"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call... THE TWILIGHT ZONE."
Rod Serling WHERE IS EVERYBODY? Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Stevens Cast: Earl Holliman, James Gregory The pilot show for the series concerns a man who finds himself in a completely deserted city. In the end, we learn that it was all a test to observe how human beings will respond to extreme loneliness during space flights. This was the only episode shot at Universal Studios, all others were filmed at MGM. LW: Earl Holliman later became known as Angie Dickenson's sidekick in "Policewoman". Earl is the sole actor in this piece right up to the last five minutes or so of the script. ONE FOR THE ANGELS Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Parish Cast: Ed Wynn, Murray Hamilton, Dana Dillaway, Merritt Bohn Wynn delivers a bravura performance as a sidewalk salesman who makes the greatest pitch of his life to save a little girl from "Mr. Death". MR. DENTON ON DOOMSDAY Writer: Rod Serling Director: Allen Reisner Cast: Dan Duryea, Malcolm Atterbury, Martin Landau, Jeanne Cooper, Ken Lynch, Doug McClure A has-been gunslinger finds his fast draw abilities have been restored after he drinks a magic potion. LW: Neither Martin Landau nor Doug McClure had their careers exactly ended by this episode, even though it was a poor one. Martin continued on to roles in "The Outer Limits", and of course, starred in "Mission Impossible". Doug shows up in a variety of places. THE SIXTEEN-MILLIMETER SHRINE Writer: Rod Serling Director: Mitch Leisen Cast: Ida Lupino, Martin Balsam, Alice Frost, Jerome Cowan A former movie queen tries to recreate the spirit of her heyday by screening her old movies...and living them. WALKING DISTANCE Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Stevens Cast: Gig Young, Frank Overton, Michael Montgomery, Irene Tedrow Young's acting and a magnificent score by Bernard Hermann highlight this episode. Harried advertising agent Martin Sloane visits his home town and slips thirty years into his childhood. LW: Rather sentimental, but I'm a sucker for stuff like that. Our hero actually meets himself as a child, and turns out to be the cause of an old leg injury that bothered him the rest of his life... ESCAPE CLAUSE Writer: Rod Serling Director: Mitch Leisen Cast: David Wayne, Virginia Christine, Wendell Holmes, Thomas Gomez A hypochondriac makes a pact with the Devil for immortality. He then kills someone for kicks, but instead of getting the electric chair, he is sentenced to life imprisonment! LW: Rather amusing, actually! THE LONELY Writer: Rod Serling Director: Jack Smight Cast: Jack Warden, Jean Marsh, John Dehner, Ted Knight, Jim Turley This classic episode concerns one James Corry (Warden), a man convicted of murder and sentenced to spend forty years on a distant asteroid. He has only one companion - a robot made in the form of a woman. Ted Knight, later Ted Baxter on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, has a minor role as a nasty space crewman. LW: I gotta tell ya' ... the closing scene of this episode gave me nightmares for many nights as a child when I first saw it. An excellent episode. TIME ENOUGH AT LAST Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Burgess Meredith, Jacqueline DeWit, Vaughn Taylor, Lela Bliss In his first of several TWILIGHT ZONE episodes, Burgess Meredith plays a nearsighted bank teller who becomes the only survivor of an H-bomb attack. He is now able to pursue his only real interest in life: reading. LW: At least, he THINKS he will be able to pursue it... PERCHANCE TO DREAM Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Robert Florey Cast: Richard Conte, John Larch, Suzanne Lloyd, Ted Stanhope, Eddie Marr The first non-Serling script of the series concerns a man (Conte) who is terrified of falling asleep. He fears that the mysterious woman he meets in his dreams will soon murder him. LW: To elaborate a bit: Conte has a heart condition, and fears that the excitement (so to speak) of dying in the dream will kill him. The last time he went to sleep, he ended up in a rollercoaster with this mystery woman. He knows that if he goes back to sleep, the dream will continue, she will push him out, and that will finish him, both in the dream and in reality. This episode involves several "layers" of reality and is a nice one. JUDGEMENT NIGHT Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Nehemiah Persoff, Ben Wright, Patrick McNee, Hugh Sanders, Leslie Bradley, Deirdre Owen, James Franciscus Murky tale about a passenger aboard a wartime freighter who is certain the ship will be sunk at 1:15 AM. LW: Serling had a thing about ship stories, and they were almost always rather poor. Oh well. AND