Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Twilight Zone - Blastr: The 5 twist endings every Twilight Zone episode seems to share

Source: Blastr [follow link for complete article]


THE TWILIGHT ZONE - BLASTR: The 5 twist endings every Twilight Zone episode seems to share

By Evan Hoovler
Jul 1, 2011

Writing for The Twilight Zone couldn't have been easy. Take a moment to think of your favorite twist endings of all time. Now realize that the TZ writers were expected to come up with one of those endings every dang week. So it's no wonder they recycled their plots every so often.

We've found that 25% of all original Twilight Zone episodes have one of five twist endings. As you watch Monday's July 4th marathon on Syfy (starting at 8 a.m./7 Central), see how many you can count.

[NOTE: Syfy's July 3 Twilight Zone marathon schedule available here
Syfy's July 4 Twilight Zone marathon schedule available here]

... 5. The "It Was/Wasn't Earth All Along" Ending

Episodes Which Use This Twist: "I Shot an Arrow into the Air," "Third from the Sun," "The Invaders," "Probe 7, Over and Out"

Years before coming up with the landmark twist for Planet of the Apes, Serling toyed around with the twist on The Twilight Zone. In "I Shot an Arrow into the Air," astronauts think they've landed on an asteroid, when really they just landed on Earth. What is really interesting about this episode's twist was that they already did the exact opposite in the previous episode! In that program, "Third from the Sun," a family escaping a war-torn planet that we assume is Earth heads for the real Earth. Which really doesn't make sense: if aliens with spaceships colonized and became humankind, then where are our freakin' spaceships?

Astronauts believe they are stranded on a desolate world and fight to the death. Then, the remaining killer astronaut realizes he is in a much worse place: Reno. Rumor has it the original end to Planet of the Apes had Charlton Heston stumbling upon a fully intact Reno and screaming "You maniacs! You didn't blow it up!"

It's a testament to the genius of the minds behind The Twilight Zone that they could make these twist ending repeats come across as fresh. That's one of the many reasons that the show has remained a hit for 52 years.

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