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The Twilight Zone season 1

   

Synopsis of The Twilight Zone season 1

The complete first season of Rod Serling’s classic, groundbreaking series exploring the fantastic and the frightening.

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season
TitleOriginal air date
1Where Is Everybody?October 2, 1959
Mike Ferris (Earl Holliman), a man with no memory, finds himself in a town strangely devoid of people. But despite the emptiness, he has the odd feeling that he’s being watched.
2One for the AngelsOctober 9, 1959
A street salesman (Ed Wynn) cleverly eludes Death. But if he lives, a little girl must die in his place.
3Mr. Denton on DoomsdayOctober 16, 1959
A has-been, drunk gunslinger finds his fast-draw abilities magically restored. With the intervention of a man named Fate.
4The Sixteen-Millimeter ShrineOctober 23, 1959
An aging, former movie star lives and dreams in the past, constantly watching her old movies alone in her room.
5Walking DistanceOctober 30, 1959
Martin Sloan, driving through the country, leaves his car and starts to walk toward his hometown, Homewood. He finds things exactly as they were when he was a child. He soon realizes he’s gone back in time.
6Escape ClauseNovember 6, 1959
A hypochondriac exchanges his soul for immortality and indestructibility. Proof of why a pact with the Devil is never a good idea.
7The LonelyNovember 13, 1959
Corry is stranded on an asteroid after being convicted of a crime. He receives as a present a robot who looks, sounds, and acts like a real woman. An outstanding episode, with great performances by Jack Warden, John Dehner, Jean Marsh. An appearance by a young Ted Knight as well.
8Time Enough at LastNovember 20, 1959
A bank teller, Henry Bemis, longs for time alone to read books. He gets his wish. A sad, shocking twist ending. Burgess Meredith’s first appearance on The Twilight Zone
9Perchance to DreamNovember 27, 1959
A man is terrified of falling asleep for fear he might die.
10Judgment NightDecember 4, 1959
In 1942, a German wonders why he’s on the deck of a British steamship, with no memory of how he got there, and an overwhelming sense of impending doom.
11And When the Sky Was OpenedDecember 11, 1959
Three astronauts have returned from this first space flight. Major Gart is hospitalized with a broken leg. The other two, Colonels Harrington and Forbes head for a bar. Harrington gets a strange feeling
12What You NeedDecember 25, 1959
A two-bit thug thinks he’s found the key to a better life in an old sidewalk salesman who has the uncanny ability to tell people what they need the most.
13The Four of Us Are DyingJanuary 1, 1960
A man who can change his face to resemble others gets into hot water with gangsters
14Third from the SunJanuary 8, 1960
With all-out nuclear war about to ignite, a scientist and his pilot friend plot to escape on an experimental spaceship.
15I Shot an Arrow into the AirJanuary 15, 1960
Three astronauts crash on what they believe to be an asteroid. Unfortunately they have only limited water supplies to sustain them.
16The Hitch-HikerJanuary 22, 1960
Alone on a cross-country trip, a woman continually sees the same hitch-hiker everywhere she looks.
17The FeverJanuary 29, 1960
Tight-fisted Franklin Gibbs is not pleased when his wife wins a trip for two to Las Vegas. But things change when he falls under the spell of a slot machine that calls his name.
18The Last FlightFebruary 5, 1960
A World War I flying ace flies through a mysterious cloud – and lands at a modern U.S. air base in the year 1959!
19The Purple TestamentFebruary 12, 1960
Lt. Fitzgerald has found his own special wartime hell. Looking into the faces of his men prior to battle, he has the disquieting ability to see who is about to die.
20ElegyFebruary 19, 1960
Three astronauts land on what looks like Earth 200 years before they left–only all of the people seem frozen in time.
21Mirror ImageFebruary 26, 1960
Millicent Barnes sees her double at a bus terminal.
22The Monsters Are Due on Maple StreetMarch 4, 1960
Paranoia strikes the residents of Maple Street when they believe human-looking aliens have invaded the neighborhood. One of the best episodes of the entire series.
23A World of DifferenceMarch 11, 1960
Businessman Arthur Curtis discovers that life as he knows it doesn’t really exist.
24Long Live Walter JamesonMarch 18, 1960
Walter Jameson is an excellent history teacher who talks about the past as if he had lived it.
25People Are Alike All OverMarch 25, 1960
When a space exploration crashes on Mars, the surviving passenger is surprised to find that Martians are human-looking, very friendly and apparently just like us. An excellent episode starring Roddy McDowell.
26ExecutionApril 1, 1960
Just before being hanged for shooting a man in the back, a man in 1880 is transported into the year 1959 by a professor who soon realizes that he has brought forward a savage killer Interestingly, “The Professor” is played by Russell Johnson – the Professor on Gilligan’s Island
27The Big Tall WishApril 8, 1960
An over-the-hill boxer gets a boost from one of his biggest fans – a little boy with an unwavering belief in magic.
28A Nice Place to VisitApril 15, 1960
After being shot to death, Rocky Valentine encounters the amiable white-haired Mr. Pip, who gives Rocky everything he wishes for. Sebastian Cabot in a very different role.
29“Nightmare as a Child”April 29, 1960
Schoolteacher Helen Foley finds a strange and very serious little girl on the stairs outside her apartment. The little girl seems to know her, and tries to jog her memory about a man she saw earlier that day. The man arrives at Helen’s door
30A Stop at WilloughbyMay 6, 1960
Riding home on the train one day, a man falls asleep and dreams it is 1880, and he is entering a small town called Willoughby.
31The ChaserMay 13, 1960
A man, desperate to win the affection of a beautiful woman, slips her a love potion. He is overjoyed that the potion works so well…at first.
32A Passage for TrumpetMay 20, 1960
A trumpet player who’s convinced he’ll never amount to anything attempts suicide and finds himself in a world where no one can hear or see him.
33Mr. BevisJune 3, 1960
An eccentric loser gets a new life from his guardian angel, but there is a price to keeping it.
34The After HoursJune 10, 1960
A woman discovers that the floor of a department store, on which she bought a gold thimble, doesn’t exist – and that her “saleslady” is really a mannequin! Starring Ann Francis.
35The Mighty CaseyJune 17, 1960
Casey is signed up as the star pitcher of the last-place Hoboken Zephyrs. The team zooms to fourth place thanks to Casey. After he’s beaned by a ball, a doctor discovers something about Casey …
36A World of His Own
A playwright makes characters come to life. An unusual, and fitting, fitting final episode of the first season of the Twilight Zone. Starring Keenan Wynn — and Rod Serling!

