vocabulary includes such phrases as “I hate you” and “I’m going to kill you.”
Walking Distance (S. 1, Ep. 5)
When businessman Martin visits his hometown, he discovers he’s traveled 25 years into the past and has a disturbing encounter with himself as a boy.
The Hitch-Hiker (S. 1, Ep. 16)
A young woman driving cross-country keeps seeing the same hitchhiker on the roadside and, unaware she has bigger worries, fears he wants to kill her.
The Invaders (S. 2, Ep. 15)
When a woman investigates a clamor on the roof of her rural house, she discovers a small UFO and little aliens emerging from it. Or so it seems.
It’s a Good Life (S. 3, Ep. 8)
A young boy possessing vast mental powers but lacking emotional development holds his terrified family in thrall to his every juvenile wish.
The Dummy (S. 3, Ep. 33)
Ventriloquist Jerry Etherson is convinced that his dummy, Willie, is alive and evil — a theory he tests when he makes up a new act with a new dummy.
Long Distance Call (S. 2, Ep. 22)
A toy telephone becomes the link between a young boy and his dead grandmother.
Time Enough at Last (S. 1, Ep. 8)
My dad’s favorite
Put-upon bookworm Henry Bemis lives to read and rejoices, perhaps prematurely, when a nuclear attack leaves him the sole survivor in a sea of books.
The Masks (S. 5, Ep. 25)
Wealthy Jason Foster invites his greedy heirs to a party where they must wear the masks he made for them or else be cut off from their inheritance.
The After Hours (S. 1, Ep. 34)
As Marsha White tries to return a gift to a department store’s ninth floor, she’s shocked to find there is no ninth floor and nothing is as it seems.
If none of these catch your attention we’ll move onto the newer Twilight Zone episodes made in the 80s:
- A Little Peace and Quiet (S. 1, Ep. 1b)
Opening Narration: “Wouldn’t it be nice if, once in a while, everyone would just shut up and stop pestering you? Wouldn’t it be great to have the time to finish a thought or spin a daydream? To think out loud without being required to explain exactly what you meant? If you had the power, would you dare to use it, even knowing that silence may have voices of its own…to the Twilight Zone?”
The Call (S. 3, Ep. 44)
Opening Narration: “Norman Blane, whose greatest fear is that, if he were to vanish from the Earth tomorrow, no one will notice, or mourn, or question, and whose greatest sadness is the realization that he is probably right. Sofa, coffee table, chair, and pet; solitary decorations in a life noted chiefly for its isolation. Point of origin and point of destination for Norman Blane, whose days and nights are routinely swallowed into unhappy silence.”
To See the Invisible Man (S. 1, Ep. 16b)
Opening Narration: “It’s a world much like our own, yet much unlike it. A twisted mirror of reality, in which a man can find himself cast out, made invisible by public acclamation, belonging no longer to society, but only to the gray reaches…of the Twilight Zone.”
Something in the Walls (S. 3, Ep. 54)
Opening Narration: “We direct your attention to the man with the sleek, black briefcase. His name: Dr. Mallory Craig. Occupation: psychologist, newly employed by the Crest Ridge Sanitarium. For the last two weeks, he has been visualizing his first day, looking forward to it with eager anticipation. But there’s a terror behind those cold institutional walls that nothing in his education has prepared him for.”
Gramma (S. 1, Ep. 18a)
Based of the short story by Stephen King
Have a favorite of your own? Comment below and share your thoughts!