The Twilight Zone—Season 5

twilight zone season 5 dvd cover review episode guide
10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

A return to the classic Twilight Zone

The end, some odd episodes, bleaker than some other seasons

Big aliens, little aliens…they’re all in the Twilight Zone

Open the door to another dimension one last time!  You are entering a world where talking dolls can kill, alien invasions can be thwarted by a couple shots from a gun, monsters climb on the wings of planes, and the dead can make calls on telephones from beyond the grave.  You’ve stepped into the Twilight Zone!

The Twilight Zone—Season 5 is the final seasons of the acclaimed series.  The series aired on CBS on Fridays from September 27, 1963 to June 19, 1964.  The Twilight Zone—Season 4 had taken on an hour format and this returned to the original half-hour format.  The episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” was remade for Twilight Zone:  The Movie.

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Your face might freeze that way…

I love The Twilight Zone and it is potentially my favorite TV show of all time due with the overall consistency of the program.  While the hour episodes of The Twilight Zone—Season 4 were a drag, it is good to get back to the half-hour episodes…but all good things must end.

This season of The Twilight Zone seems a bit bleaker than other seasons.  A lot of The Twilight Zone episodes are dark, but are more tongue-in-cheek humor.  Here, many go dark and stay dark.  Episodes like “In Praise of Pip”, “The Encounter”, and “The Long Morrow” have the same tone of a traditional Twilight Zone episode but last that “ha-ha” aspect that seems to catch most Twilight Zone episodes.  The series is still strong and features great episodes like the classic “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, “The Masks”, “Living Doll”, and “Night Call”, but it feels like something is slightly off in other episodes which leaves them more eerie and dark than some of the series previous seasons.  Another example of this is “Ring-a-Ding Girl” which feels light and fluffy but ends dark…and now is almost identical to the plot of Donnie Darko.

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Talking Tina is starting to hate you…

The cast continues to be a who’s who of stars at the time.  Jack Klugman kicks off the season in his fourth and final appearance in the anthology, but the season also features big and up-and-coming stars like Lee Marvin, William Shatner, Mickey Rooney, James Coburn, Ed Wynn, Mariette Hartley, Shelley Fabares, Sterling Holloway, Jackie Cooper, Martin Landau, and George Takei among others.  The season also features two appearances by famed robot Robby the Robot in “Uncle Simon” and “The Brain Center at Whipple’s” and a return of The Twilight Zone puppet baddy Caesar in “Caesar and Me”.

Visually, the season still has the Twilight Zone “kick”.  You can tell the series is low budget (and the season might have had an even lower budget than some of the previous seasons), but Rod Serling still gets the visuals out of the series you expect.  It is a lot of chromakey that doesn’t always look the cleanest, but it is still fun.  The season also features a reedited version of the 1963 Academy Award winning Best Live Action Short La Rivière du hibou aka The Owl River which adapted Ambrose Bierce’s short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” as an episode.

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He just wants to give you a hug goodbye!

The Twilight Zone is a classic and despite hours and hours of programming remained solid through its run.  The series ended as weird as it started with “The Bewitchin’ Pool” (featuring Mary Badham from To Kill a Mockingbird), but a weirdly edited episode with voiceovers for all the characters…giving it an almost foreign feel.  The last episode shot was actually “Come Wander With Me”, but the production problems on “The Bewitchin’ Pool” led to delays.  It was often the last episode (or at least near the end) of the Twilight Zone marathon that was shown over the long weekend holidays when I was growing up and it always felt like an ending with the kids going off to Aunt T’s world…a place where the Twilight Zone lives forever.  Rod Serling returned to a similar format show in Night Gallery in 1969.

The Twilight Zone—Season 5 Complete Episode Guide:

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“In Praise of Pip”

5.1       In Praise of Pip (Episode #121) Airdate:  09/27/63

A tired bookie named Max Phillips (Jack Klugman) has a change of conscience when he learns his son Pip (Bobby Diamond) is dying in South Vietnam…leading to a crisis and a night at the carnival in pursuit of a child who looks like Pip (Billy Mumy).

