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Light and Shadow:
Quint crosses over into The Twilight Zone!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a bit of an experiment. A month or more back the Definitive Collection hit Amazon’s Gold Box at a price I couldn’t refuse and I picked it up without a second thought. I grew up watching re-runs of Rod Serling’s seminal show, but I haven’t revisited the series in years, aside from an odd episode I’d catch while flipping through channels late at night. For those of my generation there were no seasons of Twilight Zone, just what happened to run on TV and most of those were the same two-dozen episodes. So, I figured if I was going to finally crack this box set I’d take note of my impressions of each episode as I went from pilot to final episode and open up a discussion here on the site for what could arguably be the high water mark of genre television. Those who followed along on my run of A Movie A Day might find a twinge of familiarity with this series. I do plan on returning to A Movie A Day at some point (in fact, I have all the movies picked, each one connected to the one before like last time), but that is a much heavier undertaking and requires a bit more planning and free time. I might try some experimentation with the first few stories, but I think I’m going to break it down into articles covering three episodes apiece.

1.1 – “Where Is Everybody?”
Directed by Robert Stevens
Written by Rod Serling
Original Airdate: October 2nd, 1959

The place is here, the time is now, and the journey into the shadows that we’re about to watch could be our journey.

This pilot episode stars Earl Holliman as a man with no memory wandering a country road who comes upon a deserted diner and, later, an even more deserted town. There is evidence of population… a coffee pot bubbling on the diner stove and a burning cigar in an ashtray at the town’s police station… however no one can be found. Holliman has a tough job here as the only actor onscreen for 95% of the episode, which means a whole lot of talking to himself. But the dude is charismatic, carrying with him an everyman “aw, shucks” personality that helps bridge that gap of logic, making the leap we have to take easier. It’s nearly impossible to talk about the ins and outs of this episode without going into plot details, so fair warning if you want to keep pure. I don’t figure it’s a big deal considering it aired some 51 years ago, but if you don’t want to know, then don’t continue on. Like most Twilight Zone episodes written by Rod Serling there’s a cleverness to it, layers of detail that you don’t find in most episodic TV writing, especially of this time period. The big twist is that this town is all in his mind. He’s a pilot that has been pushed to the breaking point in isolation as his superiors look on, studying the effects of one man living alone in a small container. Turns out he’s an astronaut being trained for a one-man flight to the moon (keep in mind the moon landing happened a decade after this episode aired) and part of that training is testing his mental ability to handle the pressure of extreme isolation. At one point, thousands of hours before we jump into the story, he knew he was in a box, being observed, so when he cracks and his mind creates this open world for him a lot of that is repeated in his subconscious. For instance, there’s a moment when he hears a phone ringing and when he runs to the booth to answer it the door closes behind him, trapping him. He struggles, but can’t get out. The door opens eventually, but the iconography is repeated when he visits the police station, looking for any living person, and finds himself in a jail cell. The barred shadow of the door slowly closing causes him to panic, stopping it before it can latch shut and imprison him again. There’s also a lot of “being watched” symbology… from a stark eye on an optomitrist’s window to these “near misses” as he finds evidence of someone observing him. From the left cigar to a movie theater’s projector turning on when he’s in the seat to recently used razor and shaving cream in the jail cell. Also take note of the repeated imagery of the timer he knocks over at the beginning of the episode. He picks it up among shards of glass and when we see him hooked up to electrodes in his steel box he’s hitting a gauge with the same position of the clock arms, glass broken around it. Like I said, smart. I also found it fascinating to watch because of the different feel. This pilot episode is shot considerably better than the rest of the series, the black and white in high contrast, feeling more like a high budget Edward G. Robinson or James Cagney gangster flick than a TV show. Especially at the end of the episode when we leave Holliman’s mind and re-enter the real world. Another striking aspect is the legendary Bernard Herrmann’s score, which can be listened to on its own isolated track should you choose it (I did, in fact that’s what has been playing in the background as I compose this). It may not be as classic as his Hitchcock work, but the man knew how to put notes together. Also pay attention to the deserted town. It should look very familiar to anybody who grew up watching the BACK TO THE FUTURE movies or has taken the Universal tram tour at Universal Studios. This is the first and only TZ episode to shoot on the Universal backlot, the rest of the series being shot at either MGM or on location. Solid starter. Not as fantastic or supernatural as my personal favorite episodes, but a great 25-ish minutes of television history.

1.2 – “One for the Angels”
Directed by Robert Parrish
Written by Rod Serling
Original Airdate: October 9th, 1959

Street scene: Summer. The present. Man on a sidewalk named Lew Bookman, age sixtyish. Occupation: Pitchman. Lew Bookman, a fixture of the summer, a rather minor component to a hot July; a nondescript, commonplace little man whose life is a treadmill built out of sidewalks. In just a moment, Lew Bookman will have to concern himself with survival, because as of three o'clock this hot July afternoon he'll be stalked by Mr. Death.

This one is by far my favorite of these first three and currently ranks as one of my favorites of the series. In watching this first disc of the massive Definitive Edition set I was surprised that I hadn’t seen one of them. I knew I hadn’t seen every episode, but I was kind of shocked at how ignorant I seemingly am of this series. Hell, I didn’t recognize the first season opening credits, which lacks the famous Twilight Zone jingle and flying door. One for the Angels is one of those heart-warming Twilight Zone episodes, an anti-Tales From the Crypt in that it’s not about sticking the knife in and twisting, evil winning and the unjust coming out ahead. Optimistic is the word. The episode follows the awesome Ed Wynn (you’ll remember him as the laughing Uncle Albert who just can’t get off the ceiling in Mary Poppins) as a lonely pitchman… the type that has a suitcase that folds out into a stand and opens up so he can hock his wares on a street corner. In the opening scene we get a nod to Forbidden Planet as Wynn sells toy robots, the biggest of which is the famous Robby. Poor Wynn lives alone, has no wife, no children and, seemingly, no friends aside from the neighborhood kids whom he pampers, sneaking them toys when he gets off of work. So when a man in a black suit pops up unexpectedly in his apartment it is a considerable shock to him. And it was a shock to me, too. The man in the suit was Mayor Vaughn from JAWS, Mr. Murray Hamilton! I love that guy’s voice and his personality, but haven’t seen much of his work outside of the first two Jaws movies and the original AMITYVILLE HORROR. Of course, the man in the suit is Death alerting Wynn that he has until midnight to get his affairs in order. The bulk of the episode is Wynn pushing for clemency or at the very least a reprieve from his final deadline. These two are great together and I love that Serling wrote Death as a kind soul. Hamilton plays him as a guy doing his job… hell, he could be a repo man taking Wynn’s TV instead of his life. With a “heard it before” look on his face he allows Wynn to plea for an extension. The only consideration Wynn could possibly take advantage of is one in which Death can choose to grant a reprieve if there is a significant unfinished life goal. Wynn convinces Hamilton that he’s never had one great moment in his life. He could be satisfied and ready to move on if he could have one fantastic pitch. A pitch that would make the heavens open up, he says… “One for the Angels.” This moves Hamilton and he agrees. Of course, Wynn does what most of us would do… he shows Death to the door and then pretty much goes, “Gotcha, bitch! I’m never going to pitch anything again!” Now, this is Death, so that probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but it’s a Death who honors his word. However, he can’t return without someone filling in for Wynn. That someone is one of the kids in the neighborhood, a particularly cute little girl that Wynn has a fatherly connection to. Wynn immediately tries to take her place, but Death is bound by the deal and unless Wynn can give the best pitch of his life, one that will open up the heavens and be one for the angels, then the girl will be taken at the stroke of midnight. I loved the pacing of this episode and the players involved. I loved Death played as a kind man, Hamilton putting real caring behind his eyes. I love that Wynn goes from pleading to trickery to gloating to selfless sacrifice, finding it within him to be great for the sake of an innocent. Serling does better character work in his script for a 25 minute television show than most modern day screenwriters can pull off in a 2 hour long movie. This is an all around fantastic episode, one I’m glad I took the time to discover.

