The 10 Best Twilight Zone Episodes, Ranked

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Rod Serling

You understand how badass The Twilight Zone  is? So badass that a few of its episodes are retroactively rated TV-14. And that is from a present again within the 1960s! Granted, many of those new rankings are for Rod Serling smoking throughout the intros, however some are provided that TV-14 score for its themes and even violence. In that means, The Twilight Zone has all the time been a present distinctly grownup in nature, and plenty of of its finest episodes challenged concepts like fascism, collectivism, racism…You recognize. All the foremost “ism’s.”

However not all of its episodes are heady, thought experiments. Some are simply completely partaking tales, a lot of which have little twists on the finish that I’m positive impressed M. Night time Shyamalan an amazing deal. Rod Serling did, in spite of everything, assist write the screenplay for the unique Planet of the Apes, which arguably has one of many best endings within the historical past of cinema. So, whereas a few of these episodes beneath don’t sort out any of the necessary “isms,” they’re nonetheless the best and most memorable episodes in the complete collection. And with a complete of 156 episodes, that’s actually saying one thing.

From left to right: Jonathan Winters and Jack Klugman

10. A Recreation of Pool, Season 3, Episode 5

A pool junkie named Jesse (performed by Jack Klugman) has crushed each dwelling participant, however feels incomplete since he by no means received to play the legendary “Fat” Brown (performed by Jonathan Winters). He’d give something to play “Fat,” however there’s only one large downside—“Fat” is lifeless. However fortunately (or unluckily since that is The Twilight Zone) “Fat” will get a name from Heaven, and he goes all the way down to Earth to problem Jesse. However there’s a catch, after all. As a result of once more, that is The Twilight Zone.

A fantastic majority of this episode is simply two folks enjoying beautiful pool, however the rigidity is sky excessive for each gamers. The ironic factor, although, is that we as an viewers know that it could be higher for Jesse if he loses, because it may solely imply dangerous information for him if he wins. It’s the conclusion that in the end sells this story, although. A fantastic episode, and a easy one.

Betty Garde

9. The Midnight Solar, Season 3, Episode 10

The earth is slowly, however certainly, shifting nearer to the solar, creating an unbearably sizzling planet Earth. Norma (Lois Nettleton) and Mrs. Bronson (Betty Garde) are the final folks to remain in an condominium complicated, however they slowly go insane from the extreme warmth. Particularly Mrs. Bronson, who simply desires Norma to cease portray the solar and to begin portray one thing cool for a change!

This episode is particularly nice because it was so forward of its time. I imply, howdy. Local weather change! What number of different exhibits within the ‘60s had been tackling that matter? However the interplay between the 2 characters (properly, three, however I received’t spoil the episode), is nice as properly. All of it feels simply means too claustrophobic and uncomfortable, which it’s imagined to. And that picture of the dripping paint on the finish coupled with the music all the time provides me the chills. Sadly, there’s a twist on the finish that form of spoils the remainder of the episode, however total, it’s top-of-the-line within the collection.

A big-headed alien

8. To Serve Man, Season 3, Episode 24

Some big-headed aliens come all the way down to Earth saying that they wish to be pleasant and “serve” us. We’re skeptical at first, however they ultimately win us over. That’s a giant mistake on our half, although, for the reason that phrase “serve” can have a number of meanings.

I imply, come on. You don’t must have even watched The Twilight Zone to know that well-known—“It’s a cookbook!”—line. It’s like “Soylent Inexperienced is folks!” Or, “You’re gonna want a much bigger boat.” You recognize, strains so widespread that they’ve form of seeped into the popular culture unconscious and settled there. This episode’s nice and all, however it could be just a little greater if it didn’t utterly must depend on that twist ending to be efficient.

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

7. The Monsters Are Due on Maple Avenue, Season 1, Episode 22

A shadow with lights and sounds seems over a quaint suburb referred to as Maple Avenue. No one actually thinks a lot of it till one of many neighborhood boys means that it could be a UFO. Issues rapidly go downhill when unusual occurrences begin taking place within the neighborhood. And if something, this episode is a testomony to simply how little would take to drive folks to violence.

That is a type of considerate, “ism” episodes that I discussed earlier. This episode is implausible as a result of it will get proper to the guts of the matter—individuals are naturally distrustful of each other, and if they appear like they’re “completely different,” then they’re most likely harmful. It doesn’t have any folks of shade, however it undoubtedly touches on the idea of racism (us towards them) and herd mentality. A nice and terrifying episode.

