One of my favorite tv shows of all time is unquestionably The Twilight Zone. My poor students have been subjected to its tales occasionally (and usually I’m met with whines of, “No! Not Twilight!” before they realize what it is). But most of them come to love the stories before the end. Sometimes they even e-mail me (even years later) asking for episode recommendations.
I don’t remember when I first began watching or even which episode I watched first, but it’s been a permanent installment at home since sometime in my early to mid-teens. Any time we found an episode on tv, we dropped everything to watch it. For years, the Sci-Fi channel used to feature 24 hours of The Twilight Zone between New Year’s Even and New Year’s Day, and we would plan our day according to which episodes we absolutely had to watch.
It certainly is unique in that the story is always different. The only person who appears each time is Rod Sterling himself as he introduces the show, and the same characters never appear twice (even though some actors appear repeatedly). While this is also a trademark of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and some other similar shows, The Twilight Zone was the first one I was exposed to and has my favorite stories. After all, how can you beat the unexpected twists?
If you never watched The Twilight Zone, may I make some recommendations of some must-watch episodes:
- Monsters Are Due on Maple Street
- Time Enough at Last
- Nick of Time
- Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?
- Five Characters in Search of an Exit
- To Serve Man
- Nightmare at 2,000 Feet
And, for Ambrose Bierce fans, there’s a Cannes Film Festival-winning version of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” that I use every year after my students read the short story. It’s very true to the story!
What’s one of your all-time favorite tv shows? Have you watched The Twilight Zone before?