Recap: The Twilight Zone S 3 E 89 To Serve Man
Based off of the original short story by Damon Knight.The Trope Namer for To Serve ManFirst aired on March 2, 1962.And, let's be real here, you know the punchline already. But, for the heck of it:
- Rod Serling: Respectfully submitted for your perusal: a Kanamit. Height: a little over nine feet. Weight: in the neighborhood of three hundred and fifty pounds. Origin : unknown. Motives? Therein hangs the tale, for in just a moment we're going to ask you to shake hands, figuratively, with a Christopher Columbus from another galaxy and another time. This is the Twilight Zone.
- "Mr. Chambers! Don't get on that ship! The rest of the book To Serve Man, it's... it's a cookbook!"
- Rod Serling: The recollections of one Michael Chambers, with appropriate flashbacks and soliloquy. Or more simply stated, the evolution of man, the cycle of going from dust to dessert, the metamorphosis from being the ruler of a planet to an ingredient in someone's soup. It's tonight's bill of fare on the Twilight Zone.
- Adaptation Displacement: The episode is better known than the short story it was based off of.
- Aliens Are Bastards: That's what we learn at the end.
- Benevolent Alien Invasion: Subverted.
- Big Eater: The Kanamit's favorite kind of human.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end, Chambers faces the camera, and asks the audience if they're still on earth or on the ship with him, but says is doesn't matter because sooner or later we'll all be on the menu.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Why show up on Earth, announce an invasion and attack to take your dinner, when you can win it's trust with zero effort to the point hundreds of entrees are lining up to come to your planet?
- Downer Ending: Obligatory. And a pretty depressing at that, since humanity goes from the ruler of a planet to someone's dessert.
- Fattening The Victim: The Kanamit's intentions from the start, what with their providing means of ending world hunger. Before boarding the Kanamit ships, humans are weighed: when a heavier person steps off of the scale, the Kanamit smiles gleefully after checking the person's weight.Kanamit: "Please, Mr. Chambers. Enjoy, eat hearty! ... We wouldn't want you to lose weight."
- Faux Affably Evil: The Kanamit. Dilly dilly, come and be killed!
- Hey, It's That Guy!: All of the Kanamit are played by Richard Kiel, Jaws from James Bond
- How We Got Here
- It Was His Sled: the Wham Line is known to practically everyone by now.
- Lie Detector: It worked. The Kanamit didn't lie about their intentions. However, he didn't give the whole picture.
- Meaningful Name: "Kanamit" evokes "cannibal" (which, technically, they're not...)
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Apart from adding more action to a story that had originally been mostly a talk-piece, the Kanamit's appearance is changed as well. Knight wrote them as looking like humanoid pigs, which was found to be too fairy tale in production.
- Prop Recycling / Recycled Set: The Kanamit ship was first used in Forbidden Planet.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Of the bald big-brained variety.
- Stock Footage: The opening scene of the Kanamit ship is taken from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).
- Superior Species: The Kanamit are far more advanced than humans.
- Technology Uplift: Alien benefactors arrive on Earth and provide technology that ends war by nullifying all weaponry, cures to all known diseases, and other remarkable benefits of their advanced technology.
- To Serve Man: The Trope Namer.
- Vichy Earth
- Wham Line: "It's a cookbook!".