You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling kicks off his amazing series with an incredible first season. The Twilight Zone took the viewers into some of the best science fiction in the relatively new medium of TV (a device which was only science fiction itself fifty years before). It helped that he had incredibly strong writing for the season. The series has incredible staying power too…I can remember stilling all day long during Twilight Zone marathons on holiday weekends.
The series can go from humorous like “Mr. Beavis” to tragic like “Time Enough at Last.” This wide variety allows a large number of people to associate with the episode and if you don’t like the episode there is a good chance you’ll like the next one. Sometimes even Rod Serling gets involved in episodes like “A World of His Own.” The season is full of great episodes and even the older ones are quite original.
There is also just some strangeness with the early episodes of the series. The series has the original opening and not the opening that is generally associated with the show. The word robot also seems to cause a problem with people making it almost one syllable with the emphasis on the “bot” (check out The Lonely for that…it shows up elsewhere in the series). It is an acceptable alternate pronunciation but it just shounds weird. With the newness of this science fiction, sometimes they over explain some ideas that we take for granted. Also with many of the DVDs, you get the advertisements for other shows on the network which can be fun.
Check out the first season of The Twilight Zone…It is so worth it. Sure they have some pretty predictable twists, but it is always fun even if you see them coming. If you’ve seen the episodes come back and watch them…with great (and affordable) collections you can own the whole series…and the Twilight Zone Companion by Marc Scott Zicree offers a lot of insight to all the episodes.
The Twilight Zone—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:
1.1 Where Is Everybody Airdate: 10/02/59
A man (Earl Holliman) finds himself with amnesia in a town that appears empty. As the man searches for clues to his identity, he wonders where everyone has disappeared to.
1.2 One for the Angels Airdate: 10/09/59
Lou Bookman (Ed Wynn) finds himself visited by Death (Murray Hamilton) and is informed that he will die at midnight. When Lou tells Death that he always wanted to make one big pitch, Death grants him a delay of death, but it could cost someone else he knows their life.
1.3 Mr. Denton on Doomsday Airdate: 10/16/59
Al Denton (Dan Duryea) is a former gunslinger and the town drunk. Harassed by Dan Hotaling (Martin Landau) and his gang, Denton’s luck changes when he finds a gun. As Denton sobers up, new challengers show up to fight him again. When Denton is challenged by Pete Grant (Doug McClure) and the only chance he might have is from a potion sold to him by a travelling vender named Henry J. Fate (Malcolm Atterbury).
1.4 The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine Airdate: 10/23/59
Barbara Trenton (Ida Lupino) is a down and out actress whose heyday has passed. When her manager is unable to find work for her, Barbara becomes a recluse trapped in her old films.
1.5 Walking Distance Airdate: 10/30/59
Martin Sloan (Gig Young) tries to escape the city and finds himself at his old hometown. When Martin realizes that his old town is exactly as he left it, he discovers he’s in the past. Now Martin is trying to fixes the mistakes in his life.
1.6 Escape Clause Airdate 11/06/59
A hypochondriac named Walter Bedeker (David Wayne) trades his soul to the devil (Thomas Gomez) in exchange for immortal life, but finds without fear of death, the thrill of life is gone.
1.7 The Lonely Airdate: 11/13/59
James A. Corry (Jack Warden) is isolated on a planet for murdering in self-defense. When his quarterly shipment is brought, Corry discovers his captor has given him a gift…a robotic woman named Alicia (Jean Marsh).
1.8 Time Enough at Last Airdate: 11/20/59
Henry Bemis (Burgess Meredith) loves to read but is never allowed to do it between his work at the bank and his nagging wife. When a bomb goes off destroying the population of Earth, Bemis finds himself the only survivor since he was reading in the bank vault. With everyone dead, Bemis finally has all the time in the world…or does he?
1.9 Perchance to Dream Airdate: 11/27/59
Edward Hall (Richard Conte) finds he’s sick. He goes to Dr. Eliot Rathmann (John Larch) for help and the warning that if he falls asleep, he will die.
