Jordan Peele’s reboot of the 50’s classic cult series Twilight Zone premiered on April 1 on CBS! To celebrate, we wanted to go back and revisit some of the best episodes of the original show, along with a few of our favorites. Now, 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!
“The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”
Season 1, Episode 22
Some fans and critics titled believe this is the “definitive” episode of Twilight Zone. It’s one that captures both the essence of the show and America at its best (and lowest). Taking place during the Cold War, the US is paranoid and desperate to find solutions to Russian threats. Charlie and Steve (Jack Weston and Claude Akins) are ordinary people living in suburbia, where everything is nearly perfect. However, the town begins to experience reoccurring, random power outages after a mysterious aircraft flies over their homes. Could it be the Russians? Then, extraterrestrial visions and witch-hunting hallucinations follow, leading to a dangerous street riot. Who is the real threat – the unknown aircraft pilots or perhaps…us?
“Eye of the Beholder”
Season 2, Episode 6
“Eye of the Beholder” is a Twilight Zone episode years ahead of its time. Although humans have always obsessed over beauty and looks, it’s certainly grown during the 20th century. In this episode, Maxine Stuart plays a woman who undergoes surgery to fix her disfigurement. Once she heals and takes off her bandages, she is beautiful and everything seems fine. However, we then discover, in a dark noir montage, that everyone who ever made fun of her looks unbearably ugly. The episode succeeds to point out the sheer ugliness of society and our unbelievable beauty standards without preaching. Yet we still finish the episode feeling like a thousand-pound hammer hit us in the stomach.
“To Serve Man”
Season 3, Episode 24
Every Twilight Zone episode revolves around a different illness we have as a modern society. Even though it aired over 70 years ago, it’s so accurate and still makes viewers question their life choices. In “To Serve A Man,” aliens land on Earth and promise “serving” everyone. The name of the episode doubles as a name of a cookbook, which foresees the end of the episode. Humans willingly get on the spaceship, like a lamb to the…well you know. This metaphor works particularly well because that’s exactly what humans are to these aliens: food! “To Serve A Man” shows us how anything can become normal if routine, even the insane and evil.
“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”
Season 5, Episode 3
An immortal classic, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” might be the best Twilight Zone episode ever. William Shatner’s performance is matched perfectly with the creators’ storytelling skills. Shatner portrays everyman Joe, who swears he sees a creature on the wing of his airplane. However, when no one else sees it, he begins to wonder if he’s suffering a nervous breakdown. The episode doesn’t have many twists afterward, because it doesn’t need to. It just follows one man’s down-spiral and his attempt to remain calm, all while questioning his sanity. The episode is still relevant nowadays with the way it deals with how multiple people can experience the same event.
Of course, you should probably give the new Twilight Zone a chance. It is Jordan Peele after all, who is an incredible talent. If you’re interested, check out the trailer here! However, if you end up not liking the new reboot, you can always watch these classic Twilight Zone episodes!