The Twilight Zone: Season 4 (1963)


Season 4
The Twilight Zone

Critics Consensus

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57%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 7

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 31

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 3, 1963

When Alan Talbot (George Grizzard) returns to his home town after a week's absence, he finds that there have been a few significant changes, chief among them the fact that a stranger is living in his house. At a loss to explain this and other curiosities to his fiancée Jessica Connelly (Gail Kobe), Alan determines to get to the bottom of things. Meanwhile, the viewers would like a few answers of their own -- namely, why did Alan murder a harmless old woman before the first commercial? Scripted by Charles Beaumont from his own short story, "In His Image" was the first of Twilight Zone's 60-minute episodes, and it originally aired January 3, 1963.

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Air date: Jan 10, 1963

Written by Rod Serling, this 60-minute Twilight Zone episode gets under way when a U.S. Navy destroyer begins picking up unusual sounds on its sonar. Investigating, a frogman finds the remains of a sunken submarine -- and hears the sound of clanking from within. This information has a profound effect on the destroyer's chief petty officer Bell (Mike Kellin), and Captain Beecham (Simon Oakland) wants to find out why. Future TV leading man Bill Bixby appears in a supporting role. "The Thirty-Fathom Grave" was first telecast January 10, 1963.

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Air date: Jan 17, 1963

Stranded in the remote mountain town of Peaceful Valley, reporter Philip Redfield looks on in amazement as a dog and cat seemingly vanish into thin air. Apparently, Peaceful Valley houses some sort of deep dark secret -- which has naturally aroused Redfield's journalistic instincts. He may, however, have trouble filing his story -- the locals have made certain that he is unable to leave town, now or ever. This hour-long Twilight Zone installment also features future Star Trek regular James Doohan and child actress Susanne Cupito, who went on to adult prominence as Morgan Brittany. Written by Charles Beaumont, "Valley of the Shadow" first aired January 17, 1963.

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Air date: Jan 24, 1963

The leader of a ragtag American neo-Nazi organization, Peter Vollmer (Dennis Hopper) is unable to attract many followers beyond his own buddies. Despairing, Peter is willing to accept advice from anyone -- even the mysterious, German-accented stranger (Curt Conway) who has seemingly emerged from nowhere. The payoff of this Rod Serling-scripted Twilight Zone episode is obvious from the get-go; the only true "mystery" is the fact that fascistic Peter Vollmer regards as his best friend a Jewish concentration-camp survivor (Ludwig Donath). Future director Paul Mazursky appears as one of the brown-shirted hooligans. Despite its many structural flaws and lapses of logic, "He's Alive" was powerful enough to elicit strong audience response (both pro and con) when it was first telecast January 24, 1963.

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Air date: Jan 31, 1963

Scripted by Richard Matheson from his own short story, this episode stars 13-year-old Ann Jillian as the title character, a nonverbal young girl named Ilse Nielsen. Apparently the sole survivor of a fire, Ilse is unofficially adopted by Harry and Cora Wheeler (Frank Overton and Barbara Baxley), who cannot understand why such an intelligent child lacks the power of speech. What the viewer knows, but the Wheelers don't, is that Ilsa is telepathic, raised by telepathic parents -- and her special powers may cause her more harm than good. This 60-minute Twilight Zone episode was first seen on January 31, 1963.

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Air date: Feb 7, 1963

Landing on a distant planet, astronauts Paul Ross (Jack Klugman), Ted Mason (Ross Martin) and Mike Carter (Frederick Beir) believe that they're the first earthlings to arrive on this unchartered world. At least, they assume that this is true until they come upon the wreckage of an American spaceship. Investigating, they find the bodies of three space travellers. This is disconcerting enough, but what really makes the astronauts' hair stand on end is the fact that the three dead men look exactly like Ross, Mason and Carter. Adapted by Richard Matheson from his own short story, "Death Ship" made its Twilight Zone premiere on February 7, 1963.

