The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 1 – Where is Everybody?

I am embarking on a long voyage of discovery.  And like most long voyages it will be a combination of rare moments of pleasure immersed in long stretches of boredom.  That’s right, I intend to review the whole Twilight Zone series in its original order.  You will benefit from my suffering and will thereby know which episodes to skip, which to give a chance and which to view without fear of boredom.  Greater love hath no blogger than this,  that he lay down his sanity for his readers.

 

Season 1

Episode 1 – Where is Everybody?

Earl Holliman (the guy who played the cook on Forbidden Planet) is a man wandering around a town that seems to have had people in it immediately before but now is completely empty.  He finds fresh coffee, lit cigarettes and running machines but no people.  I guess it’s supposed to be mysterious and claustrophobic but mostly it’s just boring and annoying.  At the end we find out he’s an astronaut in an isolation chamber hallucinating.  This is preparation for a future moon mission.  Granted this was made in 1959 and Sputnik launched in 1957.  That means the Space Race was all the rage.  So maybe this seemed more interesting back then.  But honestly, it’s really dull.  This was the first episode of the whole series.  The fact that they would lead with this should have been a warning to viewers of what was to come.  Not a very auspicious beginning.

6 thoughts on “The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 1 Episode 1 – Where is Everybody?

  • January 12, 2019 at 11:51 am
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    Kudos to you for taking on this ambitious, if occasionally tedious, project. I think viewers in the 1950s were still developing narrative sophistication when it came to television. That sounds like an inherently arrogant argument–we in 2019 have superior taste–but the medium was fairly new, and what would seem trite to us was exciting and fresh to them.
    Looking forward to this series. I think you could drive a lot of traffic with these posts.

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    • January 12, 2019 at 12:47 pm
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      I beat up on the Twilight Zone a great deal but I understand that they were pioneers in the early years of tv sf&f. Trying to fill up twenty minutes on the screen every week is daunting even for story tellers who aren’t restricted to one genre. But I think there’s value in giving honest criticism to the individual episodes. As things progress I may start to provide my opinion on why certain faults recur. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to go through the whole thing in order.

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  • January 12, 2019 at 12:00 pm
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    I am looking forward to it as well. However, I do believe that the worst of the old Twilight Zone episodes were better than most of the drivel offered today.There’s an artistry to black and white cinematography. Hitchcock was a master and Serling wasn’t bad, either.

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    • January 12, 2019 at 12:53 pm
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      I want to amplify what you said about modern television. I have grown children and they often watch shows that I literally cannot sit through. The subject matter, characters and dialog anger me to a point where I have to leave. Otherwise I would ruin my children’s viewing pleasure.

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  • January 13, 2019 at 10:14 am
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    I haven’t watched network TV since they canceled Hill Street Blues back in 1987. Cheers, Friends, none of it.

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    • January 13, 2019 at 10:33 am
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      You haven’t missed much. I liked Hill Street too. Renko and Howard and Sarge had actual personalities not just liberal talking points. The only show I’ll watch on network tv is Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing. It’s a modern version of All in the Family. He’s got the ultra-liberal son-in-law and he mostly conforms to a conservative viewpoint (not hard-core conservative, just by comparison to the narrative). It’s been a little boring the last few episodes but last Friday’s was actually funny.

      Reply

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