Editorial review of The Twilight Zone Season 1

Submitted for your approval: The Twilight Zone‘s inaugural season, all 36 episodes complete with Rod Serling’s original promos for the following week’s episode, not seen since their original broadcast. To discuss television’s greatest anthology series whose title has become pop culture shorthand for the bizarre and supernatural is to immediately become like Albert Brooks and Dan Aykroyd in Twilight Zone: The Movie; a can-you-top-this recall of famous shocks and favorite twists. Several essential episodes hail from this season, among them, “Time Enough at Last” starring Burgess Meredith as a bespectacled bookworm who is the lone survivor of an atomic blast; “The After-Hours” starring Anne Francis as a department store shopper haunted by mannequins; and the profoundly disturbing “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” in which fear and prejudice turns neighbor against neighbor (and, by the by, whose alien observers inspired Kang and Kodos on The Simpsons).

From an unsettlingly persistent hitchhiker to a malevolent slot machine, The Twilight Zone‘s first season did plumb “the pit of man’s fears.” One forgets how moving the series could be. Three of this season’s most memorable and enduring episodes are the poignant and primal “stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off fantasies, “Walking Distance,” “A Stop at Willougby” and “The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine,” in which desperate characters seek refuge in a simpler past. Serling’s few stabs at comedy (“Mr. Bevis,” “The Mighty Casey“) have not aged well, but the series finale, “A World of His Own,” starring Keenan Wynn as a playwright whose fictional characters come to life, has a brilliant capper.

The episodes are more deliberately paced than one might remember. Less patient younger viewers might be anxious to get to the payoffs, but once they settle into the rhythm, they will savor the literate writing and the performances by such veteran actors as Ed Wynn, Everett Sloan, and Ida Lupino, and newcomers such as Jack Klugman. The extras, including the unaired version of the pilot episode, “Where is Everybody?”, audio commentaries and recollections, and a Serling college lecture, truly take this six-disc set to another dimension. –Donald Liebenson

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