1.3 – “Mr. Denton on Doomsday”
Directed by Allen Reisner
Written by Rod Serling
Original Airdate: October 16th, 1959

Portrait of a town drunk named Al Denton. This is a man who has begun his dying early; a long agonizing route through a maze of bottles. Al Denton, who would probably give an arm or a leg or a part of his soul to have another chance, to be able to rise up and shake the dirt from his body and the bad dreams that infest his consciousness. In the parlance of the times, this is a peddler, a rather fanciful-looking little man in a black frock coat. And this is the third principal character of our story. Its function? Perhaps to give Mister Al Denton his second chance.

According to Martin Landau’s commentary on this episode this was the second Twilight Zone episode shot, but the third aired. That feels right as this episode is much more in tone with “Where Is Everybody?” As you can probably tell from Serling’s introduction above this is one of the “Second Chance” stories where fate steps in (and in this case literally steps in) and gives a down-on-his-luck a chance to pull himself up. In this episode it’s Dan Duryea (a great noir star from flicks like SCARLET STREET and CRISS CROSS) the town drunk in this old west-set tale. We first meet him as he begs for booze from the town bully… in a film this role would have been played by Lee Marvin. Here it is played by one of my favorite character actors Martin Landau. It’s a scene right out of RIO BRAVO (which came out this very same year, by the way) and a traveling salesman with the curious name of Henry J. Fate (Malcolm Atterbury) takes pity on him, seeming to summon a Colt .45 revolver and manipulate it like a Jedi in the astonished drunk’s hand. Duryea doesn’t kill Landau, but stands up to him, putting the bully in his place and regaining a shred of dignity, but also regaining his previous reputation as a fast gun, which draws other men wanting to prove themselves in a quick draw. Mel Brooks has a lot to answer for because Duryea’s backstory is almost word for word the backstory for Gene Wilder’s The Waco Kid in BLAZING SADDLES… minus the young kid shooting him in the ass. But a famous gunslinger that is challenged on a daily basis until finally a young teen shows up and falls before his guns causing the gunslinger to trade in his pistol for a bottle… yeah, pretty close there, Mr. Brooks. Of course Duryea is challenged to a showdown by an eager young gun (an early appearance by ‘70s cheese-movie star Doug McClure), but without Mr. Fate’s help he’s as good as dead. Fate steps in once more before the big showdown and offers up an elixir that, for 10 seconds, will make the drinker the fastest gun in the world. When McClure shows up, Duryea drinks and turns to see McClure downing his own elixir. Again, if this was an EC Comics story or something more cynical this situation would end horribly, but there’s an optimism in these early episodes that is clear and the episode ends just as it needs to; fate helping not just the town drunk find some control and purpose, but also the young hotshot learn that there’s more to life than killing. Of the first three this episode is my least favorite, but that’s not a slam against it. The performances are great, the message is solid and it’s really fun to watch however it falls short of the layered intricacy of “Where Is Everybody?” and the fantastic character work and storytelling of “One for the Angels.” How do you guys like this so far? I can’t promise much, but the initial idea is to run through every episode and recount them here with my thoughts. There are 156 episodes. At this rate that would equal 52 articles, which is a lot of my yammering. If you guys dig it, I’ll keep it up. If you have any thoughts, good or bad, let me know! Either way I’m determined to watch all these Twilight Zones. Who knows, if this column takes off I may follow it up with a similar run of articles the ‘80s Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents. -Quint Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • May 2, 2010, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Night Gallery, Quint...

    by ErnestBorgNine

    it's pretty good, too. There's an episode about an earwig that is pretty great.

  • May 2, 2010, 3:24 a.m. CST

    One of the greatest TV shows of all time...

    by Powerring

    The best stories, the best writing...period. Rod Serling was a genius.

  • May 2, 2010, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Arguably the GREATEST show of all time

    by Mariusz

    I know it's a ballsy statement, but it's my opinion. I love Twilight Zone. This was Serling at his writing peak - no one came close to his brilliance. This is a true gem of a show that was so ahead of its time. There's nothing on TV today that can hold a candle to this masterpiece of a show.

  • May 2, 2010, 3:38 a.m. CST

    The Zone and the shivers

    by Fremen

    Hell, I'm about to be 39 years old and I still get the shivers when I hear the iconic theme music. A lot of these are best watched at night, but I have a hard time doing it. I've been DVR'ing these from SyFy late at night lately. Thanks for this, Quint.

  • May 2, 2010, 3:46 a.m. CST

    absolutely the best show ever

    by mr teaspoon

  • May 2, 2010, 3:57 a.m. CST

    Great new series, Quint!

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    I bought this set a while back, but I didn't start in order (I've just been watching my favorites). I think I will have to do so now so I can keep up with you! <p> Also, if you're interested, here's two great books I got that details all of the episodes. They make for a great companion guides while watching. <p> The Twilight Zone Companion - <p> The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic -

  • May 2, 2010, 4:32 a.m. CST

    What is the Twilight Zone supposed to be anyway?

    by Ronald Raygun

    Since we're on the topic, it's something I've always wondered. Is it an actual alternate dimension that people get trapped in, or is it a god-like force that dishes out ironic justice to cruel and negligant people? Or is it just a collection of science fiction/horror stories collected under the title "Twilight Zone"?

  • May 2, 2010, 4:42 a.m. CST

    Well dome Quint!

    by echobase

    I really hope this is going to become a recurrent feature Quint. I love the TZ (my favorite episode is "time enough at last!")

  • May 2, 2010, 4:44 a.m. CST

    ops.. mispelt... I meant "well done Quint!"

    by echobase


  • May 2, 2010, 4:51 a.m. CST

    Nice one Quint.

    by alan_poon

    It's your party, it's your charter.

  • May 2, 2010, 4:52 a.m. CST

    What is The Twilight Zone? It's...

    by Jinxo

    ... the name of a TV series (three, actually). Beyond that there isn't a set and defined entity named "The Twilight Zone" in the series. Just, basically, if life take a hard left turn into the weird and impossible, you are in the Twilight Zone.<br><br> Love the idea, Quint. Big fan of TZ. Even a fan of the 80s Zone which had a lot of missteps but also some great moments too. Watching the DVDs for that show I loved the producers explaining how the 80s Zone got really good ratings... until they did the episode where they murdered a cute moppet and brought a nightmare version fo Viet Nam to a charming diner with all hell breaking loose. Funny, that was one of my favorite episodes. Hehehe.<br><br> I do see one possible worry with this series of articles though. Quite a number of Twilight Zone episodes (almost all of them) are built with the idea of a surprise twist to he story. When I was a kid I went TZ nuts and spoiled every ep for myself by devouring the Twilight Zone Companion episode guide. My concern is that while you are wonderfully pointing potential new viewers to the show, based on this first article you'll also be doing a lot of spoiling. Not sure how you can avoid that but that fact did jump to mind.

