It’s impossible to find another show like Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, but fans can find similar vibes in other shows.
The Twilight Zone, created by Rod Serling, is a work of art in and of itself. It’s a virtual, philosophical trip into the bizarre and uncharted territories of the human mind and imagination. Although the show has been running for over six decades, it continues to be a ground-breaking work of fiction.
Thankfully, Jordan Peele, the director of Get Out, has helmed a CBA All Access reboot that takes us back to this fantastical dimension. However, even in this remake, the original has an air about it that’s difficult to capture.
There have been a few shows over the years and decades that have some overlap – or at least should scratch the itch ofTwilight Zonefans – though they are few and far between.
10. Tales From The Crypt
It’s well-known amongst fans that The Twilight Zone mostly dwells in the area between horror, sci-fi, suspense and weirdness in general. This ghastly HBO horror show will appeal to viewers who prefer the more chilling aspects of the show, like “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” After its initial run, which spanned from 1987 to 1990, fans were treated to an array creative settings filled with eerie plots and supernatural creatures.
There are 93 episodes in total, and each one is a stand-alone story full of suspense and surprises.
9. Black Mirror
Another common feature of The Twilight Zone is the use of psychological elements and sci-fi flair to convey socially relevant messages in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror. With the exception of a few hints at previous episodes, each episode has its own unique premise and setting.
Brooker even says that Serling’s show was a direct influence on him because he wanted to create an anthology that dealt with current and often contentious issues from a fantasy perspective. A dystopian future world, eerily similar to our own, in which technological excesses have had disastrous consequences for humanity is the focus of the show rather than the obscure.
Boris Karloff is the perfect host for this spooky, suspenseful TV show, much like Rod Serling is for The Twilight Zone with his memorable intros.
This show, despite being on the air for only two seasons in the early 1960s, had a great deal of atmosphere and nuance. While the show began as a crime-suspense in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock, later episodes began to incorporate elements of gothic horror with a darker undertone. William Shatner, Leslie Nielsen, and Mary Tyler Moore all appear in the series, adding to its uniqueness.
Fans of Rod Serling will enjoy the mystery, crime, and eerie undertones in Thriller.
7. Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
“TV shows for young Twilight Zone fans,” this one fits the bill. Older fans and those who aren’t nostalgic for the 1990s may not enjoy this as much as other titles on our list because of this. Are You Afraid of the Dark on Nickelodeon is a great show for kids, but has surprised many with its inventiveness and entertainment value.
It definitely had a horror vibe to it, with themes like ghosts and demons, as well as aliens and curses. However, themes relating to paranormal events and otherworldly elements are frequently incorporated into creative works. For example, there’s an anthropomorphic computer virus, and Gilbert Gottfried is a DJ for an afterlife radio station. This is very Twilight Zone-like.
This obscure anthology from the early 1980s, hosted by James Coburn, will blow your mind if you thought Thriller was obscure. The show is often compared to another Serling project called Night Gallery, but it still has some bizarre ideas and creepy settings in each of its seven episodes.
Even though each episode stands alone, there is a recurring theme of a creepy, abandoned house that you will be taken through at the beginning of each new episode. You’re taken to a dark room in a crawlspace under the stairs, where you’ll watch a 60-minute episode made up of two or three short stories.
5. Amazing Stories
It should come as no surprise that a science fiction series directed by Steven Spielberg is so enjoyable, given the director’s resume, which is self-evident. There are two versions of this show: the original from the mid-1980s, and a newer, flashier version for Apple TV+ that premiered in early 2020.
The show has stunning visuals and engrossing storylines that keep viewers glued to their screens. Stories include a downtrodden hero becoming “magnetic” due to a meteor shower, and being mistaken for a mummy.
Amazing Stories received a record-breaking 12 Emmy nominations and won five of them despite the fact that the show never really took off in the ratings. It was even going to be the original location for the 1987 filmBatteries Not Included, further demonstrating its quality as a movie theater.
4. The Outer Limits
This sci-fi anthology, like the one before it, features both an older and a more modern version. However, while both films have admirers, true believers insist that the mid-60s classic is the one to see. The Zanti Misfits, an episode of The Outer Limits about alien criminals imprisoned on Earth, is one of TV Guide’s “100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.”
Nevertheless, these eerie sci-fi worlds offer plenty of opportunities for creative and memorable exploration. Famous science fiction writer Harlan Ellison and the screenwriter of Psycho, Joseph Stefano, are among the writers who have contributed to the film.
Those who enjoy straight-up sci-fi romps like those found in The Twilight Zone will likely enjoy this one.
3. Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The Twilight Zone, as most fans are aware, isn’t solely devoted to the exploration of the fantastical and bizarre. The show also has a soft spot for well-executed crime stories and suspenseful, complex plots. Alfred Hitchcock’s anthology of crime and mystery stories is perfect for fans who enjoy this side of the show.
While classic Hitchcock thrills are still present, this program, as well as the longer Alfred Hitchcock Hour, places an emphasis on suspenseful stories with shocking twists. The show was named one of the “101 Best-Written TV Series” by the Writers Guild of America.
2. Night Gallery
Fans of Rod Serling’s classic anthology are likely to be interested in another project along the same lines. With scripts mostly written by Rod Serling, Night Gallery is younger than its older sibling but still lets you see Serling’s majestic and twisted worlds in glorious color.
In contrast to The Twilight Zone, this show has a more macabre and horror bent even though it offers self-contained journeys into trippiness. The pilot, for example, has a painting that appears to change and shows real ghostly events. However, this atmospheric adventure proudly brings the torch and spirit of The Twilight Zoneinto the 70s.
1. Electric Dreams
Science fiction author Philip K. Dick, like The Twilight Zone’s creator Rod Serling, had a gift for depicting bizarre, surreal scenes that made readers question the nature of reality and life itself. Films such as Minority Report, Total Recall, and Blade Runner were conceptualized by him.
Despite this, he’s written numerous short stories that are just as creative. The episodes of Electric Dreams draw from this wealth of material, which is then adorned with slick visuals. Ideas range from dystopian bubble cities to dual-life characters.
Despite the show’s short run of only ten episodes, each of the stand-alone stories features a fascinating sci-fi setting and emotionally compelling stories.