While Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone is rightly considered a genre classic, and indeed one of the most influential TV series of all time, the brand has been resurrected several times over the years. Unsurprisingly, neither the 1983 Twilight Zone: The Movie nor the short-lived 2002 UPN version lived up to Serling’s admittedly high bar. But one version came closer to being a worth successor of the original series than any other: the underrated TV relaunch that ran for three seasons beginning in 1985. If that was before your time, or you’ve simply never seen the ‘80s version, Chiller TV will be airing a marathon of episodes tomorrow, and it’s definitely worth setting your DVR.
There’s a reason the ‘80s incarnations of The Twilight Zone stacks up so well against the competition: it was absolutely jam-packed with talented people who went on to do great things. I’m talking J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape, Defiance), George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones), and Harlan Ellison (Harlan Freakin’ Ellison). The original Zone succeeded so well for many reasons, but incredible writing was one of the most crucial, and it’s here that the 1985 Zone truly honors Serling’s iconic series.
Beginning at 9 a.m. (8c), Chiller will barrage you with episodes from the excellent ‘80s Twilight Zone all the way through the afternoon. We’ve got the breakdown of which episodes are airing below, along with notations of noteworthy talent. Check ‘em out, you won’t be sorry you did.
9/8c – The Mind of Simon Foster
“In the future a jobless man (Bruce Weitz) must sell his memories.” Written by J. Michael Straczynski.
9:30 – Something in the Walls
“A woman (Deborah Raffin) in a sanitarium sees faces in patterns and cracks.” Written by J. Michael Straczynski.
10 – Cat and Mouse
“The appearance of a magical black cat changes a shy woman’s (Pamela Bellwood) life.” Written by Christy Marx, who penned an ep of Babylon 5 and has worked extensively in the animation world over the past few decades.
10:30 – Rendezvous in a Dark Place
“An aging widow (Janet Leigh) obsessed with death meets its messenger.” Written by J. Michael Straczynski
11 – Many, Many Monkeys
“An uncaring nurse (Karen Valentine) copes with an epidemic of sudden blindness.”
11:30 – Love Is Blind
“A blind singer (Sneezy Waters) confronts a man planning murder.”
12 pm – Special Service
“A man (David Naughton) is upset when he discovers his life is a cable-TV show.” Written by J. Michael Straczynski
12:30 – Crazy as a Soup Sandwich
“A petty thief (Wayne Robson) asks a mobster to save his bartered soul.” Written by Harlan Ellison.
1 – The Road Less Traveled
“An alternate past confronts a Vietnam draft evader (Cliff De Young).” Written by George R.R. Martin
1:30 – Extra Innings
“A washed-up ballplayer is given a 1910 baseball card of someone who looks just like him.” Written by Tom Palmer (Mad Men).
2 – The Trunk
“A desk clerk (Bud Cort) at a hotel finds an old steamer trunk that grants wishes.”
2:30 – The Crossing
“A tormented priest (Ted Shackelford) sees a car identical to one wrecked long ago.”
3 – The Curious Case of Edgar Witherspoon
“An elderly man (Harry Morgan) claims his contraption keeps the world in balance.” Story by J. Michael Straczynski
3:30 – Dream Me a Life
“A retired man (Eddie Albert) helps a troubled widow he saw in a dream.” Written by J. Michael Straczynski.
4 – The Hunters
“An archaeologist (Louise Fletcher) is mystified when ancient cave paintings seem to change.”
4:30 – The Hellgrammite Method
“A desperate alcoholic (Timothy Bottoms) swallows a mystery pill to stop drinking.”