  • May 2, 2010, 4:56 a.m. CST

    My Favorite Moment With TZ

    by Jinxo

    Back in the day, some friends and I pitched in to buy TZ on VHS from the Columbia House Video Club. Every month we sit down to watch the newest tape. I knew all the episodes and I assumed my friends new the twists to the more famous episodes. So then we sit down to watch Time Enough At Last. The final ironic twist comes and my one friend... he just stars HOWLING with laughter. For like three minutes. It was just such a petty cruel twist it killed him. Then the rest of us started laughing just because we were so shocked by his reaction.

  • May 2, 2010, 5:22 a.m. CST

    My all-time favourite TV series!

    by RobinP

    I assume this is the collected version of the box sets I was buying two or three years ago. Lovingly restored with some very nice added features. What is the Twilight Zone, guys? It's a state of mind. A TZ story can happen any time anywhere, hence there are war stories, westerns, some romance, sci-fi, horror fantasy. Some are pretty heavy, others are pleasanly whimsical. Basically there's a TZ tale for every mood or state of mind. They are, in my mind the embodiment of timeless classics.

  • May 2, 2010, 5:30 a.m. CST

    Favorite episode: Shadow Play.

    by Kevin Holsinger

    Guy on Death Row claims that the world around him is nothing more than a recurring nightmare that ends with his execution.<P>I have to thank all those 24-hour marathons on the old WB and Sci-Fi Channel for getting me into this show.

  • May 2, 2010, 5:51 a.m. CST

    Among the many good things about TZ...

    by Rocco Curioso

    maybe the best is that even though it ran from 1959 to 1964, very little of it feels dated. Sterling be praised eternally for knowing how to tap into a great many archetypal human fears.<P>Have at it, Quint. Go the distance with this one, and don't forget "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet". Bill Shatner vs. the gremlin was both spooky and an undeniable hoot!

  • May 2, 2010, 5:53 a.m. CST

    I was just gonna rant at quint

    by Fisher209

    I was just about to write a piece to slag this column off, as a massive fan of TZ I dont feel the need for it. It spoils TZ for the un-initiated and re-iterates what the ardent fan knows..... BUT THEN ITS TWILIGHT ZONE and ITS FUCKING COOL! keep up the good work. If it gets one person to download it or buy it and experience the best and most influential show ever. YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED

  • May 2, 2010, 5:57 a.m. CST

    personal fave

    by Fisher209

    The monsters are due on Maple Street

  • May 2, 2010, 6:08 a.m. CST

    One of the overlooked episodes

    by Powerring

    depicts a man and his hound dog drowning while raccon hunting. He wanders in limbo (not realizing he is dead even though everyone else does.) He wanders to what we assume is a manifestation of the pearly gate and st Peter. The "St Peter" says there is no coon hunting here and no dogs allowed. He offers to walk the dog down the road to eternity to the "dog heaven". The dog starts barking at him, and his owner just decides to take him down the other path. The real St Peter meets him and says "The huntings fine, your dog can come in too. Your wife will be along soon." The dog had saved him from accidentally going into hell because he smelled the brimstone. "Lucky you had that dog with you..."

  • May 2, 2010, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Good idea for a series of articles, but I can't

    by V'Shael

    see you sticking to it dude. You'll probably take a break at the end of season 1 or 2, then never get back to it.

  • May 2, 2010, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Awesome idea, Quint

    by ballyhoo

    Keep it up. And check a book called the Twilight Zone Companion. I examines everything TZ, and gives analysis and production info.

  • May 2, 2010, 6:26 a.m. CST

    Great stuff

    by mojoman69

    WIth some of the best writers, Bradbury, Ellison, MAtheson, and of course Serling, who EVER wrote for TV.

  • May 2, 2010, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Be nice if Quint did this for Outer Limits as well....

    by mojoman69

  • May 2, 2010, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Keep it up Quint

    by TheSeeker7

    I read every damn word of this article,and enjoyed doing so. I love love LOVE me some TZ, I own this definitive boxed set myself, and there's still a slew of episodes I haven't watched (& speaking of AH Presents, I own season 1 of that as well, have viewed probably about half of it).

  • May 2, 2010, 6:52 a.m. CST

    Great show, question about episode title

    by ndally

    One of the best episodes to a show ive ever seen. I don't know the titles of the episode but it's the one where the people in this small town think a nuclear bomb is going to go off and this one guy and his family are the only ones in the neighbourhood with a bomb shelter so he takes his family in and locks the door on the rest of the town folk. Now the towns people get a mob mentalilty and start going insane resulting in a few deaths and then we fnd out the nuclear bomb scare was a test and not real. Damn anyone know what the title of this episode is called? It has some of the very best writing/acting that I've ever witnessed. Best episode ever. Anyone with the title would be a great help. thanks

  • May 2, 2010, 7:09 a.m. CST

    "Everybody" favorite of these three

    by psychedelic

    I watched the entire First Season of the definitive collection a couple years ago so I'm certainly curious to see your reactions. I haven't cracked the Second season yet though it's on a more immediate "to watch" stack. I'd concentrate on the first season before committing to the entire series up front. See how everybody feels at that point. The Twilight Zone is one of the few series worthy of a modern day episode by episode review. It's a great idea.<p> Of these three episodes, "Where Is Everybody?" is my favorite. The creepy mood of stillness and isolation is very effective. I basically agree with the positive things you say. Having the pilot show of a series being one guy alone talking to himself is very daring. Maybe only Serling could have pulled it off with flying colors.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Awesome. Keep it up

    by Crow3711

    Shockingly I've seen all three of these before. Had no idea they were the first three ever. Keep it up!

  • May 2, 2010, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Outstanding, Quint!

    by freerangecelt

    Great article!

  • May 2, 2010, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Bad Zone

    by Jinxo

    Actually, it just occurred to me that I can't wait to see Quint's take on what, to me, are the two most enjoyably flawed episodes. First, Mute, which has a Bizzaro World version of a happy ending. Just everything with the ending is creepy and bad but they really try and sell it as a happy happy ending with no irony to it at all. The other is... I think it's Little Girl Lost. Mostly good but one of the funniest cut-to-the-chase starts ever. Couple discovers their daughter is not in her room but they can still hear her. Almost instantly the dad says, "Well lets check X, Y and Z but,,, you know what? Our next door neighbor is a scientist. We should bring him over just in case maybe she rolled out of bed and into a parallel dimension." I know they just needed to get to the meat of the story fast but... what kind of parent jumps right to THAT as a possibility when their kid is missing for 5 minutes? What parent would EVER jump to that being possible at all. So crazy bad I actually enjoy it. I laugh every time.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:38 a.m. CST

    First season coming out on Blu-Ray soon

    by ManOfOrange

    You can already pre-order it on $70.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Opening monologue

    by ME_M

    Please keep the opening Serling speech for each episode. Poetic language, makes me want to read a Bradbury story.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:48 a.m. CST

    creepiest episode

    by vin_diggler

    is the one were the old lady keeps getting phone calls in the middle of the night. The calls are just random groans and moaning. She freaks out and tells the caller to leave her alone. The next morning she goes to her husbands grave and finds a phone line had fallen onto his grave and it was her dead husband trying to call her. That one really creeped me out as a kid.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:50 a.m. CST

    One of the best ever purchases I've made from Amazon

    by SoylentMean

    The only gripe is that you can't watch all the episodes straight through, unless I'm missing something. <P> When I see people watching shit like reality television or drivel like NCIS, I like to remind them that scripted shows used to be king, and scripted shows used to be awesome.<P> The Twilight Zone was definitely one of the awesome ones.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:51 a.m. CST

    In a similar boat myself

    by RenoNevada2000

    Saw a grabbag of episodes as a kid growing up, but I've never sat down and worked through the whole thing start to finish. I just may now. (Off to Netflix.)