William Shatner with a little devil

6. Nick of Time, Season 2, Episode 7

William Shatner performs a newlywed who stops right into a diner after his automotive breaks down. He and his new bride sit at a desk with just a little satan fortune telling gadget that seems to essentially inform the longer term. However when he continues to make use of it, he finds that it has a maintain over him. And it will not let him go.

A number of Twilight Zone episodes have what I’ll name low cost twist endings, however this one is so efficient that it elevates it above numerous the opposite nice episodes on this listing. Plus, Shatner is simply implausible as a person who has stumbled into an habit mounted by concern.

Burgess Meredith

5. Time Sufficient at Final, Season 1, Episode 8

Burgess Meredith, who as soon as performed The Penguin within the outdated Batman collection, performs a googly-eyed man who has horrible eyesight, however loves studying. All people hates him for his intellectualism, however he retains studying as a result of that’s what he likes to do. However when a large bomb goes off whereas he’s in a secure, he finds that he’s most likely the final dwelling man on Earth. Loneliness sucks, however not less than he has his books. So long as his glasses don’t break, he needs to be nice for the remainder of his life…

One other “ism” episode—this one anti-intellectualism—the twist of the ending is simpler than “To Serve Man’s,” which is extra of a pun than anything. This twist although actually stings, making it most likely essentially the most memorable twist in the complete present’s historical past. A fan-favorite, to make sure.

William Shatner staring out the window

4. Nightmare at 20,00zero Toes, Season 5, Episode 3

All people’s seen this one. William Shatner (once more) is sitting on a airplane after popping out of a psychological establishment, and he sees a gremlin on the wing that no one else can see. Scares (and humorous faces!) ensue.

In all probability essentially the most well-known episode, William Shatner is hilarious on this one. He’s not imagined to be, however that is peak Shatner. And whereas the “gremlin” seems to be ridiculous (form of like that bear creature in The Shining giving a BJ) the mere idea of a monster on the wing of a airplane remains to be terrifying.

Dennis Hopper as a Nazi

3. He is Alive, Season 4, Episode 4

A Neo Nazi (significantly) performed by Dennis Hopper will get disrespected by just about all people as a result of he’s a loser. However when he has an opportunity encounter with a shadowy determine who sounds rather a lot like Hitler (Trace: It is Hitler), the Neo Nazi has an increase, and fall, after hurting anyone very near him.

The most necessary episode in the complete collection, “He’s Alive” was one of many hour-long episodes that folks not often get to see because it was in Season 4. That’s a disgrace, because it’s extraordinarily potent and doubtless speaks extra to right this moment’s fractured America than some other episode within the collection.

Dennis Weaver in the foreground

2. Shadow Play, Season 2, Episode 26

A person who is about to be executed claims that the whole lot that’s about to occur is all a part of one among his goals. He additionally says that he refuses to die once more. He proclaims that everyone within the courtroom is only a figment of his creativeness, and he tries to persuade them that “dying” in his goals each single night time is torture, however no one believes him.

My all-time favourite episode, “Shadow Play” haunts me to today. It’s deep in a means that different episodes don’t even contact upon, and it takes its ideas gravely significantly. How hellish wouldn’t it be to “die” each single night time? This episode asks that horrible query and solutions it, too.

Billy Mumy in the foreground

1. It is a Good Life, Season 3, Episode 8

A little bit boy (performed by Billy Mumy) has godlike powers, and might mainly kill you by simply fascinated by it. He’s telepathic, so no one on the town may even suppose detrimental ideas about him, as a result of he’ll know. After which he’ll flip them right into a jack-in-the-box earlier than he sends them to the cornfield.

By far the scariest, most hair-raising episode in the complete collection. “It’s a Good Life” is the one episode that has ever truly given me a nightmare. The idea is mind-blowing, and the performances of all people cringing their means by way of their whole lives in order to not upset just a little boy is the best the present has ever been. This episode’s probably not making an attempt to make any grand level, however from a storytelling perspective, there’s nothing higher.

And that’s the listing. Opinions are purely subjective, however I believe most individuals would agree with most of the picks on this listing. I additionally made an obscure Twilight Zone listing, so your favourite may need ended up on there. But when it didn’t, what’s your favourite episode of the present? Pontificate within the feedback part beneath.

Out of the episodes listed right here, what do you suppose is the perfect episode of The Twilight Zone?

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