Not the Best Twilight Zone Episodes Ever

Lesser-Known Twilight Zone Episodes!

How about an homage to some of the lesser known episodes? Sure, we’ve all heard about the time William Shatner freaked out on the plane (Nightmare at 20,000 Feet!) But what about those other Twilight Zone episodes? The ones that haunt us for reasons we can’t explain.

Twilight zone episodes jack klugman

FIRST WE GET THE TRUMPETS, THEN WE GET THE WOMEN!

First up is A Passage for Trumpet. Lemme see that picture of Jack Klugman expressively clutching his trumpet… Ah, that’s better.

By-the-bye, were you aware that the Twilight Zone episodes that delve into the inexpressible recesses of the mind are really the dopest. If you don’t believe me, ask Rod Serling:

“It may be said with a degree of assurance that not everything that meets the eye is as it appears.”

STAY ON TOPIC, ROD!

sci fi TV shows matheson

MY BLACK, ROBOT EYES SHALL EAT YOUR SOUL

Next up is Steel. No, I’m not talking about a precise recipe of carbon and iron. I’m talking about a short story by the legendary Richard Matheson expressing the deep-seated and long standing fear of men that their efforts and glory will be stolen by machines. Too close to home? He wrote it in 1956.

Now, I know I got you in “The Zone” for some Zone so here’s a complete list of The Best Twilight Zone Episodes

“We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”

DING! AH, WHAT IS THE BEST QUOTE EVER, ALEX?

fantasy fiction tv episodes

IF I SINK THIS SHOT, I GET YOUR WIFE

A Game of Pool is a fantasy fiction story, also starring Jack Klugman. Jack Klugman was such an expressive and quirky character actor. He really deserves his own post. A Game of Pool is really the definitive story of competition.

The interesting thing about both A Game of Pool and A Passage for Trumpet is that in both stories the conflict is fairly weak. Both stories are carried by their characters, themes and ideas. And I like that. It’s a sign of greatness when a television anthology can break all the rules of story telling and still rise to the top.

An important distinction between The Zone and other shows like The Outer Limits, Tales From the Darkside or Tales from the Crypt is that The Zone specialized in the genre of Fantasy. One advantage to this speciality was that The Zone didn’t have to dedicate too much air-time to explaining science or grossing out it’s audience. This allowed them to devote more time to the universal.

Another advantage that The Zone had was that Rod was able to draw from a vast treasure trove of recent short story classics with which to write his screenplays. Currently, the market for short stories is on life-support for a variety of reasons which I won’t go into here. Okay, I’ll go into one. Fiction editors are kinda like people. There are three types of people: 1.) People who like to talk about people 2.) People who like to talk about things 3.) People who like to talk about ideas.

The Zone was an anthology of ideas. One of the reasons that the short story market is currently on life-support is because for too-long we’ve had too many fiction editors that care too much about people and things and not enough fiction editors that really give a damn about ideas.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to be stuck at a party talking to a person who only wanted to talk about people and things. By extension, I don’t have much regard for editors that aren’t interested in ideas.

If you require a good site to find more trivia and facts about the best Twilight Zone episodes, look to the SyFy channel’s page on the show.

About davidwallacefleming

David Wallace Fleming is a U.S. writer, living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of the coming-of-age, social media novel GROWING UP WIRED, and the satirical science fiction audiobook, NOT FROM CONCENTRATE.
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2 Responses to Not the Best Twilight Zone Episodes Ever

  1. Great article David. I would like to make a distiction – I’m not so sure it’s the editors that are the problem with the short story market – it is the readers that make something fail or succeed. Its no surprise with the new junk-food media (sub-par youtube entertainment, reality TV idols that become famous even though they have no talent, etc.) that the reading market would be dumbed down in order to survive.

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