  • May 2, 2010, 7:53 a.m. CST

    To Serve Man...

    by RenoNevada2000

    I remember the first time I saw this episode as a kid. I must have been about 11 or so. My younger brother and I were up WAY past bed time and when that last 30 seconds hit, well, there was no sleeping that night.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:56 a.m. CST

    First season on blu-ray for $70? F that noise

    by SoylentMean

    I just bought the whole set, on DVD, for just over $100. I think I'll wait until the whole series hits blu, and then I'll think about upgrading.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:06 a.m. CST

    The nuclear bomb/shelter episode is...

    by Gislef_crow

    ..."The Shelter." Jack Albertson from Willy Wonka and Chico and the Man is in it. Nobody dies in it. It's not really that good an episode, IMO. Characters alternate back and forth between objecting to becoming a mob, and then turning around and joining the mob. It's essentially a non-fantastic/sf version of the much superior "Monsters Are Due on Maple Street."<p> As for "One for the Angels," it's a sweet episode, but even Wynn conceded that he was miscast for the part, and he was right. They wanted a fast-speaking salesman, and Wynn didn't feel his somewhat lisping, slow-pitched cadence was right for the part.<p> "Mr. Denton" is arguably a stronger one. For one thing, the opening sequence is painful to watch, with the Denton actor able to perfectly portray a man who has reached rock bottom. It's pretty much a classic Western other than the unexplained Fate element. And Serling revisited the genre a few times: it seemed to be a favorite period of his.<p> As far as doing the entire series, unfortunately that means you have to do the fifth season, where there are a number of dogs. When Serling was good, he was very very good. When he was bad, trying to push around 2-dimensional characters just to spout a message (and "The Shelter" is one such episode, although season 2 or 3), he was very very bad.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:20 a.m. CST

    in Italian...

    by echobase

    ... the series is called "At the edges (or borders) of reality"

  • May 2, 2010, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Keep it coming!

    by Happy Killmore

    Love this show!!! This will be a great way to revisit the series.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:26 a.m. CST

    This has to be less daunting than AMAD

    by SoylentMean

    Maybe spending an hour, hour and a half on a few episodes, that you can split up throughout the day is probably easier to do than to set aside a two hour block to watch a film. If this is regular I'll keep checking in.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Lovely series. Count me in.

    by onezeroone

    Am going to start a marathon of my own and compare my impressions with yours and of other TBers.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Oh, and please follow up with Alfred Hitchcock Presents

    by SoylentMean

    If you do manage to get through all of these Twilight Zone episodes I'd imagine you'd be a little burnt out on TZ.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:42 a.m. CST

    What is the Twilight Zone? My take on it is. . .

    by Ingeld

    Twilight is of course the line between night and day. Human beings have always found that the lines, the moments or places that separate things (liminality) to be the scariest as they raise the most uncertainty. Transitions make us anxious, in general. In life we mark those points with rituals in order to get the favor of God or the gods--baptism, confirmation/bar mitzvah, marriage,last rites, etc. Our everyday superstitions also relate to this liminality. 12 midnight is the witching hour. The days that mark the seasonal changes have rituals or traditions related to the breakdowns of lines that separate. New years eve has lots of superstitions too. Thus the Twilight Zone as a series explored those lines and many others--the line between sanity and insanity, reality and fantasy, life and death, etc. etc. The zone then is the place where all of it possible the imagination in which there does not have to be any lines to separate anything. It was a great show and I think it will stand the long test of time as a classic. My favorite episode? The Monsters are Due on Maple Street.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:47 a.m. CST

    When The Sky Was Opened.

    by Human_Bean_Juice_


  • May 2, 2010, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Such a unique show...

    by yubnubrocks

    I wish there were still anthology shows on TV like this. It seemed like a great place for writers, directors, actors, etc. to get started. Screw the mythology shows!

  • May 2, 2010, 8:50 a.m. CST

    The Twilight Zone was

    by iakobos

    so far ahead of its time, no one will ever be able to catch up. Rod Serling was amazing. Good article Quint.

  • May 2, 2010, 9:03 a.m. CST

    What does Brooks have to answer for, Quint?

    by OutsideChance

    He made no secret that Blazing Saddles was a parody where he borrowed bits from various classic sources (Madeline Kahn doing Marlene Dietrich from Destry Rides Again being the most obvious example).

  • May 2, 2010, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Keep it up

    by Dollar Bird

  • May 2, 2010, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Keep it up

    by Dollar Bird

  • May 2, 2010, 9:13 a.m. CST

    what the?

    by Dollar Bird

    Double blank post? Sorry guys. Anyways...keep it up, Quint. I love the show—perhaps my favorite show of all. It's fun to revisit the series with someone who may be seeing things with fresher eyes than mine.

  • May 2, 2010, 9:37 a.m. CST

    To serve man

    by David Cloverfield

    God, I love that ep for all of it's silliness.

  • May 2, 2010, 9:44 a.m. CST

    My two cents...keep it going!

    by SupermanIsMyGod

    Whenever there's a marathon on Sci-Fi, like Thanksgiving or whatnot, you can find me in front of a TV. I love love LOVE the Twilight Zone, and this is a superb idea.

  • May 2, 2010, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Yes Quint, please keep it up!

    by g0dai

    Great article!

  • May 2, 2010, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Little Girl Lost ...

    by MasterShake

    is the TZ episode that creeped me out the most as a kid. It had me touching the walls of my room looking for invisible openings for a month. It definitly inspired Poltergeist.

  • May 2, 2010, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Hopefully Netflix will have the BluRays

    by Simpsonian

    Would like to revisit these. My wife hasn't seen hardly any episodes.

  • May 2, 2010, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Best TV Series of all time...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    Rod Serling is a personal hero of mine. Anyhoo, nice to see a column devoted to the Zone...of the three reviewed here, "Where is Everybody" would be my favorite. A great start to a great show.

  • May 2, 2010, 10:14 a.m. CST


    by L.H.Puttgrass

    Good point, sir. <p> After Poltergeist, Speilberg was involved in something called, "Twilight Zone: the Movie". <p> It may just be a coincidence though...

  • May 2, 2010, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Keep it up quint

    by Six Demon Bag

    Always liked your series of reviews

  • May 2, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST


    by RobinP

    I know the one you mean. I don't want to sound like a patronising a-hole, but it was called "The Shelter".

  • May 2, 2010, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Love the Zone! Great stuff Quint.

    by Raymar

    Always thought "Fear Itself" was underrated.

  • May 2, 2010, 11:20 a.m. CST

    To the current owners of the box set

    by INWOsuxRED

    I've pretty much given up on buying physical media, but this is something I'd like. What do you folks think of the extras on here? I'd love to listen to the commentary on some of these. I find it hard to do anything but watch TV on holidays when scifi runs the marathons.

