Rod Sterling is still the greatest thing to ever happen to television, he combined: dark humor, political messages and imaginative speculative fiction narratives in a manner that has never been seen before or seen.
Each episode told the macarbe stories of human beings in various settings, paticuliarly dystopian futures, surreal afterlifes and alternate history tales. The writing style is more reminisecent of a classic novel than standard television series with it’s dynamic characterisation and narratives focusing on theme and imagery before having ‘action’. The episodes are notorious for dark endings that subvert the viewers expections in creative ways.
The filmography and special effects have not only aged extremely well for the time, but are honestly far better than alot of contemporary stuff. I’d highly suggest watching ‘The Howling Man’ just for the transformation sequence alone. The acting is also much more naturalistic than most works of this era and I guarantee that if it wasn’t black and white; you could easily mistake it for a modern program,
Episodes I’d highly suggest watching:
It’s A Good Life: A child with godlike powers has enslaved an entire town to obey his whims without even realising what he’s doing is wrong. Brilliant concept which really touches on child psyhology.
The Howling Man: A man hiking in Eastern Europe finds himself inside a monastary that claims to have the devil imprisoned inside it. An exploration of religous beliefs and occams razor that, as I stated earlier, has one of the best effect shots in all of visual media.
Number 12 Looks Just Like You: In the future, all humans go through a surgery at the age of seventeen to make them identical to all surronding humans. Another example of exploring the human condition while still telling a compelling story.
Nightmare at 60’000 Feet: An unexplained monster climbs through a plane and can only be seen by one passanger, played by a pre-Star Trek William Shatner, can see it and is seen as a madman by the rest of the crew. A truly chilling story with even more amazing visuals and special effects.