Every year on May 11, classic television fans celebrate “Twilight Zone Day”, a holiday to honor one of the greatest pop culture creations in history.
The reasons as to why May 11 was selected as “Twilight Zone Day” are unclear. It’s not an anniversary of the show’s premiere or cancellation, nor does it correlate to creator Rod Serling’s birth or death. There are a number of significant things about May 11, however. It’s Eat What You Want Day; Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born on May 11, 1904; It’s also Military Spouse Appreciation Day, celebrating it’s thirtieth anniversary this year.
None of these seem to have any more than a tangential relationship to the watershed television program, however. Perhaps it’s just because a random day, a day like any other you might say, seems like the perfect day to celebrate this show’s rich history. Originally aired on CBS from 1959-1964, The Twilight Zone was the brainchild of writer Rod Serling, and was originally conceived as an anthology show called “The Time Element.” When that was shelved in 1958, Serling revamped the premise a bit and pitched it to CBS, who ordered the show to series, and the rest is history.
Some of the greatest writers in history worked on the show, from Ray Bradbury to Richard Matheson, and just about anyone you talk to has a favorite episode. Though it was revived as a feature film in 1983, and twice more as a television series, nothing can compare to those original 156 episodes. Here are five of our favorites… What are some of yours?
“Time Enough at Last”
“To Serve Man”
“Person or Persons Unknown”
And a real personal favorite–the suburban paranoia of “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”