Classic science fiction/fantasy television series “The Twilight Zone” made its debut on the evening of Oct. 2, 1959. More than half a century later, what once was an unpopular series has now become an important part of television history.
The first episode of “The Twilight Zone” was titled Where is Everybody? and aired on the American network CBS’ primetime block. It follows the story of a man who finds himself seemingly as the last man on Earth. At the beginning of the episode, we hear the following narration:
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is 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. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area that might be called the Twilight Zone.
The show immediately became a favorite among TV critics; however, it was said to have performed poorly in the beginning when it comes to ratings.
Serling had described “The Twilight Zone” as a “special kind of series.” It’s different from most shows because it had a narrator. As Serling had explained, “It’s our thinking that an audience will always sit still and listen and watch a well-told story.” From its shaky start, “The Twilight Zone” eventually gained popularity and aired until 1964 for five seasons. With the exception of the hour-long episodes in season four, all episodes ran for 30 minutes each. The episodes featured Bernard Herrman’s original opening score before it had been replaced with the famous theme by Marius Constant come season two. More, each season had a different narration to introduce each episode.
The series had been so immensely successful that just this year, it ranked 4th in TV Guide’s “The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time.” “The Twilight Zone” had a film adaptation; board, pinball, and video games; graphic novels; radio novels, stage productions, theme park attractions, music, and comic books based on it. There had also been two revivals of “The Twilight Zone” years after it ended: one which aired from 1985 to 1989 and another from 2002 until 2003.
In 2013 TV Guide ranked it #4 in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time.
In addition to these, there reportedly are talks to have a third revival and another film to be directed by Joseph Kosinski (“Tron: Legacy” and “Oblivion”).
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