  • May 2, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST

    The extras on the complete set vary...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    some are illuminating, some rather uninteresting. Depends on the episode. But overall, it's definitely a worthwhile buy.

  • May 2, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Great idea, Quint

    by CherryValance

    I think you should definitely keep these up. I love TZ but never bought any of the DVDs. So I'm sure I missed some but I've seen most of the ones that have been on TV. Out of these three I like "Where is Everybody?" by far. I never liked "One for the Angels", too cute for me. And as much as I love Dan Duryea (watch BLACK ANGEL) I don't really like any of the western themed TZs, except for the one with Lee Marvin oddly enough. "Where is Everybody?" is such a great pilot because it really sets the bar and makes you feel what the entire series is going to be. It's definitely in the running for all-time best pilot episodes.

  • May 2, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST

    I dig it very much.

    by Larry of Arabia

    This reminds me of what they do over at the AVClub's TV section, and it has the same high quality of writing. Great work.

  • May 2, 2010, 11:53 a.m. CST

    The single greatest TV series of all time.

    by GiveMeAnFinBreak

    Anybody who disagrees with this statement is obviously too hopelessly dense to ever be taken seriously, anyway.

  • May 2, 2010, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Somebody on Amazon nailed this...

    by matineer

    In my opinion by describing TZ in their review as having filmed the plots of most good sci-fi fantasy films not only earlier but better. I don't own the set but always watch them on sci-fi when possible. TZ never gets old.

  • May 2, 2010, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Great work! Keep it going!

    by Ang_Lee

    If I stumble upon a Twilight Zone episode I can't help but watch it. VERY VERY creepy watching as a kid. Nothing comes close to "atmosphere" of 'da zone!

  • May 2, 2010, 12:21 p.m. CST

    What about the original pilot?

    by berserkrl

    "The Time Element" isn't on the dvd set, but it's (arguably) the real pilot for Twilight Zone:<p> <p> (remove spaces if any)

  • May 2, 2010, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Next stop...

    by VENOM69


  • May 2, 2010, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Yep, Time Element is interesting...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    Not Serling's best, but still would have made a good "real" episode in the show (I guess in the 4th season, since it's an hour long)...

  • May 2, 2010, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Keep it up as best you can, Quint.

    by GOB Adama

  • May 2, 2010, 12:59 p.m. CST

    An utterly brilliant show, superlative in all respects

    by kevred

    And one of the greatest things about it is that it's a product of real *craft*. Excellent actors doing their best work, wonderful sets and lighting and costumes, all-time-classic writing, and consistently terrific music.<p>There's no faking it in the Twilight Zone. Each episode is like a play, depending entirely on the actors, writers, and creators of setting and mood. These days, almost all of TV is crammed with distracting graphics, moody barely-acting by generic young models, and tired cliches.<p>The Twilight Zone always has been, and always will be, the real deal.

  • May 2, 2010, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Still miss AMAD, this is a good substitute

    by GoDFaDDa42

  • May 2, 2010, 1:27 p.m. CST

    i would say after this do Night Gallery, TZ 80s,

    by rben

    Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and maybe x-files (although not an anthology, it had that feel.) I've also been debating getting the box set for Man from UNCLE. A bit pricey (130) but you get all 4 seasons and this show is never re-run for some reason except for the spliced together "movies". Not to get off topic but is UNCLE dated or is it still enjoyable. i'm 52 and can barely remember it. oh, and this TZ column is awesome. most excellent idea! keep it going! it's better than most of the hollywood dreck we keep getting these days....

  • May 2, 2010, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Easily one of the best shows ever produced

    by Geekgasm

    ... in the history of the medium. And despite being 50 years old, it is endlessly rewatchable. For the overwhelming part, beautifully shot, great passionate performances by great character actors of the caliber you don't see on television anymore, and the thread running through it all - Rod Serling's clear-as-a-bell literary voice, sounding the call for decency, morality, and the eternal worth of the human soul and value of individual liberty. One of the absolute greats. Nothing has touched it since.

  • May 2, 2010, 1:58 p.m. CST


    by NoahTall

    There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension where evil sparkles like a disco ball. It is the middle ground between pedophilia and necrophilia, between pale anorexics and buff doggies, and it lies between the pit of Hollywood's slushpile and the summit of it's exploitation. This is the dimension without imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Movie Zone.

  • May 2, 2010, 2:12 p.m. CST

    "Submitted for your approval..." ya got mine!

    by dihay

    Would love to go thru this series here.

  • May 2, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Oh great, another Twilight review

    by seppukudkurosawa

    The only reason I can think of as to why AICN is posting all these Twilight articles is that there's a lot of creepy middle-aged men in AICN's audience who need to know what movies to see in order to sit in a room full of tweenaged girls.<p> This is a geek site! Why not post more articles on smart sci-fi stuff?

  • May 2, 2010, 2:25 p.m. CST

    New best thing on the site

    by ROBRAM89

    I like the regular columns. Not enough of that lately.

  • May 2, 2010, 2:36 p.m. CST

    My favorite---Room 22

    by Sw0rdfish

    A hospital patient wakes in the middle of the night. She hears footsteps and, looking in the hallway, she sees the elevator doors close on a nurse. She follows her to the basement, sees the door to the morgue open, and the nurse looks out--Room for one more, honey...

  • May 2, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST


    by Sw0rdfish

    THAT's the name of the episode. With Jonathan Harris as the doctor!

  • May 2, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST

    The first ep. I saw was the Living Car one

    by gmanca

    Saw it as a kid and loved it; great precursor to Christine but in a different way. The only good thing about SyFy is the marathon on New Year's.

  • May 2, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Keep it up Quint! Twenty-Two ep was shot on videotape

    by Tacom

    It felt like they made it yesterday when I first watched it.

  • May 2, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Keep going, Quint!

    by KingNineReturns

    This is a great article. Your writing is miles ahead of other writers on this site. You should keep track of which eps are your favorite and perhaps compile a Top 10 list when you're through.

  • May 2, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST

    my favorite thing about New Years day

    by MuddyMudskipper

    Twilight Zone marathon, possibly the greatest show ever. Love it

  • May 2, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Taught suspense...

    by Powerring

    Notice a lot of the TZ sequels and clones plod through an hour to tell a story. Feels like draggy filler. The original TZ remained compact, efficient and taught--telling a tale in under 30 minutes.

  • May 2, 2010, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Excellent! But with the 1st edition TZ dvds,

    by TronBurgundy will be harder to keep up, as the episodes are all out of sequence across 40+ discs, but I'll be fun trying because I am a massive fan of the show. So can you link the pages like you did for AMAD? Nice one sunshine.

  • May 2, 2010, 4:31 p.m. CST

    seppukudkurosawa, I hope you're joking...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    because if not, you have the awareness level of a fucking bug.

  • May 2, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Fire herc

    by Gogo Bananas

    Put Quint on Coaxial.

  • May 2, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    What the Twilight Zone IS...

    by tailhook

    Its creative writing outside the norm. Those stories which man can dream up. Thats why at the start it says its a dimenion not of sight and sound, but of mind. Normal characters put in fantastic situations of which the resolution is often grim.

  • May 2, 2010, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Thanks for doing this Quint...

    by carlotta_valdes

    ...this is my favorite all time show and it's always fun to read new perspectives on this ground breaking genre material still relevant plus 50 years after it's start. It sounds as if you're gonna experience some of these for the first time...for that I'm jealous cause the quality of this ride is so high and the success ratio was pretty impressive. I'd say 75% are great-good, while the remaining one's still offer something visually interesting. Looking forward to these reviews.

