“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man.”
With this sentence, Rod Serling introduced “The Twilight Zone” on Oct. 2, 1959. Five seasons, several offshoots and countless imitators later, the beloved and influential anthology series that mixed sci-fi with morality tales has become an indelible part of the cultural lexicon.
On Monday, a new generation of viewers will get its own version of Serling’s off-kilter sensibilities when Jordan Peele’s reimagining premieres on CBS All Access. Whether you’ve seen every episode or none, here’s a primer on the enduring legacy of “The Twilight Zone.”
In the late ’50s, the screenwriter Rod Serling was experimenting with injecting political commentary into his work. A script he submitted for the anthology series “The United States Steel Hour” titled “Noon on Doomsday” was his response to the murder of Emmett Till. The screenplay was gutted by the network, rewritten to such a degree that most commentary was removed. This experience would lead Serling to fight hard to retain creative control when he later created “The Twilight Zone.”
Serling received the opportunity to produce his own series in part because of the positive response to another one of his innovative scripts, which some consider to be “Twilight Zone”’s unofficial pilot. Run as a part of “Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse” in 1958, “The Time Element” stars William Bendix as a man with a recurring dream about failing to stop Pearl Harbor. The next year, “The Twilight Zone” premiered, running from 1959 to 1964 and producing 156 episodes, most of them written by Serling himself.
The series quickly developed a core of expertly juggled recurring motifs, including American history, technology, nostalgia and its trademark cautionary tales. (Serling loved a good Faustian parable.) While he hosted weekly visits to other planets and alternate universes, Serling asked his viewers to question authority, innovation and the role of faith in their lives.
Serling served in World War II, and that experience impacted his work in episodes like “A Quality of Mercy,” about a gung-ho soldier magically transported into the enemy’s shoes, and “The Purple Testament,” about a man who can look at a man’s face and see that he’s about to die in combat. But Serling didn’t live in the past, often using his platform to comment on his era’s anxieties, especially nuclear proliferation in episodes like “Time Enough at Last,” “Third From the Sun” and “The Shelter.” The costs of living in a world that could destroy itself at any minute was always on Serling’s mind.
Another theme that was particularly close to Serling’s heart was time and how one learns the hard way that you can’t go home again (“A Stop at Willoughby,” “Walking Distance”). Yet not every story ended with a tragic monkey-paw twist. Serling knew how to entertain and made sure that several episodes each season kept things light and fun (“The Mighty Casey,” “Hocus-Pocus and Frisby”).
While Rod Serling was the face and voice of “The Twilight Zone,” he wasn’t alone. The show was a potent platform for other writers and notable young directors as well, but he had two major partners. Serling, Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont wrote 127 of the show’s 156 episodes. Classic Beaumont episodes include “The Howling Man” and “Miniature.” Matheson wrote, among others, “Nick of Time,” “The Invaders,” “Little Girl Lost” and “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”
Other notable voices behind-the-scenes included directors Richard Donner (“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and four others), Don Siegel (“Uncle Simon”), Jacques Tourneur (“Night Call”), Ida Lupino (“The Masks”), and Ray Bradbury (“I Sing the Body Electric”).Famous Faces
”Twilight Zone” featured a who’s who of distinguished actors, some of whom were famous at the time, like Ed Wynn, Mickey Rooney and Buster Keaton. Often the stars featured in narratives that played into their well-known personas: Keaton’s episode opened with silent film storytelling techniques, for instance, and Rooney’s featured a jockey who longed to be taller.
The show was even better at tapping new and on-the-rise talent, including Charles Bronson (“Two”), Robert Redford (“Nothing in the Dark”), Dennis Hopper (“He’s Alive”), Robert Duvall (“Miniature”), Burt Reynolds (“The Bard”), Leonard Nimoy (“A Quality of Mercy”), Carol Burnett (“Cavender is Coming”) and Peter Falk (“The Mirror”).
These episodes, listed chronologically, represent some of the best of what the series accomplished. (All are currently streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.)
“Walking Distance” (Season 1, Episode 5)
One of Serling’s most personal screenplays, this episode stars Gig Young as a man who goes back to his hometown and finds he’s traveled back in time. It contains some of the show’s strongest visuals, elevated by a beautiful, original Bernard Herrmann score.
“Time Enough at Last” (Season 1, Episode 8)
One of the best twist endings in TV history. Burgess Meredith (who appeared in four episodes and the 1983 movie) stars as an antisocial bookworm who finally gets all the time he could ever want to read after surviving a nuclear explosion. Then fate intervenes.
“Mirror Image” (Season 1, Episode 21)
A woman in an isolated bus station is confused when employees act like they’ve encountered her before. Then she spots someone in the mirror in the other room — her exact double.
“The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” (Season 1, Episode 22)
When a neighborhood becomes convinced there is an alien among them, they turn on each other. Serling’s commentary on paranoia and division remains eerily relevant today.
“Eye of the Beholder” (Season 2, Episode 6)
The story of a bandaged woman worried about her surgery ends with one of the show’s most essential big reveals, representative of Serling’s assertion that perception can be fluid and subjective.