1.10 Judgment Night Airdate: 12/04/59
Carl Lanser (Nehemiah Persoff) finds himself on a ship in 1942. He remembers who he is but can’t remember why he is on the ship. With his clouded past, Lanser questions why he’s suffering déjà vu and a sense of dread…does his fear indicate there could be a U-Boat lurking in the darkness?
1.11 And When the Sky Was Opened Airdate: 12/11/59
Three pilots return from an experiment flight from space. When Clegg Forbes (Rod Taylor) returns to the hospital the next day, no one seems to remember the third pilot Ed Harrington (Charles Aidman). As Clegg tries to find proof of Harrington’s existence, he wonders if they were supposed to return from the mission at all.
1.12 What You Need Airdate: 12/25/59
A salesman named Pedott (Ernest Truex) who seems to know exactly what everyone needs is targeted by career criminal named Fred Renard (Steve Cochran) in a bar. When Renard starts making demands of Pedott, Pedott is forced to give in…but could it lead to his death?
1.13 The Four of Us Are Dying Airdate: 01/01/60
A con-man named Arch Hammer (Harry Townes) can change his face to look like anyone else. With his power, he uses it to his own advantage, no matter who gets hurt.
1.14 Third from the Sun Airdate: 01/08/60
Two families on a doomed planet plan a reckless escape in an experimental ship. The goal is to reach an habitable planet, but getting to the ship might be the challenge.
1.15 I Shot an Arrow into the Air Airdate: 01/15/60
Three astronauts crash on a desert planet after a flight. When disputes begin over water it becomes a fight for survival among the astronauts.
1.16 The Hitch-Hiker Airdate: 01/22/60
Nan Adams (Inger Stevens) is travelling across country to California. She is haunted by a hitchhiker (Leonard Strong) who seems to be at every turn. Can Nan escape the man and what does he want with her.
1.17 The Fever Airdate: 01/29/60
Flora and Franklin Gibbs (Vivi Janiss and Everett Sloan) have won a trip to Las Vegas. Franklin sees gambling as a sin, but soon finds that the temptation might be stronger than his virtue.
1.18 The Last Flight Airdate: 01/05/60
A World War I British pilot named Decker (Kenneth Haigh) lands on an American airfield in France to learn it is present day. When the pilot learns that a man he abandoned in a dogfight is supposed to arrive, Decker realizes he must find a way to right history.
1.19 The Purple Testament Airdate: 02/12/60
A soldier named Fitzgerald (William Reynolds) can see the face of death on those he is fighting with. When he sees death on the face of his fellow soldier Captain Phil Riker (Dick York) can it be prevented or is fate something that cannot be changed.
1.20 Elegy Airdate: 02/19/60
Three astronauts (Jeff Morrow, Don Dubbins, Kevin Hagen) become lost in space and land on a planet remarkably like Earth. When the astronauts discover everyone in the town appears to be frozen in time, they question why one old man named Jeremy Wickwire (Cecil Kellaway) seems to be the only one moving.
1.21 Mirror Image Airdate: 02/26/60
Millicent Barnes (Vera Miles) finds herself stuck at a bus station but finds everyone keeps telling her that she’s been there before. When she begins to question her sanity, Paul Grinstead (Martin Milner) tries to help her determine if something else is occurring.
1.22 The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street Airdate: 03/04/60
When all electronics, vehicles, and phones stop working on Maple Street, the people begin to question if it could be part of an alien invasion. As the people begin to panic, Steve Brand (Claude Akins) tries to maintain the peace, but the worst is still to come.
1.23 A World of Difference Airdate: 03/11/60
Arthur Curtis (Howard Duff) finds himself on a set and is told that he is really an actor named Gerry Reagan. As Curtis tries to prove he isn’t crazy, he realizes he must get back to his life.