WHEN THE SKY WAS OPENED Writer: Rod Serling Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Rod Taylor, Charles Aidman, James Hutton, Maxine Cooper After three astronauts return from man's first space flight, each of them mysteriously disappears. Based on a short story by Richard Matheson. SJ: Serling was so impressed by Matheson's work that he was later asked to write more episodes himself. LW: A good episode concerning the subject of "what IS reality?" WHAT YOU NEED Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Steve Cochran, Ernest Treux, Reed Morgan, William Edmonson, Arline Sax Swindler Fred Renard (Cochran) tries to profit from an amiable fellow's talent for seeing into the future. Based on a short story by Lewis Padgett. THE FOUR OF US ARE DYING Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Harry Townes, Beverly Garland, Philip Pine, Ross Martin, Don Gordon Arch Hammer (Townes) can alter his face to make it look like anyone else's. Based on a short story by George Johnson. LW: Not one of the best efforts. THIRD FROM THE SUN Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Richard Bare Cast: Fritz Weaver, Joe Maros, Edward Andrews, Denise Alexander, Lori March Weird camera angles and special props left over from MGM'S FORBIDDEN PLANET bolster this story about two families planning to leave a war-threatened world via spaceship. LW: Edward Andrews did at least one other "Twilight Zone", and countless other television shows and movies over the years. A great character actor, he usually is cast into roles involving rather evil, devious, or just plain unlikable men. I SHOT AN ARROW INTO THE AIR Writer: Rod Serling Director: Stuart Rosenberg Cast: Edward Binns, Dewey Martin After supposedly landing on another planet, an astronaut kills his comrades to prolong his own life. Based on a short story by Madeline Champion. THE HITCH-HIKER Writer: Rod Serling Director: Alvin Ganzer Cast: Inger Stevens, Leonard Strong, Adam Williams, Lew Gallo, Dwight Townsend Driving cross-country, a woman becomes panicky when she continually sees the same ominous hitch-hiker on the road ahead. Based on a story by Lucille Fletcher. SJ: a personal favorite. LW: "Going MY way?" ... THE FEVER Writer: Rod Serling Director: Alvin Ganzer Cast: Everett Sloane, Bibi Janiss, William Kendis, Lee Miller A gambling-hating man named Franklin Gibbs (Sloane) battles a Las Vegas slot machine with a malevolent mind of its own. SJ: Another favorite of mine. LW: Well, let's be careful now, he THINKS it has a mind of its own, but we don't REALLY know that. Still, it might have at that... THE LAST FLIGHT Writer: Richard Matheson Director: William Claxton Cast: Kenneth Haigh, Alexander Scourby, Simon Scott, Robert Warwick A British World War I flyer lands at a modern air base in 1959. LW: A minor time paradox is involved in this plot. THE PURPLE TESTAMENT Writer: Rod Serling Director: Richard Bare Cast: William Reynolds, Dick York, Barney Phillips, William Phipps, Warren Oates, Marc Cavell, Ron Masak, Paul Mazursky Powerful tale about a lieutenant with the ability to predict which men in his outfit will be killed in battle. LW: Powerful, yes. But I never cared much for it. Dick York, by the way, played Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) Stevens' first husband in "Bewitched". ELEGY Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Cecil Kellaway, Jeff Morrow, Kevin Hagen, Don Dubbins Three astronauts land on a world where everyone is in a trance-like state. They then encounter an eccentric old gent named Mr. Wickwire (Kellaway), who apparently runs the planet. MIRROR IMAGE Writer: Rod Serling Director: John Brahm Cast: Vera Miles, Martin Milner, Joe Hamilton In a nearly deserted bus depot, a woman finds herself haunted by her double. LW: One of my personal favorites. This episode has a great "creepy" atmosphere. Martin Milner later starred in "Adam 12". THE MONSTERS ARE DUE ON MAPLE STREET Writer: Rod Serling Director: Ron Winston Cast: Claude Akins, Jack Wagner, Ben Erway, Lyn Guild Hysteria grips a small community as residents suspect a power failure has been caused by invaders from outer space disguised as Earthmen. A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Ted Post Cast: Howard Duff, Eileen Ryan, Gail Kobe, Frank Maxwell, Peter Walker A business man's working world inexplicably becomes the set for a film in which he has become a character. LW: Another of my favorites. The poor guy suddenly discovers that he is talking into a prop telephone! LONG LIVE WALTER JAMESON Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: Tony Leader Cast: Kevin McCarthy, Edgar Stehli, Estelle Winwood, Dody Heath An effective horror story in the tradition of "The Man in Half Moon