The Twilight Zone: Season 2 (1960 - 1961)

SEASON:

Season 2
The Twilight Zone

Critics Consensus

You're traveling through another season, a season not only of philosophy but of fear. A journey into the experimental side of television seldom seen before. That's the TV listing up ahead -- your next stop, The Twilight Zone.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 12

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13

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Episodes

Air date: Sep 30, 1960

As had been the case with the first season's inaugural episode "Where Is Everybody?", the second season of Twilight Zone opened with a "solo" drama, wherein the protagonist finds himself alone in a bizarre situation, with no memory of how he got there. In "King Nine Will Not Return," Robert Cummings stars as Army Air Force captain James Embry, who awakens to find himself stumbling through the desert, near the wreckage of a WWII bomber. Laboriously putting the pieces together, Embry desperately searches for his fellow crew members, who seemingly appear and disappear right before his eyes. Inspired by the recent disovery of the wreckage of the American bomber Lady Be Good in the Libyan Desert, "King Nine Will Not Return" was written by Rod Serling and first aired September 30, 1960.

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Air date: Oct 7, 1960

This variation of the old "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp" yarn stars Luther Adler and Vivi Janiss as Arthur and Edna Castle, the debt-ridden owners of a failing pawnshop. The Castles' luck changes dramatically when, after purchasing an old bottle, they discover that the bottle contains a dapper and somewhat sinister genie (Joseph Ruskin). Granted the usual three wishes, Arthur and Edna soon learn that they were better off when they were worse off. Written by Rod Serling, "The Man in the Bottle" was originally telecast October 7, 1960.

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Air date: Oct 14, 1960

Though obviously an episode designed to absorb the costs of the more expensive Twilight Zone installments, this was one of the better efforts of the series' second season, with a tour de force performance by Joe Mantell as penny-ante gangster Jackie Rhoades. Ordered to bump off a rival gangster, the timorous Rhoades tries to summon up the courage for the foul deed, only to be thwarted at every turn by his own conscience -- who as it turns out has more "guts" than Jackie ever dreamed of. Though essentially a solo endeavor, the episode also features a good performance from future producer-director William D. Gordon as Jackie's nasty boss, while another future director, Brian G. Hutton, serves as Joe Mantell's back-to-camera stand-in when the actor "confronts" himself. Written by Rod Serling and scored by Jerry Goldsmith, "Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room" was the first episode produced for Twilight Zone's second season, even though it was telecast as the third episode, on October 14, 1960.

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Air date: Oct 28, 1960

Magazine critic Bartlett Finchley (Richard Haydn) despises all things mechanical, from electric typewriters to refrigerators. Such is his invective against machinery that, inevitably, all the machines in his household band together and turn against him. This was one of those "you can see the end coming a mile away" episodes that tended to weaken Twilight Zone's second season. First telecast October 28, 1960, "A Thing About Machines" was written by Rod Serling.

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Air date: Nov 4, 1960

Adapted by Charles Beaumont from his own short story, this is one of a handful of Twilight Zone episodes that can truly be described as terrifying. Told in flashback, it's the story of David Ellington (H.M. Wynant), who, while on a walking tour of Europe in the 1930s, is forced to take shelter in a non-religious monastery. Despite the warnings of Brother Jerome (John Carradine), Ellington takes pity on the bearded, wild-eyed "howling man" (Robin Hughes) who is locked in a basement cell. All hell breaks loose (literally!) when the foolhardy Ellington releases the prisoner. The episode's finale was designed to deliberately invoke memories of a similar sequence in the 1935 theatrical feature Werewolf of London. "The Howling Man" originally aired November 4, 1960.

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Air date: Nov 11, 1960

An irreducable masterpiece, the Rod Serling-scripted Twilight Zone episode "The Eye of the Beholder" takes place in a hospital in the dead of night. The protagonist is Janet Tyler, who, having been shunned by society because of her hideous ugliness, has just undergone extensive plastic surgery. Knowing full well that she will be shipped off to a community of fellow "outcasts" if the surgery is unsuccessful, Janet tensely awaits the results as the bandages are slowly removed from her face. Even after repeated viewings, this landmark episode loses none of his power and poignancy, with Douglas Heyes' surehanded direction matched by Bernard Herrmann's brilliant musical score. First telecast November 11, 1960, "The Eye of the Beholder" was rerun in the summer of 1962 -- when, to avoid tipping off the punch line, the episode reverted to its working title, "A Private World of Darkness."