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Air date: Feb 14, 1963

A haunting folk song written by Van Cleave serves as a framing device for this macabre hour-long Twilight Zone episode. Anne Francis plays the title character, a spiteful mountain girl who despairs when her boyfriend Billy-Ben Turner (James Best) dumps her in favor a Ellwyn Glover (Laura Devon). Hoping to win back Billy-Ben's affections, Jess-Belle asks witch-like Granny Hart (Jeanette Nolan) to stir up a love potion -- which has some unexpected side effects. Scripted by Earl Hamner, Jr. of The Waltons fame, "Jess-Belle" originally aired February 14, 1963.

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Air date: Feb 21, 1963

Robert Duvall stars as Charley Parkes, a shy and lonely man who spends his spare time at the museum, even though his domineering mother (Pert Kelton) would prefer that Charley seek out a suitable girlfriend. But as far Charley is concerned, he already has a sweetheart -- a tiny but lifelike ballerina doll, part of a 19th century dollhouse exhibit. While "conversing" with the doll one day, Charley is startled as the ballerina comes to life -- as do several less appealing miniature characters. Originally telecast February 21, 1963, this Charles Beaumont-scripted Twilight Zone episode was later withdrawn from the series' syndicated package due to a legal complication. "Miniature" did not see the light of day again until 1984, when a semi-colorized version was included in a two-hour syndicated Twilight Zone 25th Anniversary special.

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Air date: Feb 28, 1963

In his last Twilight Zone appearance, Burgess Meredith stars as Mr. Smith, a slightly demonic fellow who offers his services as a reporter and typesetter to small-town newspaper editor Doug Winter (Robert Serling). Knowing full well that Winter's Danzburg Courier is on the verge of folding, Smith promises to save the publication from ruin. This he does by reporting tragic incidents that haven't happened yet -- and then making certain that they do happen. Adapted by Charles Beaumont from his own short story "The Devil, You Say?", "Printer's Devil" first aired February 28, 1963.

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Air date: Mar 7, 1963

Disillusioned with the present, Paul Driscoll (Dana Andrews) builds a time machine and heads to the past, hoping to correct mankind's mistakes. Failing spectacularly in this endeavor, he elects to take up permanent residence in the small town of Homeville, Indiana, circa 1881, where he hopes to live out his life in quiet contentment. Alas, despite his herculean efforts not to alter the course of history, that is just what he ends up doing. As originally written by Rod Serling, this hour-long Twilight Zone episode opened with a lengthy philosophical discussion between Driscoll and his mentor Dr. Harvey. This was adjudged too dull for TV consumption, thus a new opening was dreamed up wherein Driscoll was shown trying to prevent the sinking of the Lusitania and the rise of Hitler's Nazi Party. Accordingly, the role of Dr. Harvey was diminished, obliging proposed costar Joseph Schildkraut to drop out of the episode. The final version of "No Time Like the Past" premiered March 7, 1963.

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The Twilight Zone: Season 4 Photos

Tv Season Info

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

News & Interviews for The Twilight Zone: Season 4

Critic Reviews for The Twilight Zone Season 4

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3)

The most common themes in The Twilight Zone are basically apocalyptic paranoia, dystopian futures, megalomaniacs, and... jealous and/or greedy women.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

The hour plays too much like a collection of conflicting impulses, all of which are striving towards the same, undeniable conclusion, but rarely cohering into anything greater than themselves.

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

Legitimately, laugh out loud funny, and it does get very, very goofy in places. But there's something holding all of this together that makes it work.

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

Serling almost single-handedly set the standard for sophisticated television during the medium's Golden Age and beyond.

Jan 29, 2020 | Full Review…

"He's Alive" is far from a series-best episode, but thanks to Hopper it does feature one of the show's most dramatically rendered performances.

May 9, 2018 | Full Review…

The new format was rough [but] one of the gems is "The Thirty-Fathom Grave."

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

Like unwanted Christmas presents.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Twilight Zone: Season 4

  • Aug 26, 2018
    A great series! This Season was interesting much like the others! Had quite a few memorable episodes!

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