5 – Living Doll
– Of course, we all know dolls can’t really talk, and they certainly can’t commit murder. But to a child caught in the middle of turmoil and conflict, a doll can become many things: friend, defender, guardian. Especially a doll like Talky Tina, who did talk and did commit murder – in the misty region of the Twilight Zone –
4 – Nightmare at 20, 000 Feet
– Portrait of a frightened man: Mr. Robert Wilson, thirty-seven, husband, father, and salesman on sick leave. Mr. Wilson has just been discharged from a sanitarium where he spent the last six months recovering from a nervous breakdown, the onset of which took place on an evening not dissimilar to this one, on an airliner very much like the one in which Mr. Wilson is about to be flown home – the difference being that, on that evening half a year ago, Mr. Wilson’s flight was terminated by the onslaught of his mental breakdown. Tonight, he’s traveling all the way to his appointed destination, which, contrary to Mr. Wilson’s plan, happens to be in the darkest corner of the Twilight Zone –
3 – The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
– The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices – to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill – and suspicion can destroy – and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own – for the children – and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is – that these things cannot be confined – to the Twilight Zone –
2 – (Tie) To Serve Man and It’s a Good Life
– Respectfully submitted for your perusal – a Kanamit. Height: a little over nine feet. Weight: in the neighborhood of three hundred and fifty pounds. Origin: unknown. Motives? Therein hangs the tale, for in just a moment, we’re going to ask you to shake hands, figuratively, with a Christopher Columbus from another galaxy and another time. This is The Twilight Zone –
– No comment here, no comment at all. We only wanted to introduce you to one of our very special citizens, little Anthony Fremont, age 6, who lives in a village called Peaksville in a place that used to be Ohio. And if by some strange chance you should run across him, you had best think only good thoughts. Anything less than that is handled at your own risk, because if you do meet Anthony, you can be sure of one thing: you have entered The Twilight Zone –
1- (Tie) A Stop at Willoughby and The Howling Man
– This is Gart Williams, age thirty-eight, a man protected by a suit of armor, all held together by one bolt. Just a moment ago, someone removed the bolt, and Mr. Williams’ protection fell away from him and left him a naked target. He’s been cannonaded this afternoon by all the enemies of his life. His insecurity has shelled him, his sensitivity has straddled him with humiliation, his deep-rooted disquiet about his own worth has zeroed in on him, landed on target, and blown him apart. Mr. Gart Williams, ad agency exec, who, in just a moment, will move into the Twilight Zone – in a desperate search for survival –
[Opening Narration] The prostrate form of Mr. David Ellington, scholar, seeker of truth and, regretably, finder of truth. A man who will shortly arise from his exhaustion to confront a problem that has tormented mankind since the beginning of time. A man who knocked on a door seeking sanctuary and found, instead, the outer edges of The Twilight Zone –
[Closing Narration] Ancient folk saying: ‘You can catch the Devil, but you can’t hold him long.’ Ask Brother Jerome. Ask David Ellington. They know, and they’ll go on knowing to the end of their days and beyond – in the Twilight Zone.
I Shot an Arrow into the Air
Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?
The Midnight Sun
Mr Denton on Doomsday
Long Live Walter Jameson
Eye of the Beholder
Where is Everybody?
Sixteen Millimeter Shrine
Third from the Sun
Great list! You’ve inspired me to post my own list – but I’ll need to rewatch them all, which is really no huge burden! (Btw, I think you mean “Love Live Walter Jameson”)
Looking forward to that list! (envious that you will need to re-watch them all, man!) Glad you enjoyed the post. I appreciate you checking in, Andy. All the best!
That reminds me – I started re-watching the series a couple of years ago and stalled out halfway through Season 2. Need to pick up where I left off!
Get to it Andy! Get to it! Chop chop. 😁👍
I think this show is the reason I don’t own many dolls. 😀 It’s amazing that even though you know a doll is incapable of human actions or speech, your mind momentarily believes it after seeing it happen on television or in a movie.
Ha Ha! Totally understand where you’re coming from! As a kid, Talky Tina provoked a sincere and deep rooted apprehension of inanimate dolls (or are they?) in me. Upon watching not only this ep but the other TZ entries with the ventriloquist dummies increased that dread even more. But that’s the genius of Serling and the great writing in TZ.
Thanks so much for checking in, Wesley! I apologize for the late reply. Take care!
Great post Vic. it pretty much matches my own Top 5. I think my only difference would be putting ‘Would the Real Martian Please Stand Up’ in place of ‘To Serve man’. Just have them trade places in the list and that would probably be mine. I do love Willoughby and The Howling Man was an inspiration to my own story in the ‘Cellar Door II Anthology’ called, ‘The Gates of Lament.’
BTW it was great having Twilight Zone on SyFy for almost 4 full days over New Years weekend. My and my Wife just kept popping it on, whenever we needed a fix 🙂 I do own seasons 1, 2, &3 on dvd but enjoyed that long weekend nevertheless.
It’s great that SyFy aired them in order and in HD for the 1st time, too! I dont have cable anymore but I had my own marathon on Hulu Plus where they have season 4 available, where Amazon and Netflix don’t. Thanks for checking in, Michael! Hope you’re well and I’ll be catching up on your posts this weekend! Also, I apologize for the late reply. All the best bro 🙂
Great top five bro! I love Savalas’ macho yet scared performance in it. I know of your love for Howling Man lol. Also kudos for including A Stop at Willoughby where that ending hits pretty hard.
Glad you enjoyed the list, Eric. It’s all about The Howling Man, bro! I appreciate you checking in, man. Sorry about the late reply 🙂
A really solid list, Vic! This show and Outer Limits kept me glued to the TV as a kid (hey, they still do). I cant really argue with the current list, but a couple more personal favorites are “Night Call” and “22.”
LOVE Night Call! That ending! Need to watch 2. Been a long time. Like that one as well. I thankfully have Hulu Plus to thank for having Season 4 available, too, where Netflix and Amazon do not. Thanks for stopping by, Barry! Always appreciated, my friend and I apologize for the late reply. Glad you liked the list 🙂