Street." History professor Walter Jameson (McCarthy), an expert on the Civil War, is actually immortal and well over 200 years old. LW: The first of a couple of episodes on this basic theme. PEOPLE ARE ALIKE ALL OVER Writer: Rod Serling Director: David Orrick Cast: Roddy McDowell, Susan Oliver, Paul Comi, Byron Morrow, Vic Perrin An astronaut (McDowell) is pleased to find that people on Mars act just like people at home. Based on a short story by Paul W. Fairman. LW: A TZ classic. EXECUTION Writer: Rod Serling Director: Ron Winston Cast: Albert Salmi, Russel Johnson, Than Wyenn, George Mitchell, Jon Lormer A western outlaw (Salmi) is snatched from the hangman's noose by a modern day scientist (Johnson) and his time machine. LW: Russel Johnson, by the way, also had the distinction of playing "The Professor" on "Gilligan's Island", some years later! From the Twilight Zone to Gilligan's Island. Sigh... THE BIG TALL WISH Writer: Rod Serling Director: Ron Winston Cast: Ivan Dixon, Steve Perry, Kim Hamilton A child's faith in miracles helps a down-and-out boxer win an important match. LW: Ever since "Requiem for a Heavyweight", Rod also had a thing about boxing plots. The Twilight Zone versions of these tended to be comparatively poor. A NICE PLACE TO VISIT Writer: Charles Beaumont Director: John Brahm Cast: Larry Blyden, Sebastion Cabot, Sandra Warner While committing a crime, a cheap hood (Blyden) gets killed and finds an afterlife in which all wishes are granted. LW: Sebastion is great as the, well, "helper" in the afterlife (he's called "Pip".) Sebastion starred in many other roles both before and after this of course. NIGHTMARE AS A CHILD Writer: Rod Serling Director: Alvin Ganzer Cast: Janice Rule, Terry Burnham, Shepperd Strudwick Schoolteacher Helen Foley (Rule) is haunted by the recurring image of herself as a child. LW: Time paradoxes play a minor role in this episode. A STOP AT WILLOUGHBY Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Parrish Cast: James Daly, Howard Smith, Patricia Donahue, James Maloney Harried by his high-pressure job, an executive falls asleep on a train and wakes at a mysterious stop called Willoughby. LW: Another "classic", though objectively speaking, not a truly great episode. THE CHASER Writer: Robert Presnell, Jr. Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: George Grizzard, John McIntyre, Patricia Barry A loser in the game of love purchases a special potion from a weird "doctor". Based on a short story by John Collier. LW: The doctor's name was somthing like "A. Demon" by the way, to give you some idea of what his practice was like... PASSAGE FOR TRUMPET Writer: Rod Serling Director: Don Medford Cast: Jack Klugman, Mary Webster, John Anderson, Frank Wolff An unsuccessful trumpet player is given a second crack at life - after he is struck and killed by a truck, but first he has to learn what it's like to be "dead" in a world full of life... LW: The first of several dramatic appearances on TZ by Klugman, later to become familiar to us all as the sloppy Oscar Madison on "The Odd Couple". MR. BEVIS Writer: Rod Serling Director: Robert Parrish Cast: Orson Bean, Henry Jones, Charles Lane, William Schallert A kindly fellow's life is turned topsy-turvy when he receives "help" from his guardian angel (Jones). LW: Sigh. Poor Orson Bean (familiar to all) starred in this the first of two almost identical (except for details) TZ episodes on the subject of guardian angels. Neither was particularly good. THE AFTER HOURS Writer: Rod Serling Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Anne Francis, Elizabeth Allen, James Millholin, John Conwell A woman (Francis) discovers that the floor of a department store on which she bought an item doesn't exist, and that the salesgirl was, in reality, a mannequin. LW: Anne Francis we all know. This episode is one of the most memorable in the TZ series. THE MIGHTY CASEY Writer: Rod Serling Director: Douglas Heyes Cast: Jack Warden, Robert Sorrells, Don O'Kelly, Abraham Sofaer The manager of a baseball team adds a new man to the fold - a robot named Casey. LW: This episode is told as a fable, and is presented in a rather "tongue-in-cheek" manner. Fun if not taken too seriously. A WORLD OF HIS OWN Writer: Richard Matheson Director: Ralph Nelson Cast: Keenan Wynn, Phyliss Kirk, Mary LaRoche Serio-comedy, as a playwright creates true-to-life characters on his tape machine. They are so true that he can make tham appear in the room with him! SJ: This episode has the strangest and funniest ending of the series. LW: An EXCELLENT episode, which indeed has the most bizarre ending of any show in the entire TZ run. Highly recommended. Keenan Wynn plays a truly delightful character in this comedy/drama.