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The Top 3 Episodes of 'The Twilight Zone'

May 2nd, 2013 Books/Audio/Video

One show that has undoubtedly made its mark in history through its portrayals of horror and science fiction is "The Twilight Zone." This television program, which aired throughout the mid 20th century, is still syndicated today. Rod Serling, the narrator and creator of the show, was able to transform "The Twilight Zone" from just another series to one that would forever stay in the hearts of pop culture fans. Fictional stories ranged from tales of otherworldly aliens to what happens to people after they die. As Serling often described it in the introduction to each show, "The Twilight Zone" was "The middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge."

After it began in 1959, "The Twilight Zone" went on for another five seasons, according to the Internet Movie Database, captivating audiences across the country. More than 100 episodes were filmed, and some of them are considered iconic in television history today. Here are three of the most memorable from "The Twilight Zone."

1. "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"
This episode featured actor William Shatner in one of his most famous roles as a salesman who is recovering from a mental breakdown. Unfortunately, he boards a plane that takes him directly into the Twilight Zone, where he is confronted with a gremlin-like creature tormenting him on the wing. Shatner is the only one who can see the monster, which leads him to believe that he is crazy. By the end of the episode, Shatner has fired a gun in an attempt to destroy the gremlin, prompting the plane to make an emergency landing. He is last seen being placed in a straitjacket, leaving viewers to question whether what he saw was real. Serling's final words insinuate that the other travelers eventually did understand Shatner's concerns when a portion of the wing is damaged.

2. "Time Enough At Last"
In this episode, viewers are confronted with the idea of being the only survivors on Earth after an apocalypse. The story follows a man named Henry Bemis, who makes it through a nuclear blast, giving him all the time in the world to enjoy reading - a favorite pastime - once the human race is destroyed. However, his glasses break, rendering him unable to indulge in the numerous books available to him. As Paste magazine describes, Bemis is forced to ask himself whether he wants to continue living in a world where he can't explore his passions or never connect with humans ever again. The episode dives into the depths of the mind, urging viewers to determine what they would do in a similar situation.

3. "To Serve Man"
Many people toy with the idea of what it would be like to interact with aliens from another planet, and this epi
sode does just that. In "To Serve Man," aliens arrive on Earth and offer humans an opportunity to leave the planet and thrive elsewhere in the universe. By the end of the episode, Earthlings discover that they're actually being asked to abandon their planet to become meals for the aliens. This news is discovered in the final minutes of the episode, and the protagonist focuses on the camera, asking viewers what they would do in this situation. He eerily hints that this could also very well become a reality one day, encompassing the uniqueness of "The Twilight Zone."

Whether you're already a fan of the series or you want to learn more about television history, examining Rod Serling's best episodes can give you an overview of Hollywood at its best.