Starting way back in 1959, there was a TV show that crept int people’s subconscious and stayed burrowed there for fifty plus years. A show that dares to be unlike any other show that had ever come before it. A show so ahead of its time, it is still inspiring people to create new, scary, bold science fiction to this day. That show was The Twilight Zone. Each episode would be a stand-alone story that somehow melded drama, science fiction, and horror perfectly. There are still shows and movies that rip many of the ideas from these stories off. Here are five unforgettable episodes of the Twilight Zone, regardless of how old they are.
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
First of all, it has William Shatner in it, so you know it rules. Second of all, it was one of the Twilight Zone stories that was adapted for the movie (and ended up being pretty awesome) and third, the idea is truly scary.
To sum it up, a man in a plane sees a gremlin on the wing, tearing the plane apart. No one else can see it and they think he is crazy. Come to find out, they land to subdue him because he is scaring other passengers, and we see that the plane was just about to fall apart. Brilliant, and still works to this day (but the creature costume is pretty lame).
It’s a Good Life
Another short adapted for the full length movie, It’s a Good Life focuses around one town’s fear as they face a boy who has unlimited powers to make whatever he wills come true. It is a simple premise, but still chilling to see how the adults tread so carefully around this innocent looking boy because they know the cruel power he can yield.
Smart choice casting a freckled red head, by the way. Early hints they were soulless monsters right there.
The Eye of the Beholder
What is so amazing about this episode is that it teaches us, as an audience, some really interesting things about perception. We get a story about beauty, how it means different things to different people. But the way they deliver the final blow and reveal in this episode is one of the greatest twists of all time.
Spoiler alert, a pretty girl is the monster and all the monsters are the norm. Genius, and the make up still works.
You may know this one best from the time The Simpsons parodied it for their Treehouse of Terror special. It involved a doll that says “I am going to kill you”, and one character not sure if he is going insane, or if this doll is really trying to kill him. Spoiler alert, it totes is.
Many say this set the trend for many “killer doll” movies and shows we would get after it, from Child’s Play to Puppetmaster.
You know what? I don’t even want to ruin this one for you. As a kid, this blew me away, and the ending to this perfectly spun tale still has the same affect on its audience today. Much like Eye of the Beholder, this is an episode that plays with the narrative and the audience’s expectations, but does so masterfully.
Seriously, if you have never seen this episode of The Twilight Zone, go find it right now to see exactly why this show was (and still is) one of the greatest television shows of all time.
[Photo via CBS]