  • May 2, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST

    My favorite TZ ep:

    by ballyhoo

    Number 12 Looks Just Like You. It's kind of a companion piece to Eye Of the Beholder. But I like Number 12 more, because when the heroine loses, it's really sad and affecting.

  • May 2, 2010, 5:28 p.m. CST


    by carlotta_valdes

    The ONLY thing that robs the extra features from perfection are the absence of William Shatner commentary on his two episodes 'Nick of Time' and the classic' Nightmare at 20,000 Feet'. I'm sure they many surviving stars from the show gave their two cents on the commentary tracks. Shatner probably wanted too much money (shame). Among the great writers on this show I don't think anybody mentioned the work of Charles Beaumont (Perchance to Dream, Howling Man, Number Twelve Looks Just Like You). Poor health caused some of his later shows to be ghost written by friends, but he was on par with Serling and Matheson in defining the tone of the show. Great short fiction writer as well whose books are still easily available.

  • May 2, 2010, 5:28 p.m. CST

    good job quint

    by phoenixmagida5th

    Also can you please take over coaxial? Herc blows.

  • May 2, 2010, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Love it Quint

    by Bloo

    keep it up! TZ is one of those great slices of chicken fried television, that only gets better and better

  • May 2, 2010, 6:08 p.m. CST

    If you don't know I'm joking

    by seppukudkurosawa

    You have the awareness level of a slightly larger bug. Let's say one of those really big Amazonian beetles.<p> I love the Twilight Zone. Episode after episode it flipped reality on its head and made us look at the real world with a whole new set of eyes. Serling bled himself dry for that series.

  • May 2, 2010, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to the continued Article Series

    by merlin1958

    Great Job and one of my all-time favorite shows!!!!! Keep up the great work!!

  • May 2, 2010, 6:35 p.m. CST

    looks like Quint fucked himself out of the blurays

    by BillboeFett

    that are coming, complete w/ brand new commentaries

  • May 2, 2010, 7:09 p.m. CST

    I have seen every Twilight Zone episode.

    by Dharma4

    True fact.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Well, it's impossible to tell on the internet...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    and this site in particular. Every five minutes you stumble upon someone who has no idea what's going on!

  • May 2, 2010, 7:33 p.m. CST

    "To Serve''s a tennis manual!"

    by Greggers

  • May 2, 2010, 7:36 p.m. CST


    by Quint

    Guess that's a yes vote on this series. I can't promise they'll be daily, like the AMADs, but I'll put a priority on it to keep it regular, at least 2 articles a week.<BR><BR>As far as the Blus... well, at $70 per season that's $350. I'm fine with the DVD up-res until those prices drop.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Keep going il the end!

    by Odkin

    Every wannabe writer needs to sit down and watch every episode of TZ. These are stories told to perfection. They aren't about modern mopey performances and sloppy photography and overemphasis on effects. They are timeless fables about the heart and souls of mostly normal people in extraordinary circumstances. There's no agnst, no "This Ends Now!" teenage bullshit dialogue. The characters are mostly grown-ups with real jobs and normal lives. No sustained series has EVER been written better. Serling was a real writer, educated in the classics. Todays's writers learned everything they know from third generation rip-offs of other TV shows.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Nice job Quint

    by UCB Agent1

    I look forward to the rest of these.

  • May 2, 2010, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Long over due idea

    by Khan Singh

    I love it, don't stop! I have always loved Rod Serling's work. Writers today could learn a lot from his work and your reviews. PLEASE do Night Gallery next.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST

    $152 is still too much for me.

    by jimbojones123

    I would LOVE this collection though. Maybe in another year.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Other Ed Wynn episode

    by jimbojones123

    I have seen the one where his life continues as long as the grandfather clock is wound. Ed owns every second he is on screen.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:29 p.m. CST


    by TehCreepyThinMan

    Their work had such an overwhelming love for humanity but they also knew how dark we could be to each other. You owe it to youself to check out all of Serling's work and, if you haven't, seek out Chayefsky's The Hospital, starring George C. Scott. I loved it almost as much as Network which, btw, is my favorite movie of the 70's and, IMHO, the most important film of that era.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Deja Vu

    by bah

    Let us know when you start getting deja vu. I'm never sure if it's because I've seen the episode before or if another episode has the exact same plot twist. Maybe you could keep a running tally of the more common ones, like "Already Dead (includes being in Hell)", "That Guy Was Really God/Satan/an alien", and "It Was Earth All Along"

  • May 2, 2010, 8:32 p.m. CST


    by TehCreepyThinMan

    Hard to say which is my favorite episode. There are soo many masterpiece's. If I had to choose, I'd say that Five Characters in Search of an Exit holds special meaning for me.

  • May 2, 2010, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Quint yes continue with this series of reviews

    by ominus

    great idea mate

  • May 2, 2010, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Will read this, yes

    by nemoiam

    And darn I wish I jumped at that gold box price.

  • May 2, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST

    Twilight Zone Should Be Required Viewing

    by Acquanetta

    That is all.

  • May 2, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST

    I just recently rewatched the series

    by pj_campbell90

    Got it from Amazons Gold Box Pick and it was one of the best buys I could have ever made. Money well spent I think. Love everything about this show, glad to see you doing this column Quint

  • May 2, 2010, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Love the twilight zone and think this series is a great idea

    by Schuler_Bub

    I used to watch them when I was a student in Belfast a few years ago, me and a mate used to stay up to about 4am just to watch them. Finally got them all last year and planned to watch them but have only managed around 50 eps so far. I think this series will be a great way to finally watch them all. A few highlight episodes for me: next stop willoughby penny for your thoughts time enough at last maple street eye of the beholder the mirror(can't remember exact title but columbo is essentially Castro)

  • May 2, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST

    In the distant future

    by Ingeld

    The Twilight Zone series will be required viewing for understanding the history, culture, values, and general mind set of the mid 20th century.

  • May 2, 2010, 10:23 p.m. CST

    To Blu or not to Blu

    by joe90025

    I'll definitely buy the TZ Blu-rays if they look anything like the Seventh Seal Blu. Unfortunate that the handful of episodes shot on video will still look horrible (eg, the kid who talks to his dead grandma, the nurse who says "Room for one more, Honey")

  • May 2, 2010, 10:28 p.m. CST

    brilliant idea

    by frank cotton

    now i can find out which ones i missed (seen a boatload of them). always liked the hot/cold episode. also a fan of OUTER LIMITS and ONE STEP BEYOND (awesome name). still hard to believe they ever let TZ on the air

  • May 2, 2010, 10:56 p.m. CST

    nobody is gonna say stop!

    by Seph_J

    keep it up! good idea. And yes, certainly to the Hitchcocks afterwards! Theres quite a few of them too though!

  • May 2, 2010, 11:03 p.m. CST


    by thegreatwhatzit

    is a classic episode, indispensable for Christmas. Art Carney, as an intoxicated Santa, deserved an Emmy. The ending (always) shamefully prompts me to wipe an eye. The remake, with its souped-up FX, was dreadful.