1.24 Long Live Walter Jameson Airdate: 03/18/60
Walter Jameson (Kevin McCarthy) is one of the best teachers of history. He seems to make it come alive with vivid descriptions of events as if he was there. When Professor Kittridge (Edgar Stehli) realizes Jameson has experienced the events, he tries to find a way to prevent him from marrying his daughter.
1.25 People Are Alike All Over Airdate: 03/25/60
A biologist and astronaut’s trip to Mars ends in disaster when their ship crashes. Sam Conrad (Roddy McDowall) fines that Martians are just like humans as they provide him a home…maybe too much like humans.
1.26 Execution Airdate: 04/01/60
Joe Caswell (Albert Salmi) is prepared for execution for murder and pulled from the moment of death by a scientist from the future. When Professor Manion (Russell Johnson) realizes he’s pulled a killer to the future, he realizes he’s made a mistake.
1.27 The Big Tall Wish Airdate: 04/08/60
A broken down fighter (Ivan Dixon) prepares for his last chance fight but finds a young boy (Stephen Perry) willing to make a “big tall wish” for him. Will Henry Jackson’s wish for Bolie be enough to turn Bolie into a believer?
1.28 A Nice Place to Visit Airdate: 04/15/60
A career criminal named Rocky Valentine (Larry Blynden) finds himself in afterlife. He can have whatever he wants from his servant named Mr. Pip (Sebastian Cabot)…but looks can be deceiving.
1.29 Nightmare as a Child Airdate: 04/29/60
A school teacher named Helen Foley (Janice Rule) is visited by a strange girl named Markie (Terry Burnham) who seems to know everything about her. When Markie comes with a warning to Helen, another visitor from the past named Peter Selden (Shepperd Strudwick) may hold the answers to Markie’s origin.
1.30 A Stop at Willoughby Airdate: 05/06/60
Gart Williams (James Daly) is in a high pressure job…always expected to push, push, push. As the pressure grows, Gart begins to hate his life, and his wife (Patricia Donahue) just wants more. When his train continues to stop at a town called Willoughby that seems to exist in an eternal summer day, will Gart have the courage to get off.
1.31 The Chaser Airdate: 05/13/60
Roger Shackleforth (George Grizzard) has a love for Leila (Patricia Barry), but Leila could care less. When Roger learns of a mysterious man named Professor A. Daemon (John McIntire), Daemon offers him a love potion…with miserable consequences.
1.32 A Passage for Trumpet Airdate: 05/20/60
Joey Crown (Jack Klugman) is a down and out trumpet player with a drinking problem. When he steps in front of a truck, Joey finds himself in a world where no one can see him…except a mysterious man named Gabe (John Anderson).
1.33 Mr. Bevis Airdate: 06/03/60
Mr. Bevis (Orson Bean) is a bit eccentric. He drives an old car, likes Christmas carols, models, and zither music. When Bevis loses his home and his job all in the same day, Mr. Bevis’ guardian angel (Henry Jones) decides to step in and help Bevis, whether he likes it or not.
1.34 The After Hours Airdate: 06/10/60
A woman named Marsha White (Anne Francis) comes to a department store for a golden thimble and encounters a strange saleswoman (Elizabeth Allen). When Marsha tries to return the thimble she is told that it couldn’t possibly have been purchased as she said. Marsha becomes locked in the store and finds herself menaced by the manikins inside.
1.35 The Mighty Casey Airdate: 06/17/60
A down-and-out baseball manager named Mouth McGarry (Jack Warden) finds that the Hoboken Zephyrs might be his last chance. When Dr. Stillman (Abraham Sofaer) comes to Mouth with a robotic baseball player named Casey (Robert Sorrells), Casey could be what the Hoboken Zephyrs need…if he has a heart.
1.36 A World of His Own Airdate: 07/01/60
A writer named Gregory West (Keenan Wynn) is caught by his wife (Phyllis Kirk) having an affair with a young woman named Mary (Mary LaRoche). When West reveals the woman isn’t real, he tries to convince his wife that Mary is just one of his creations.
Buy it on Amazon.com: