The first part, discussing some of my favorite episodes, left me with an odd number of favorites (7) and 5 honorable mentions to create an even list. Season 2 of The Twilight Zone is quite different. The season has many, many favorite or honorable mentions that it was harder to limit down to just ten but because of that even number, the rest of the episodes are the honorable mentions for this post. If you missed the first post, I’ll link it here.
Let’s look at my favorite episodes of S2’s The Twilight Zone!
10. Long Distance Call (1961)
9. The Obsolete Man (1961)
8. The Mind and the Matter (1961)
7. Nick of Time (1960)
6. The Odyssey of Flight 33 (1961)
5. The Prime Mover (1961)
4. The Invaders (1961)
3. The Howling Man (1960)
2. A Most Unusual Camera (1960)
1. Eye of the Beholder (1960)
Now why did I pick these 10? It’s a mixture of a lot of things. Some of them I genuinely could watch over and over and find something new. Others I can watch and remember the first time I saw the “twist ending” and was thrown off a little bit. And some have long lasting cultural impact which results in parodies or homages. You’re not going to forget some of these episodes, you know?
For example, Nick of Time stars William Shatner of eventual Star Trek fame. He would also return to The Twilight Zone for another episode but he plays one half of a newlywed couple who fall prey to a tiny “fortune telling” machine. The episode is a tale about what happens when you put your life in the hands of something or someone else, instead of yourself, your relationship. Happily, they are able to break the spell only for another couple to come in, taking their space and are still trapped under the spell. It’s a tale of your inner strength, your own future and taking control of it.
The Howling Man takes a deep dive into some religious overtones featuring The Devil, The Odyssey of Flight 33 is about time traveling, The Invaders barely has any dialogue but a older woman is terrorized by invaders from space and A Most Unusual Camera is an episode that I feel has been replicated many times through Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark. A camera that when producing photos, can predict the future? Yeah, look at Say Cheese and Die (Again) from Goosebumps or The Tale of the Curious Camera from AYAOTD specifically. The characters are thieves who bring along the box camera and after seeing it produces immediate results, use it to its advantage… bad idea.
But Eye of the Beholder, if you never saw The Twilight Zone or this episode, I can guarantee that people know of this episode. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, how we see beauty or define beauty is varied. A woman wants to look like the majority of everyone else, only to find out that she is beautiful but outcast compared to everyone else. She is to go be with her “kind” which to the viewer, she’s “us” but the minority.
This season’s episodes overall are the beginning stages of really finessing and finalizing what the show will eventually become and it’s long lasting impact on pop culture and television.
What are some of your favorite episodes from S2? Let me know in the comments below!