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5.2       Steel (Episode #122) Airdate:  10/04/63

It’s 1974, and former boxer Steel Kelly (Lee Marvin) and his partner Pole (Joe Mantell) are managing a dying B2-boxing robot called Battling Maxo.  When Maxo’s circuits are finally fried, Steel might have to make a desperate move.

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“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”

5.3       Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (Episode #123) Airdate:  10/11/63

Bob Wilson (William Shatner) is trying to come back from a nervous breakdown and flying home with his wife Julia (Christine White).  When Bob sees something on the wing of the plane, Bob wonders if he’s going crazy or seeing a potential disaster.

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“A Kind of Stopwatch”

5.4       A Kind of Stopwatch (Episode #124) Airdate:  10/18/63

Motormouth Patrick McNulty (Richard Erdman) is a pain in everyone’s side.  When he receives a special stopwatch from a stranger at the bar, McNulty finds he can stop time.

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“Last Night of a Jockey”

5.5       The Last Night of a Jockey (Episode #125) Airdate:  10/25/63

A disgraced jockey named Michael Grady (Mickey Rooney) is haunted by the voices in his head. When he wishes to be bigger than everyone, he wakes up to find he might just get his wish.

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“Talking Tina”

5.6       Living Doll (Episode #126) Airdate:  11/01/63

Erich Streator (Telly Savalas) is a man with doubt.  He lashes out at his wife Annabelle (Mary LaRoche) and his stepdaughter Christie (Tracy Staford).  When Annabelle buys Christie a doll called Talking Tina, Erich finds he might be the target of murder.

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“The Old Man in the Cave”

5.7       The Old Man in the Cave (Episode #127) Airdate:  11/08/63

Nuclear war has struck and humans are fighting to stay alive.  A town finds their direction from an unseen “old man” who lives in a cave.  When French (James Coburn) and the military arrive, the town must decide who they believe.

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“Uncle Simon”

5.8       Uncle Simon (Episode #128) Airdate:  11/15/63

Barbara Polk (Constance Ford) has lived under the oppressive thumb of her uncle Simon Polk (Cedric Hardwicke) and longs for his death.  When Simon dies, Barbara finds that her uncle has left her a surprise.

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“Probe 7, Over and Out”

5.9       Probe 7, Over and Out (Episode #129) Airdate:  11/29/63

Astronaut Adam Cook (Richard Basehart) crash lands on a planet, injuring himself, and destroying his ship.  With his own planet facing death through war, Cook finds that he might have to survive on the planet alone…but then he meets Norda (Antoinette Bower).

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“The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms”

5.10     The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms (Episode #130) Airdate:  12/06/63

Sgt William Connors (Ron Foster), Prvt Michael McClusky (Randy Boone) and Cpr. Richard Langsford (Warren Oates) find themselves on military maneuvers near the location of Little Big Horn.  When they realize they have somehow crossed back in time, they find themselves following the path of Custard.

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“A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain”

5.11     A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain (Episode #131) Airdate:  12/13/63

Harmon Gordon (Patrick O’Neal) has a young wife named Flora Gordon (Ruta Lee) who resents his age.  When his brother Raymond (Walter Brook) is forced into giving him an experimental serum, the tables might change.

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“Ninety Years Without Slumbering”

5.12     Ninety Years Without Slumbering (Episode #132) Airdate:  12/20/63

Sam Forstmann (Ed Wynn) feels like he’s winding down…and it could be because his life is tied to his grandfather clock.  As his granddaughter (Carolyn Kearney) and her husband (James T. Callahan) try to encourage him to get rid of the clock, Sam must face death.

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“Ring-a-Ding Girl”

5.13     Ring-a-Ding Girl (Episode #133) Airdate:  12/27/63

After receiving a mysterious ring, Bunny Blake (Maggie McNamara) returns from California to her hometown to visit her sister (Mary Munday).  When Bunny shows up in town and appears to be flaunting her celebrity by competing with the local annual picnic, Bunny’s actions might have a deeper meaning.