  • May 2, 2010, 11:07 p.m. CST

    by paulloch

  • May 2, 2010, 11:19 p.m. CST

    I loved seeing stars before they were stars

    by paulloch

    There's really no show today or recently like that which showcases future talent, like Redford, Marvin, Bronson, Shatner, Landau, Falk, etc. Will Syfy get rid of the TZ marathons for wrestling marathons?

  • May 2, 2010, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Way to go, Quint!!

    by Gilkuliehe

    This just became my favorite Internet read. I've been obssessing over TZ and anthology series for a while now. Been jumping between this, the 80's TZ, Outer Limits and even Tales from the Darkside. These fuckin' series are my childhood, and TZ is the best of them all. Also, has anyone seen THE SCARY DOOR? It's Futurama's spoof of the TZ, and it's hilarious. Anyway, keep it up, Quint!

  • May 2, 2010, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Man this takes me back!

    by Tim Tringle

    Late nights on Saturday or Sunday staying up way too late and catching the Twilight Zone on Channel 11 back in New York. This was the show that originally blew minds with the WTF moments that are now emulated in shows like Lost etc. God I love this show and need to buy it on Amazon the next time it's cheap. Great column Quint keep it up.

  • May 2, 2010, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Keep 'em coming Quint!

    by chrismata

    I loved reading your take on the early episodes. Thanks!

  • May 2, 2010, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Not sure if it's been mentioned "AMAZON $29.00"

    by Tim Tringle

    first two seasons of the Definitive Editions are only $30 over at Amazon RIGHT NOW!!!

  • May 2, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Gislef_crow I think both you and Wynn may have missed it

    by Tim Tringle

    The whole point I always felt is that while he thought of himself as a pitchman he was never the best, never the consumate. But when the chips fell not only did he get out of being taken by death, he had to one up himself to do it again to save the little girl. I think Wynn being who he was made it more poignant for the fact that he did not fit anybody's cookie cutout of the flimflam salesman etc.

  • May 2, 2010, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Agree with Rocco, these still feel fresh today

    by Tim Tringle

    While some of the settings will seem so Twin Peaks in their late 50's styling, the stories themselves are so amazingly clear and well defined. This is brutally streamlined story telling at it's best in television's long history. But the amazing thing is that some of the stories can be plucked out of that time and just redone today. It's a shame that when we do remakes today we feel that we have to change it. Stories like the Monsters on Main (Elm?) street have been redone and I believe in one of the latest incarnations they used terrorists as the scapegoat group instead of aliens or commies. These are the types of stories that people have been gathering around campfires telling each other since the dawn of man and have creeped into our collective unconscious. Brilliant series and so ahead of it's time.

  • May 2, 2010, 11:54 p.m. CST

    +1000 to Gilkuliehe for the Scary Door reference

    by Tim Tringle

    One of the funniest spoofs of the twilight zone stuffed into the already amazingly funny and filled to brim Futurama episodes. Any Twilight zone fan owes it to himself to watch these. Of course most of you will just go over to Youtube and search for it, WELL YOUR WRONG!!!! GO BUY IT!!!! LOL, no biggy if you start watching futurama on Youtube you're gonna buy it anyway.

  • May 3, 2010, 12:31 a.m. CST


    by TehCreepyThinMan

    It's on YouTube in ten parts and it's fantastic. Here's the link to part one....<br> <br>

  • May 3, 2010, 12:34 a.m. CST


    by Quint

    Absolutely agree with you regard Wynn. He brought such a genuine sincerity to the role that you can see his triumph turn to dread in the shot where he realizes he doomed a poor little girl to take his place. It really is an incredible performance that nearly broke my heart. They don't make 'em like they used to.

  • May 3, 2010, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Quint, this is great stuff...

    by BadMrWonka

    my biggest suggestion is to keep reminding us of similarities in plot, style, concept, both to contemporary works and later shows and movies. I really think the best part about watching old Twilight Zone episodes is how much you can feel their fingerprints on subsequent films and shows. as with any true innovator, whether conscious or not, later works can't help but borrow. and since you've seem probably as many movies as anyone on the planet not named Scorcese or Tarantino, my only hope is that you drop those connections whenever and wherever you see them. <p>great work, and I think I just might have to go pick these up this week.<p>and I typed all this during a commercial break for Breaking Bad...pretty impressive, huh?

  • May 3, 2010, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Sure, go ahead

    by The StarWolf

    I'm old enough to [barely] remember some as they were first being shown. I do have the sets, but am intrigued by your 'take' on them, so please do go on with your comments.

  • May 3, 2010, 7:01 a.m. CST

    Add my 'yes' vote to the pack, Quint.

    by Manos

    I'll be interested on your take on some of the later episodes shot on video tape.

  • May 3, 2010, 7:11 a.m. CST

    Go for it Quint

    by LloydPancakes

    Would love to see an ongoing article about these. This was an amazing show.

  • May 3, 2010, 9:37 a.m. CST


    by TehCreepyThinMan

    I bought it from a flea market back in the early 90's. Unfortunately the tape got chewed circa 95.

  • May 3, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Great idea,Quint!

    by pilgrim64

    I loved watching the Twilight Zone re-runs when I was younger. Possibly one of my favorite shows of all time. Creepy with William Shatner's episode, Burgess Meredith in all his episodes. I hope you follow through with this idea as I know there some I missed or just plain forgotten.

  • May 3, 2010, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Little girl lost

    by pilgrim64

    I remember reading that a very young Steven Spielberg directed this episode. I remember watching Poltergeist and thinking "Wow, this really seems familiar."

  • May 3, 2010, 10:11 a.m. CST

    you've been misinformed Pilgrim64

    by vin_diggler

    Spielberg would have been way to young to have directed any of the original TZ's.

  • May 3, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST

    diggler's right pilgrim...

    by carlotta_valdes must be thinking of the Night Gallery pilot movie. Spielberg directed the second episode 'Eyes' with Joan Crawford. I think it was his first professional work. But your Little Girl Lost / Poltergeist analogy is spot on. Hey Quint, it could be fun to try to cross reference later films that were in concept inspired by TZ episodes. The list would be long.

  • May 3, 2010, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Twillight Zone vs The Outer Limits which one is the best?

    by ominus

    or the comparison is invalid because they are two different genre tvseries? (the former general fiction,the latter scifi)

  • May 3, 2010, 10:38 a.m. CST

    A talking Talking Tina bobblehead doll...

    by StatelyWayneManor

    ...will be for sale at this years San Diego Comic Con.

  • May 3, 2010, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Your right, the list would be long carlotta_valdes

    by vin_diggler

    just off the top of my head I can name plenty like Poltergiest, Lair Liar, What Women Want, Manequin, Peggy Sue got Married, Child's Play...I could go on and on

  • May 3, 2010, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Talking Tina bobblehead...

    by carlotta_valdes

  • May 3, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Keep 'em coming, Quint...

    by spud mcspud

    ...What's better than an episode guide for the greatest SF TV show of all time? An episode guide with some informed, intelligent ponderings to them.<P> You keep writing 'em, I'll keep reading 'em.

  • May 3, 2010, 12:39 p.m. CST


    by carlotta_valdes

    that penny fortune telling machine w the devil head from the other Shatner show 'Nick of Time' Saw it online somewhere and can't remember now.

  • May 3, 2010, 12:45 p.m. CST

    No Willy the Dummy though...

    by carlotta_valdes

    ...that would 'FMSU' everytime I saw it at night! ...and where the hell would you put it anyway? a chair?...Hell no! I'm rambling...sorry.

