TV & Showbiz

Syfy to Mark 20th Anniversary of New Year’s ‘Twilight Zone’ Marathon

You can prepare to ring in the new year with a visit into a fifth dimension beyond what’s known to man.

Syfy will air its 20th annual New Year’s Eve Twilight Zone marathon. The marathon kicks off at 8:00am on Wednesday and runs until 6:00am on the second day of 2015.

The original version of The Twilight Zone ran from 1959 until 1964. Though a handful of reboots have been attempted, none has captured the magic and mood of the original. Host and writer Rod Serling introduced viewers to a variety of genres in the anthology series, some with happy endings, some without. But it’s amazing how many of the episodes still hold up quite well, even if, by now, you may already know how it’s going to turn out.

I decided to create my list of my top 20 favorite episodes of the series:

“A Stop at Willoughby” — An advertising executive who is fed up with the pressures of his job and an unsympathetic wife dreams of a place where one can slow down, then discovers there really may be such a place along his commute home. (Airs 12/31 10:00pm)

“Judgment Night” — A stranger finds himself on a doomed freighter in the middle of WWII haunted by a relentless feeling of déjà vu. (Airs 1/2 12:30am)

“Walking Distance” — A businessman in need of a brief getaway finds one when he visits his hometown and finds himself as a young boy. (Airs 12/31 4:30pm)

“To Serve Man” — Aliens land on Earth with a generous offer to end wars and famines once and for all. But not everyone is convinced of their benevolence. (Airs 12/31 9:00pm)

“The Obsolete Man” — A man deemed “obsolete” by an oppressive government of the future concocts a plan to make his execution leave a profound effect on the government. (Airs 1/1 12:30am)

“People Are Alike All Over” — Two astronauts prepare to land on Mars. But one of them, nervous about what kind of life they may find there, is reassured by his colleague that there’s no reason to worry, because people there will be just like people on Earth. Unfortunately, the prediction is correct. (Airs 12/31 5:30pm)

“The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine” — An aging film star becomes obsessed with a return to the way things used to be, and may actually have found a way to do so. (Airs 1/1 12:30pm)

“The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” — It begins with a flyover of an unidentified flying object. It ends with a neighborhood turned upside down by fear, suspicion and mob mentality. (Airs 12/31 7:30pm)

“Time Enough At Last” — A bookish little bank teller just wants to be able to spend quality time with a good book, but the world seems determined to keep him from doing so. When disaster strikes, he realizes his wish has finally been granted. At least, until one last disaster befalls him. This is one of the most well-known episodes, and I’m quite surprised it isn’t on the list this year. (Airs 1/1 9:00pm)

“The Silence” — A man makes a strange bet with an all-too-talkative acquaintance, but the wager backfires on both of them. (Airs 1/1 1:00pm)

“Deaths-head Revisited” — A former Nazi captain returns to the ruins of the concentration camp at Dachau to fondly relive memories of what he did to those imprisoned there. But he learns too late that the spirit of the hate he left behind is still alive and well. (Airs 1/1 2:00pm)

“The After Hours” — A woman shopping at a department store encounters a strange employee who seems to know far too much about her. (Airs 1/1 1:00am)

“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” — A man who has just been released from a psychiatric hospital is about to fly home with his wife. But when he sees something strange on the wing of the aircraft, will anyone believe his story? (Airs 12/31 9:30pm)

“Long Live Walter Jamison” — A professor is able to tell stories about history as if he were a witness to those events. His colleague makes a shocking discovery that might explain it. (Airs 12/31 10:30am)

“The Hitch-Hiker” — It’s a familiar ghost story that has been told many times over the years in various forms, but this tale of a woman trying to drive cross country while being followed by a strange hitch-hiker still entertains. (Airs 12/31 10:30pm)

“Night Call” – An elderly wheelchair-bound woman begins receiving calls the telephone company can’t explain after a storm downs phone lines. But when it is discovered that the wire fell into a cemetery, the old woman realizes she might have a direct line to her past. (Airs 1/1 1:30am)

“Eye of the Beholder” — Another very well-known episode that is, by today’s standards, somewhat predictable must have been quite a shocker on its original airdate because it wasn’t what anyone would have expected. It’s the story of a woman wrapped in masks because of treatment for a horrific deformity. But when the bandages come off, all is not what we think. (Airs 1/1 10:30pm)

“Twenty-Two” — This episode features an overly-fatigued dancer troubled by a recurring dream. After being released, a near-death experience might explain the critical elements of the dream in real life.

“Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” — A report of a UFO, signs that something clipped trees and crash-landed into an icy pond, and tracks in the snow that lead from the water to a small diner: that’s what two state troopers have as clues as they search for a possible “monster” from outer space. (Airs 12/31 11:30pm)

“The Lateness of the Hour” — A scientist transform his spacious home into a fortress where the pressures, germs and other dangers of the outside world cannot penetrate. With his small army of human-like robots, life couldn’t be simpler for his family. That’s until his daughter goes through a phase of rebellion, threatening to destroy her father’s overly-sanitized environment.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.