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“You Drive”

5.14     You Drive (Episode #134) Airdate:  01/03/64

Oliver Pope (Edward Andrews) is a businessman pushed to the edge.  Distracted, Oliver hits and kills a paperboy…but leaves the scene of the crime.  When his car begins to act strange, Oliver learns that his actions have consequences.  When his coworker Pete Radcliff (Kevin Hagen) is arrested, Oliver wonders if he’s lucked out.

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“The Long Morrow”

5.15     The Long Morrow (Episode #135) Airdate:  01/10/64

Commander Douglas Stansfield (Robert Lansing) is an astronaut chosen for a deep space exploration and learns he will be frozen during the forty year trip.  When he falls in love with a technician named Sandra Horn (Mariette Hartley), Stansfield must make a hard decision.

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“The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross”

5.16     The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross (Episode #136) Airdate:  01/17/64

Salvadore Ross (Don Gordon) is a cruel, cold young man.  When he discovers he has ability to make deals with people for personal traits, he finds wealth and respect, but he cannot win the heart of Leah Maitland (Gail Kobe) who is continuing to look for someone like her father (Vaughn Taylor).

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“Number 12 Looks Just Like You”

5.17     Number 12 Looks Just Like You (Episode #137) Airdate:  01/24/64

Marilyn Cuberle (Collin Wilcox) is approaching the Transformation, but she has doubts.  Marilyn doesn’t want to look like everyone else…and questions why she must undergo the change despite urgings from her mother (Suzy Parker), her uncle (Richard Long), and her friend Valerie (Pam Austin).  Marilyn might not have a choice.

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“Black Leather Jackets”

5.18     Black Leather Jackets (Episode #138) Airdate:  01/31/64

Scott (Lee Kinsolving), Steve (Michael Forest) and Fred (Tom Gilleran) have just moved in next door to the Stuart Tillman (Denver Pyle) and his family.  They are the first part of an invasion force setting to wipe out the population of Earth, but things change for Scott when he meets Tillman’s daughter Ellen (Shelley Fabares).

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“Night Call”

5.19     Night Call (Episode #139) Airdate:  02/07/64

When Elva Keene (Gladys Cooper) begins to have strange calls from a man, she questions what is wrong with the phone…but the truth might be more terrifying.

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“From Agnes—With Love”

5.20     From Agnes—With Love (Episode #140) Airdate:  02/14/64

James Elwood (Wally Cox) has been given the job of his dreams.  He’s inherited the job of working on the super computer nicknamed “Agnes”.  James has a love for Millie (Sue Randall), but all of Agnes’ advice doesn’t seem to help him much.

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“Spur of the Moment”

5.21     Spur of the Moment (Episode #141) Airdate:  02/21/64

Anne Henderson (Diana Hyland) is pursued by a strange woman all dressed in black.  Her life is in turmoil with a man named David Mitchell (Roger Davis) who says he loves her while being engaged to another man named Robert Blake (Robert J. Hogan) who her father (Philip Ober) approves of…who is the woman and why does she know Anne’s name?

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“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”

5.22     An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (Episode #142) Airdate:  02/28/64

Peyton Farquhar (Roger Jacquet) has reached the end of the line as he is prepared for hanging.  As he dreams of his love (Anne Cornaly), he could get the opportunity to cheat death if he can only reach home.

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“Queen of the Nile”

5.23     Queen of the Nile (Episode #143) Airdate:  03/06/64

Pamela Morris (Ann Blyth) seems timeless.  The reclusive actress is wrapped in mystery and Jordan Herrick (Lee Philips) intends to discover her secret…but some secrets aren’t meant to be known.

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“What’s in the Box?”

5.24     What’s in the Box (Episode #144) Airdate:  03/13/64

Joe (William Demarest) and Phyllis (Joan Blondell) have a rocky marriage.  When the TV goes on a fritz, the TV repairman (Sterling Holloway) “fixes it”.  Now, Joe can see the future, and he doesn’t like what he sees.

