The Twilight Zone Season 1 (1959)

The Twilight Zone Season 1

The Twilight Zone Season 1 Review

The Twilight Zone is a 1959 classic TV show. It is an anthology series belonging in thriller, science fiction, horror and fantasy genres. It is one of the best shows of all time that is a masterpiece without a doubt.

The first season is by far the best one and it is the strongest both in quality and great quantity of classic episodes. It consists of thirty six episodes. The first one is Where Is Everybody? and although it isn’t that great, it still introduces you to the series’ format and style rather well. It hooked me in instantly. One for the Angels is an excellent story filled with emotion and likable characters.

Mr. Denton on Doomsday is definitely good, but still forgettable. The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine is a classic episode, the first one in this season. It wonderfully makes use of its fantasy setting, is always intriguing and ends really well. Walking Distance is without any doubt the finest episode here and it is to me the best Twilight Zone episode of all time! It has an amazing time-travel story, wonderful protagonist for whom you care about and it is executed perfectly. It is probably the most emotional episode ever and the one with which I connected the most due to its wonderful take on childhood nostalgia.

Escape Clause is great and the first use of the devil in the show with great results. The Lonely is the first true science fiction episode and it truly is magnificent. It wonderfully explores the subject of robots and loneliness and is very atmospheric and memorable. Time Enough at Last is one of the most famous Twilight Zone episodes and although it really is great and incredibly original, I still do not deem it as high as the rest of the people do as I find it a bit slow.

Perchance to Dream is authentic and has its moments, but still could have been better executed. Judgment Night is amazing because it uses its WW2 setting in a really good manner which isn’t too preachy, but rather dramatic and very ironic. It is also entertaining and ends on a high note.

And When the Sky Was Opened is absolutely fantastic! It is one of the most fascinating and mysterious stories that is always intriguing and so incredibly entertaining. It is also immensely original and ends with a phenomenal finale. I loved it so much. What You Need is another masterpiece that astonished me. I was amazed with this episode because it is again mysterious, but retains a great twist in the end. It is a beautiful fantasy plot that is perfect on many levels.

The Four of Us Are Dying is another classic! Wow, this was such a great time for this show with three impeccable episodes in a row. It has a very interesting concept, but is a great fantasy thriller with phenomenal special effects and a jaw-dropping finale. Third from the Sun is a step down because it has some weaker points, but is still a solid sci-fi excursion with an interesting twist ending.

I Shot an Arrow into the Air is another great sci-fi story with well developed characters and well realized and realistic conflict. The Hitch-Hiker is a fantastic horror episode filled with atmospheric thrills and such a phenomenal, intriguing twist ending.

The Fever is Rod Serling’s take on gambling and it is a very good morality tale, albeit the one with an abrupt ending. The Last Flight is a miraculous episode! This is the one part that satisfied me on so many levels, from emotional to thrilling to dramatic. It has a great time travel scenario and uses it to the fullest extent. And it ends on such a heartwarming and very satisfying note.

The Purple Testament is another classic where a WW2 lieutenant has the ability to see who is going to die next and of course this can get super creepy and dramatic. Elegy is such an interesting sci-fi story with some melancholic moments.

Mirror Image is the story of a woman seeing herself, her exact same replica. This is the second best episode ever in my opinion as it is so thrilling and at times even incredibly creepy. It did frighten me, but it also intrigued and its ending is so technically astonishing and so well filmed. The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street is a great cautionary tale with a great alien twist and some superb human observations.

A World of Difference is one of the more original parts here with an authentic, crazy story that is fun and energetic. Long Live Walter Jameson is terrific. I usually do not like stories where people live for hundreds of years, but this one I loved as it is meticulous in its approach and has such a fine conclusion.

People Are Alike All Over is definitely dated, but still entertaining and original in a typical Twilight Zone fashion. Execution is another time travel episode, but the one which is done with a lot of care and detail and is very engaging.

The Big Tall Wish is interesting for having African American actors and that is great, but the episode is great for also having a well crafted story and such a moving, wonderful relationship between father and son. A Nice Place to Visit is our first excursion into heaven and it really is above all a cautionary tale and the one everyone can relate to.

Nightmare as a Child is very atmospheric and benefits from excellent characterization and a nice mysterious tone to it. A Stop at Willoughby is a superb take on dreaming with such poignant themes very well explored.

The Chaser is a silly episode in tone, but is still realistic in its depiction of love and infatuation and I loved the message here. A Passage for Trumpet is so heartbreaking, but ends on a hopeful note and is so heartwarming.

Mr. Bevis is such a crazy, silly comedy episode that still works, despite a bad comedy reputation of this show. The characters are hilarious and enjoyable and their relationship is so fun. The After Hours is a captivating and creepy tale with such an authentic, disturbing twist.

The Mighty Casey is definitely good, but forgettable nonetheless. A World of His Own is the finale episode of season one and it is so incredibly entertaining, playful for a change and just weird and so original.

The first season of The Twilight Zone has many of the best episodes in the show’s history with such a great attention to detail, a great use of horror, thriller, fantasy and science fiction genres and most episodes are so memorable and always intriguing and original. It is the finest season of the series and the one that is arguably one of the very best seasons of any show ever.

Worst Episodes: Perchance to Dream, Third from the Sun and Mighty Casey.

Best Episodes: The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine, Walking Distance, And When the Sky Was Opened, What You Need, The Four of Us Are Dying, The Hitch-Hiker, The Last Flight, The Purple Testament, Mirror Image and Long Live Walter Jameson.

My Rating – 4.8

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One Comment

  1. I’d say your list is pretty spot on. I’ve been through Twilight Zone “as it happened” (http://galacticjourney.org/tag/twilight-zone/) and came to similar conclusions. Third from the Sun and Mighty Casey were definitely weak. I didn’t much like 16 mm Shrine, and I’d rate Passage for Trumpet among the best, but we’re on a similar page!

    You elevate many underrated gems (Flight, Four of Us, What you Need) and you reduce some overrated classics (Time Enough at Last, Monsters Due on Maple Street) which I appreciate.

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