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Air date: Nov 18, 1960

Future Star Trek captain William Shatner stars as Don Carter, who is on his honeymoon with his perky young wife Pat (Patricia Breslin). Stranded in a small town while their car is being repaired, Don and Pat wander into a diner, where their attention is diverted by a curious fortune-telling machine. Out of amusement, they begin feeding coins into the machine -- and before long, Don has become "hooked" on the sinister device. Stafford Repp, who later played Chief O'Hara on TV's Batman, appears as a mechanic. Written by Richard Matheson, "Nick of Time" made its Twilight Zone debut on November 18, 1960.

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Air date: Dec 2, 1960

The scene is the magnificent but isolated home of scientist Dr. Loren (John Hoyt), his wife (Irene Tedrow), and their attractive young daughter Jana (Inger Stevens). To insulate himself from the world, Dr. Loren has created a household staff of robots, who cater to the Lorens' every whim. Eventually, Jana becomes fed up with her sheltered existence and demands that Dr. Loren dismantle all of his robots -- something which, for reasons made painfully clear in the episode's second act, he cannot bring himself to do. Written by Rod Serling, "The Lateness of the Hour" was the first of six Twilight Zone episodes to be shot on videotape, as part of an overall CBS economy drive. The episode originally aired December 2, 1960.

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Air date: Dec 9, 1960

The past and present collide with poignant results in this handsomely mounted Twilight Zone episode. Brian Aherne stars as aging Broadway matinee idol Booth Templeton, who is unable to give his full attention to his latest play because of his obsession with the past in general and his late wife Laura (Pippa Scott) in particular. Miraculously, Templeton is transported back to the 1920s for a reunion with his beloved Laura, which proves to be an eye-opener in more ways than one. Future film director Sydney Pollack is cast here as an abrasive stage director named Willis, a character whom scriptwriter E. Jack Neuman and director Buzz Kulik patterned after pioneer live-TV producer Fred Coe. "The Trouble with Templeton" was first telecast on December 9, 1960.

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Air date: Dec 16, 1960

Having just robbed a pawnshop, two-bit crooks Chester and Paula Diedrich (Fred Clark, Jean Carson) have only one "prize" to show for their troubles -- a cheap-looking camera. By accident, Chester and Paula discover that the camera has the ability to take pictures of things that haven't happened yet, and together with Paula's cloddish brother Woodward (Adam Williams) they intend to take advantage of this phenomenon. Inevitably, the camera's fortune-telling prowess backfires on everyone concerned. Originally telecast December 16, 1960, "A Most Unusual Camera" was written by Rod Serling.

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The Twilight Zone: Season 2 Photos

Tv Season Info

A collection of sci-fi, suspense and goose-bump-inducing tales.

News & Interviews for The Twilight Zone: Season 2

Critic Reviews for The Twilight Zone Season 2

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5)

A downside of our technological advances is that all of the older sci-fi based on a collective distrust of gadgets is now laughably antiquated.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

There wasn't a lot of experimentation like this going on on television in the early '60s, and if some of the elements... can seem a little broad to modern eyes, that thought is canceled out, I think, by just how gutsy all of this is.

May 1, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

In its second season, the show took some risks-some worked... and some didn't... but the overall impression is one of a solid, smart collection of genre tales which are greater than the sum of their parts.

May 1, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

The comedy episodes are disposable, the scary ones are gold.

Oct 31, 2017 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

The visceral rush of this particular episode was followed soon after by a philosophical one. These were scares you could learn by.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

Some of the smartest, scariest, and eeriest entertainments ever committed to film.

Jan 29, 2020 | Full Review…

"Twenty Two" is basically a prequel to Final Destination, but I mean that as a compliment.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

Its twist ending... is one for the ages.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

The main allure of this episode was the complete absenceof dialogue until the very end.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

This is about as skin-crawling as episodes get.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

The Twilight Zone continues to be shocking and deeply creepy - the stuff nightmares are made of.

May 8, 2018 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

The season features consistently solid, varied and often vastly underrated episodes.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Twilight Zone: Season 2

News & Features