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“The Masks”

5.25     The Masks (Episode #145) Airdate:  03/20/64

Jason Foster (Robert Keith) is dying and he’s invited his callous family to attend his death during the height of Mardi Gras.  Ordering them to wear masks in order to get their inheritance, Jason has his own idea of retribution.

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“I Am the Night”

5.26     I Am the Night—Color Me Black (Episode #146) Airdate:  03/27/64

As a small town prepares for the hanging death of a killer, they find that that the town is covered in darkness.  What is causing the darkness?  Will the sun ever shine again?

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“Sounds and Silences”

5.27     Sounds and Silences (Episode #147) Airdate:  04/03/64

Roswell G. Flemington (John McGiver) believes in keeping a tight, silent ship at his company…when he begins to hear every sound amplified.

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“Caesar and Me”

5.28     Caesar and Me (Episode #148) Airdate:  04/10/64

Jonathan West (Jackie Cooper) is a ventriloquist who is down and out on his luck.  When Caesar gets an idea for Jonathan to make money, it could be Jonathan’s undoing.

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“The Jeopardy Room”

5.29     The Jeopardy Room (Episode #149) Airdate:  04/17/64

KGB agent Ivan Kuchenko (Martin Landau) is planning to defect.  When he is caught in a trap by Commissar Vassiloff (John van Dreelen), Ivan must find his way out before a bomb explodes.

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“Stopover in a Quiet Town”

5.30     Stopover in a Quiet Town (Episode #150) Airdate:  04/24/64

After Saturday night out with a few too many drinks, Millie Frazier (Nancy Malone) and her husband Bob (Barry Nelson) wake up in a strange little town called Centerville…where nothing seems to be living.

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“The Encounter”

5.31     The Encounter (Episode #151) Airdate:  05/01/64

World War II Veteran Fenton (Neville Brand) has called upon a man named Arthur Takamori (George Takei) to do chores and lawn around his house.  The Japanese-American Takamori and Fenton immediately find themselves at odds due to the past and the war in the Pacific, but the past might not stay buried.

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“Mr. Garrity and the Graves”

5.32     Mr. Garrity and the Graves (Episode #152) Airdate:  05/08/64

Jared Garrity (John Dehner) has come to town promising to raise the dead.  With the idea of their dead returning from the grave, Garrity finds that people are more willing to pay to keep it from happening.

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“The Brain Center at Whipple’s”

5.33     The Brain Center at Whipple’s (Episode #153) Airdate:  05/15/64

Wallace V. Whipple (Richard Deacon) believes in efficiency…and people aren’t efficient.  With the belief that computers can do work better, Whipple learns that sometimes even management isn’t needed.

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“Come Wander with Me”

5.34     Come Wander with Me (Episode #154) Airdate:  05/22/64

Floyd “The Rock-A-Billy Kid” Burney (Gary Crosby) is looking for his next big song.  When he arrives in a small town and meets a woman named Mary Rachel (Bonnie Beecher), Floyd thinks he’s found his hit, but Mary’s song might be more about him than he thought.

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“The Fear”

5.35     The Fear (Episode #155) Airdate:  05/29/64

Trooper Robert Franklin (Peter Mark Richman) has been called to the country home of New York socialite Charlotte Scott (Hazel Court) who has reported strange lights in the surrounding woods.  When they discover the tracks of a giant monster, Robert and Charlotte could make first contact.

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“The Bewitchin’ Pool”

5.36     The Bewitchin’ Pool (Episode #156) Airdate:  06/19/64

Sport Sharewood (Mary Badham) and her brother Jeb (Jeffrey Byron) are the often forgotten and blamed children of bickering couple Gloria (Dee Hartford) and Gil (Tod Andrews).  When Sport and Jeb find a secret portal to the home of Aunt T (Georgia Simmons) in their pool, they discover a place where they can be loved…but can they give up their life for the fantasy?

Related Links:

The Twilight Zone—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Twilight Zone—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Twilight Zone—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Twilight Zone—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Twilight Zone:  The Movie (1983)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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