7 July 2020 | zkonedog
Far Ahead Of Its Time And Still Relevant Today
Just recently, I finished a kick of re-watching all 156 episodes of the original Twilight Zone series. If I were to average out all my individual episode rankings, that number would probably fall between 7-8 stars. Yet, when looked at as a whole rather than the sum of its parts, The Twilight Zone is 10/10 all the way.
When TZ is hitting on all cylinders, it is easily one of the greatest anthology pieces ever produced. The lion's share of the credit here goes to show creator and writer Rod Serling, who is truly one of the most inspired individuals to ever put pen to paper in screenplay format. The deeper themes about society or humanity are just as relevant now (if not sometimes more so!) than they were upon original airing.
It absolutely astounds me that this show premiered in 1959. That was ten years before the moon landing! I can't imagine what my grandparents would have thought about a show like this, dealing with space travels, aliens, and all manner of oddities hardly a decade removed from the Second World War and firmly in the Cold War.
Like I said, the best TZ episodes are treasures that will be enjoyed and studied for decades to come. Does the show have its share of clunkers? Of course. But only a true handful of episodes are truly bad. The others largely depend on personal sci-fi tastes or the time-period in which they are viewed.
About the only reason I would even consider dropping this from a perfect ranking is the fourth season of the show, which produced hour-long episodes. Those efforts aren't bad, per se, but are simply padded with dialogue to fill time rather than written for a longer runtime, for the most part.
When taking the long view, however, The Twilight Zone firmly resides in my top-five television programs of all-time. Despite premiering well before it could fully be appreciated, having to deal with the inane TV standards and practices of the era, and being constantly underfunded, Serling managed to keep everything afloat and write some of the best multi-genre material ever seen on the small screen. Whether comedy, mystery, horror, sci-fi, human drama, or any other genre is your game, you'll likely find something to enjoy in the breadth of The Twilight Zone.