“The Invaders” (Season 2, Episode 15)
A mostly silent episode stars Agnes Moorehead as a woman troubled by alien invaders.
“A Game of Pool” (Season 3, Episode 5)
Jack Klugman and Jonathan Winters star in a masterful episode about the price of being a legend and the human need to be the best. It’s a great example of the show’s gift with dialogue, delivered by two of the show’s best performers.
“It’s a Good Life” (Season 3, Episode 8)
This story of a 6-year-old with godlike powers (later remade for the movie version) remains terrifying.
“To Serve Man” (Season 3, Episode 24)
Watch in horror as a man learns, just a minute too late, that the word “serve” has multiple meanings.
“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (Season 5, Episode 3)
Fear of flying and fear of not being believed are merged in this harrowing episode starring William Shatner as the only passenger on a plane who knows “there’s something on the wing!”
Serling’s series continued to win new fans for decades after its cancellation, making eventual reboots inevitable. Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, John Landis and George Miller each directed a segment for a 1983 film. (Sadly, the movie is arguably most remembered for the helicopter crash that killed Vic Morrow, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, a tragedy that changed the industry’s safety standards on sets.)
In 1985 came a TV reboot that attracted creators who had been inspired by the original series, including Harlan Ellison, George R.R. Martin, Wes Craven and William Friedkin. Running until 1989, this version has several episodes worth revisiting, especially Craven’s “Shatterday,” starring Bruce Willis. Less memorable was a one-season revival for UPN in 2002 hosted by Forest Whitaker.
Up next is Jordan Peele’s take for CBS All Access, with guest stars like Kumail Nanjiani, Sanaa Lathan, Adam Scott and Steven Yeun.
One needn’t look only at shows or movies that bear the familiar title to see its influence. It’s been everywhere for the last 60 years, most recently in Peele’s box-office hit “Us,” a film that he’s said was partially inspired by the episode “Mirror Image.” Supernaturally themed anthology shows like “The Outer Limits” and “Amazing Stories” couldn’t hide their resemblance to Serling’s landmark series, and even shows like “Lost” and “The X-Files” frequently found themselves reaching for some of that “Twilight Zone” flavor.
Today we live in a world where the words “Twilight Zone” are used as an adjective whenever anyone wants to describe stories (or real-life events) that are fearless, insightful, ironic and just a little bit spooky. And that theme song was killer too.B:
香港5码中特【光】【棱】【坦】【克】【虽】【然】【强】，【但】【因】【其】【护】【甲】【和】【生】【命】【的】【限】【制】，【极】【不】【抗】【揍】，【很】【忌】【讳】【被】【敌】【人】【靠】【近】。 【可】【是】【现】【在】，【非】【但】【被】【敌】【人】【近】【了】【身】，【而】【且】【还】【是】【狼】【小】【队】【里】【所】【有】【的】【天】【启】【坦】【克】，【其】【中】【更】【是】【夹】【杂】【着】【三】【辆】【精】【英】【级】【别】【的】【强】【力】【坦】【克】！ 【那】【还】【玩】【个】【锤】【子】？ 【轰】【隆】【隆】 【轰】【隆】【隆】 【所】【有】【的】【天】【启】【坦】【克】【都】【已】【经】【急】【不】【可】【耐】【了】，【靠】【近】【之】
“【啊】，【陈】【厂】【长】【掉】【下】【台】【去】【了】……” “【阿】，【陈】【厂】【长】【晕】【过】【去】【了】，【头】【在】【流】【血】……” “【市】【里】【的】【车】【过】【来】【了】，【啊】，【是】【市】【领】【导】【王】【副】【市】【长】……” 【人】【群】【中】【突】【然】【传】【出】【莫】【名】【的】【尖】【叫】，【然】【后】【就】【见】【陈】【厂】【长】【掉】【下】【高】【台】，【然】【后】【头】【破】【血】【流】【的】，【好】【像】【不】【省】【人】【事】。【而】【恰】【到】【好】【处】【的】，【市】【领】【导】【的】【车】【也】【到】【了】，【王】【副】【市】【长】【一】【下】【车】【就】【正】【好】【看】【见】【这】【一】【画】【面】。 “【你】
【王】【壑】【和】【张】【谨】【言】【对】【视】——【万】【事】【齐】【备】！【若】【说】【还】【有】【欠】【缺】，【那】【就】【是】【缺】【一】【批】【粮】【草】。【这】【个】，【只】【能】【尽】【人】【事】【了】。 【安】【排】【已】【定】，【王】【壑】【又】【去】【找】【大】【姐】。 【女】【子】【单】【独】【设】【一】【营】【区】。 【在】【一】【间】【大】【帐】【内】，【长】【条】【案】【上】【摆】【满】【了】【医】【用】【器】【皿】，【草】【药】【堆】【了】【半】【帐】【篷】；【帘】【幕】【隔】【出】【前】【后】【帐】，【后】【帐】【内】，【梁】【朝】【云】【正】【带】【着】【茯】【苓】【等】【几】【个】【弟】【子】【在】【灯】【下】【忙】【碌】，【地】【上】【躺】【着】【好】【几】【只】【鸡】。 香港5码中特【之】【前】【沈】【乐】【接】【到】【了】【重】【庆】【总】【部】【的】【紧】【急】【电】【文】【通】【知】，【得】【知】【罗】【嘉】【纳】，【也】【就】【是】【郑】【嘉】【元】【在】【上】【海】【被】【捕】，【顿】【时】【被】【惊】【吓】【得】【不】【轻】，【他】【急】【忙】【紧】【急】【发】【送】【电】【文】【至】【上】【海】，【命】【令】【情】【报】【线】【切】【断】【与】【之】【关】【联】【的】【所】【有】【联】【系】，【可】【是】【到】【底】【来】【不】【来】【得】【及】，【只】【有】【天】【知】【道】【了】！ 【关】【成】【益】【闻】【言】，【心】【情】【也】【是】【沉】【重】，【他】【轻】【声】【问】【道】：“【知】【道】【什】【么】【原】【因】【吗】？” 【沈】【乐】【摇】【头】【说】【道】：“【具】【体】【被】
【莫】【易】【站】【起】【来】，【观】【察】【四】【周】，【后】【面】【那】【个】【身】【影】【缓】【缓】【飘】【起】【来】【跟】【在】【莫】【易】【后】【面】，【看】【着】【莫】【易】【在】【地】【板】【上】，【墙】【壁】【上】【敲】【敲】【打】【打】。 “【一】【定】【有】【机】【关】【吧】。”【莫】【易】【自】【言】【自】【语】【的】【说】【着】，【还】【一】【边】【心】【里】【想】【着】，【这】【里】【毕】【竟】【是】【白】【小】【恋】【带】【自】【己】【来】【的】【地】【方】，【她】【总】【不】【会】【坑】【了】【自】【己】。 【莫】【易】【这】【样】【想】【着】【继】【续】【看】【着】【旁】【边】【的】【东】【西】，【后】【面】【那】【个】【身】【影】【缓】【缓】【伸】【出】【手】，【在】【这】【同】【时】，【这】【只】
（【么】【么】，【请】【晚】【一】【些】【观】【看】，【防】【盗】【章】～～） 【那】【日】【穆】【尔】【琛】【咳】【出】【的】【血】，【大】【多】【是】【陈】【年】【旧】【疾】【所】【致】。【那】【淤】【血】【一】【旦】【导】【出】，【想】【必】【对】【身】【体】【更】【有】【益】【处】。 【姬】【奈】【有】【时】【候】【想】【问】【穆】【尔】【琛】，【寒】【冬】【到】【了】，【他】【在】【外】【界】【冷】【不】【冷】，【或】【者】【想】【告】【诉】【他】【今】【日】【见】【到】【的】【新】【鲜】【事】【儿】，【或】【者】【是】【白】【玉】【灵】【猫】【又】【长】【胖】【了】，【可】【是】【他】【都】【不】【在】【身】【边】。【她】【试】【着】【给】【他】【写】【信】，【可】【不】【知】【什】【么】【缘】【故】
【恐】【怖】【的】【杀】【意】，【瞬】【间】【遍】【布】【整】【个】【空】【间】，【那】【种】【肃】【杀】，【让】【人】【骨】【子】【里】【都】【发】【冷】。 【蛇】【尾】【甩】【动】，【一】【个】【漂】【亮】【的】【甩】【尾】，【水】【天】【宗】【的】【斗】【王】【瞬】【间】【不】【见】【人】【影】。 【嘶】！ 【所】【有】【人】【都】【倒】【吸】【一】【口】【冷】【气】，【造】【化】【门】【的】【斗】【王】【二】【话】【不】【说】，【掉】【头】【就】【跑】，【然】【而】【来】【不】【及】【了】。 【一】【道】【紫】【色】【光】【芒】【闪】【烁】，【那】【斗】【王】【倒】【飞】【而】【出】，【不】【知】【道】【撞】【碎】【了】【多】【少】【大】【鼎】。【鼎】【内】【的】【丹】【药】【散】【发】【出】【浓】【烈】
【办】【公】【室】【内】，【门】【一】【关】【上】，【王】【丞】【枫】【完】【全】【不】【将】【自】【己】【当】【成】【外】【人】，【大】【步】【走】【到】【单】【人】【沙】【发】【前】【坐】【了】【下】【来】。 【他】【伸】【手】【比】【了】【比】【对】【面】【的】【沙】【发】，【示】【意】【郑】【远】【城】【坐】【下】，【好】【谈】【事】。 【郑】【远】【城】：“⋯⋯” 【草】！！ 【这】【是】【谁】【的】【办】【公】【室】【啊】！！ 【怎】【么】【有】【种】【错】【觉】，【好】【像】【是】【他】【进】【入】【王】【丞】【枫】【的】【办】【公】【室】【一】【样】！！ 【郑】【远】【城】【沈】【住】【气】【坐】【了】【下】【来】。 【王】【丞】【枫】【这】【个】