  • May 3, 2010, 1:26 p.m. CST

    keep it going

    by belledame

    as shocking as it is that you have never seen these episodes, the analysis is great. serling is one person i'd love to have had a meal with (aka long, extensive interview).

  • May 3, 2010, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Thank you, Quint

    by Left_Hand_Path

    I've been looking for an excuse to revisit this classic series. Thoroughly enjoy your reviews and this is pure genre candy.

  • May 3, 2010, 1:57 p.m. CST

    yes, please, more, etc.

    by altoandando


  • May 3, 2010, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Quint, this is great

    by SithMenace

    This is the best article I've read on this site in months, please keep it going. And it would be great if you could give a spoiler/ending free summary of the episode to whet our appetite, like you did with the 2nd and 3rd episodes, because it will encourage people to watch one of the best shows in tv history instead of just reading about it. Great article.

  • May 3, 2010, 3:25 p.m. CST

    A Matheson film festival would be incredible

    by berserkrl

    It would include eighteen or so Twilight Zone episodes, the Twilight Zone movie, the Star Trek episode "Enemy Within," the Martian Chronicles tv miniseries, a couple of Night Gallery episodes, the movies _Incredible Shrinking Man_, _Somewhere In Time_, _What Dreams May Come_, _Legend of Hell House_, and Spielberg's _Duel_, the original Kolchak the Night Stalker, three _I AM Legend_ movies, and ... well ... some other stuff.

  • May 3, 2010, 6:09 p.m. CST

    blu ray...

    by echobase

    I wonder what the blu ray set of the TZ would look like. Some of the episodes were filmed on video and they look really really bad. Also, what else is there to add to the special features?

  • May 3, 2010, 6:10 p.m. CST


    by SubliminalJones

    Don't forget "Trilogy Of Terror", with the standout segment being "Amelia", with Karen Black vs. the homicidal Zuni Fetish Doll.

  • May 3, 2010, 8:53 p.m. CST

    IMO, most awesome episodes of TZ:

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    <p>Nightmare at 20,000 Feet <p>And When the Sky Was Opened <P>Obsolete Man <p>The Monsters are Due on Maple Street <p>The Grave <P>A Stop at Willoughby <p>The Dummy <p>Stopover in a Quiet Town <p>Nick of Time <p>The Jungle <P>It's a Good Life <p>The Howling Man <p>Judgment Night <p>Death Ship <p>The New Exhibit <p>The Odyssey of Flight 33 <p>The Thirty-Fathom Grave

  • May 3, 2010, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Rance McGrew of course...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

  • May 3, 2010, 9 p.m. CST

    Serling's other famous work... Apes!

    by Odkin

    It's funny to watch TZ and then watch Planet of the Apes, which he scripted. Most people think of Apes as cheese, and the later ones were. But Serling's script for the first one should really be appreciated for the social commentary that TZ was also famous for. Serling not only created the famous ending (different than the novel) but "take your stinking hands off me, you damn dirty ape!" will live forever as one of films greatest lines!

  • May 3, 2010, 9:04 p.m. CST

    There was actually a version of Apes

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    converted into B&W and edited into an episode of TZ on Youtube a while back...

  • May 3, 2010, 9:12 p.m. CST

    I Have This Same Collection


    Got it several years ago. I think I'm going to join you on this journey, although I may not hit every episode. But I'm at least going to get the Wynn one tonight. Thanks!

  • May 3, 2010, 9:36 p.m. CST

    My personal fave is Eye of the Beholder

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Some real pathos from the lead actress there. Or whoever dubbed her voice while she was under wraps. And the idea that everyone has to look a certain way or they'll get shipped off to an island of ugly people (England) is more pertinent now than ever.

  • May 3, 2010, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Just watched "Angels"


    And "Where is Everybody". While I had seen them both before (I believe I've seen all but two or three), I was really struck by what a strong piece of 50s era sci-fi "Everybody" was. I enjoyed watching that more than any movie I've seen recently. Thanks for the inspiration, Quint.

  • May 3, 2010, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Watching "Denton" Right Now


    Great! Damn, I've got goosebumps. I'm sorry I have to stop and go to bed. What a great frickin' show. Also, these DVDs have Rod Serling's pitch for the next episode and an attatched period ad. Awesome. So glad Quint started this.

  • May 3, 2010, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Martin Landau doing the commentary on


  • May 3, 2010, 10:51 p.m. CST



    Awesome. Just saying.

  • May 3, 2010, 11:15 p.m. CST

    can we get this moved to TOP STORIES?

    by frank cotton

  • May 4, 2010, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Apes is so quotable

    by paulloch

    not just "stinking paws off of me", and the Jerry Goldsmith music, who did a couple of tz episodes as his first music jobs. A lot of great TV writer/producers since Rod, -- Chase, Simon, Abrams, Link & Levinson, Bochco, Kelley, Gilligan, Whedon, Weiner, Milch, Roddenberry, Sorkin. But, the first is still the best.

  • May 4, 2010, 5:17 a.m. CST

    I've got the box set.

    by hallmitchell

    I've just finished season three. About to take on the season four which were the one hour episodes.

  • May 4, 2010, 5:18 a.m. CST

    Why didn't Rod have more success in film?

    by hallmitchell

    Take out Apes - which wasn't his original idea and i don't know of any hits.

  • May 4, 2010, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Every TZ episode is on Netflix Instant Streaming

    by CullenisPrime

    I know it isnt the same as having the actually box sets, but still.....

  • May 4, 2010, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Danger, Will Robinson

    by k88dad

    Billy Mumy putting people "in the cornfield," in the episode It's a Good Life, is my personal favorite TZ. In my family, we quote the cornfield line whenever someone crosses the line.

  • May 4, 2010, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Next Stop Willoughby

    by jtp8000

    Was the first one I ever saw. Though I will admit the Rod Serling written thing that freaked the shit out of me was a Night Gallery episode with Arte Johnson as a radio DJ who realizes he is about to be sacrificed to Satan. The ending still freaks me out to this day

  • May 11, 2010, 8 a.m. CST


    by BizarroJerry

    When I learned after many years that Serling wrote (or at least co-wrote?) Planet of the Apes, I realized it is very much like a Twilight Zone episode, complete with the unexpected twist ending.

  • Jan. 7, 2011, 8:16 p.m. CST

    guess this idea was aborted, too bad

    by chifforobe

    This is my favorite series and I'd love to see interested parties delving into it episode by episode. The new dvd collection is one of the best things I own; I never get tired of going into this world. Late one night as a kid (in the 1980s, when there were only a couple of channels on TV), apparently a rogue bolt of lightning created a brief vortex in space-time, and a mysterious broadcast from another dimension found its way onto my little television set (or so it seemed at the time). It was eerie, black and white, and an otherwordly being in a snug black suit addressed me through a cloud of cigarette smoke. He introduced Death himself, also clad in suit and tie. This was 'One For the Angels', and it made a huge impression on me-- this might be one of my earliest memories. Many years later, after cable TV, I spent several New Years nights sitting in front of the sci-fi channel exhaustively taping episodes, trying to edit out the commercials as I went. I would then create type-written labels for the videos, detailing the episodes in order. I had stacks of these tapes. Of course I was uphappy with the random "volume" dvds when they first came out, and only bought a few. But this new set is amazing-- there are episodes even I haven't seen. If anything this series shows that great art can be sold to the masses, when packaged properly.