CNET’s 12 favorite Twilight Zone episodes
The Twilight Zone remains one of the most iconic television shows to ever air. Which is why it's no surprise that Jordan Peele will be rebooting the show with CBS All Access. But until then, there are plenty of classic episodes to binge watch. (156 from the original series alone!) Here are CNET's favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone to get you started. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent company.)
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
This classic episode from 1963 stars William Shatner as an airline passenger who notices a strange creature outside the plane. Director George Miller remade the episode in 1983 with John Lithgow in the leading role in Twilight Zone: The Movie.
To Serve Man
In this episode from 1962, a race of aliens called the Kanamit land on Earth, offer assistant to the human race and leave them with a book in their language that a cryptography team must try to decode. The episode is best known for its iconic line, "It's a cookbook!"
Time Enough at Last
Airing in 1959, this episode is about a banker Henry Bemis, who loves to read and longs for more time to do so. Then a nuclear bomb wipes out the rest of the planet and gives him the free time he's always desired.
Another early episode from 1959, The Lonely stars Jack Warden as a murderer who's been sentenced to a serve in solitary confinement on a distant asteroid. The supply crew leaves him with a robot named Alicia as a way to cope with his loneliness.
It's a Good Life
It's a Good Life from 1961 is about a 6-year-old boy who is telepathic, very powerful and has taken over his small town in Ohio. This episode also co-stars the great Cloris Leachman (pictured).
In Steel, which aired in 1963, Lee Marvin plays a former boxer, Steel Kelly, in a time when boxing between humans has been outlawed and boxing has been taken over by robots. Kelly ends up disguising himself as a robot for a match.
Nick of Time
Nick of Time from 1960 features William Shatner's other Twilight Zone performance, as a newlywed stuck in a town after his and his bride's car breaks. Shatner's character then becomes addicted to a fortune-telling machine.
Kick the Can
In this episode from 1962, Charles Whitley, a retiree living in a retirement home, believes the secret to youth is acting young. He convinces a number of residents to join him for a night game of kick the can, but cannot convince his lifelong best friend Ben.
Five Characters in Search of an Exit
Five people (an Army major, a ballerina, a clown, a bagpiper and a homeless man) all wake up trapped inside a metal pit with amnesia. This episode from 1961 was one of the inspirations for the film Cube.
This episode from 1960 is every gambler's worst nightmare. Franklin and Flora, a married couple, win a trip to Vegas, and Franklin becomes convinced a slot machine is calling out to him. Nothing is scarier than being chased by an evil slot machine.
The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street
When the power goes out and plunges Maple Street into darkness, the residents fear they might be under alien invasion. This classic episode from 1960 was later remade in 2003 with Andrew McCarthy as the lead.
Eye of the Beholder
Eye of the Beholder aired in 1960, but feels just as relevant today. Janet Tyler has undergone her 11th plastic surgery to try and make her "grotesque" appearance more pleasing, otherwise she'll be banished to live with other deformed people.