It may surprise you to know that your next binge-worthy show is already out there… And it has been most of your life.
The Twilight Zone was created in 1959 by Rod Serling, a decorated World War II vet who was obsessed with arts and literature from a very young age. His experiences with mortality and the true nature of his fellow man would become not only creative kindling for much of his future writing but would also lead him to become a pioneering activist for the equal treatment of men and women of all ethnicity and against censorship and war. He wrote 92 of the show’s 156 episodes and is the man many credit with making the concept of the “twist ending” famous. All of those attributes are a part of what made the show a household name and why shows like Tales from the Crypt and, more recently, Black Mirror have gone on to find their own success.
Although the show is typically categorized as a science fiction anthology, it’s eerie theme and imagery often gave it a more disturbing undertone. There are plenty of episodes that feature creatures and aliens to represent the sci-fi genre, but there are also many human interest tales that end on a high note while possibly leaving viewers with the “warm fuzzies.” Serling, with his stoic demeanor dressed in a suit and tie and often with a cigarette in hand, serves as a narrator, or more apropos, guide through the world of The Twilight Zone by setting the scene and then putting a big red bow on the finale. The show has been rebooted and recreated over the past 60 years with varying degrees of success but none has ever come close to topping the original.
Several A-List movie and TV stars got there starts and lent their talents to The Twilight Zone’s original run. Great actors that are no longer with us such as Burgess Meredith, Jack Klugman, and Ed Wynne made more than one visit and legends that are still around today such as Robert Duvall, William Shatner, and Robert Redford appeared early in their careers. As Serling might say, you just never knew who you could meet in The Twilight Zone.
The thing that drew in both the talent and the viewers was the story. Fantastic tales of morality that would not only thrill and entertain but also leave you thinking. The Twilight Zone shows that while the world may have drastically changed over the past 60 years, human nature has not– and that’s what makes the show still compelling today.
5 Great Episodes To Begin Your Journey Into The Twilight Zone
“I Shot an Arrow Into the Air” (Season 1 Episode 15)
“Two” (Season 3 Episode 1)
“The Shelter” (Season 3 Episode 3)
“Nothing in the Dark” (Season 3 Episode 16)
“To Serve Man” (Season 3 Episode 24