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Series / The Twilight Zone (1985)

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The first revival of The Twilight Zone (1959), informally known as The New Twilight Zone, aired for two seasons on CBS from 1985-87, and aired a third season in first-run syndication from 1988-89. Although not as successful as the original, it was considered by many to be an often worthy successor.

For its first season it aired in hour-long installments consisting of two or three stories of varying lengths. This format continued at the start of the second season, but after being put on hiatus the show returned in a half-hour format. After being canceled midway through the season, the remaining stories were aired in hour-long installments. The series was picked up for a third season in syndication, airing in half-hour one-story episodes like most of the original show.

Unlike the original, the show didn't have an on-camera host, having just a narrator instead. For its first two seasons the narrator was Charles Aidman (who acted in two episodes of the original, "And When the Sky Was Opened" and "Little Girl Lost"), and Robin Ward narrated the third season.



  • Age Lift: In the 1967 short story "A Message from Charity" by William M. Lee, Charity Payne is 11 years old in 1700 when she begins communicating with the 16-year-old Peter Wood in the present. In the adaptation, she is several years older. Although her age is not stated, she is seemingly closer to Peter's age. This change was made because the episode places more emphasis on Charity and Peter being each other's first love than the original story. There is also the scene in which Squire Jonas Hacker attempts to rape Charity after claiming that she needed to disrobe so that he could check her for the mark of a witch, which is toned down in the episode compared to the short story. She manages to fight him off in both versions.
  • Aliens are Bastards: The aliens in "A Small Talent for War".
  • Alternate History: According to "Extra Innings", an up-and-coming baseball player (Monty Hanks) died in 1909, two years into his career, after getting hit in the face with a pitch. However, thanks to a magic baseball card, Ed Hamner (who also played baseball, until he got injured) actually winds up preventing his death. What's more, after the card is torn up at the end, keeping Ed in Monty's body, he went on to have a long and successful career.
  • Author Avatar:
    • The lead character of "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty" was directly based on Harlan Ellison, who wrote the original story - to such an extent that (according to his audio commentary on the DVD) he actually wept while watching the filming of one scene.
    • "Personal Demons", tells the story of a writer named Rockne S. O'Bannon, dealing with a severe case of writers block. It was written by... Rockne S. O'Bannon.
  • Balancing Death's Books: In "Welcome to Winfield", a man, Matt, wakes up after being near-death from a coma. His girlfriend takes him to the titular town of Winfield, where the occupants struck a deal with Chin, an agent of death, to not die (this was 100 years ago). But when St. George, the current agent of death, finds Matt, the situation becomes this: either Matt is spared in exchange for Winfield, or Winfield is spared in exchange for Matt. After calling Chen, St. George decides to spare both parties.
  • Baseball Episode: "Extra Innings" is this to a T. The main character is an ex-baseball player whose career ended because of an injury, thanks to a magic baseball card that he got from his baseball-loving friend, he can possess a baseball player who died in 1909 as to continue playing baseball, and because of the card being torn up, gets to have a long, fruitful baseball career.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • "The Leprechaun-Artist": Three young boys get a wish apiece from the leprechaun they capture. It goes badly, and the boys end up under arrest by the police before the leprechaun takes pity on them and re-sets everything to normal.
    • "The Library": A woman gets a job in a magical library, the books of which can re-write people's lives. She can't resist the temptation to meddle, again things go badly before again (hopefully) being re-set to normal.
    • "Cold Reading": A egotistical old-time radio director rhetorically wishes that all the sound effects from his current jungle-adventure program came from something real. Unfortunately, he is indeed holding a real voodoo relic as he does so. Hilarity Ensues.
    • "Act Break": An unsuccessful playwright wishes for a better writing partner than the one he currently has. He finds himself sent back in time, where he meets William Shakespeare. He ends up with every line that Shakespeare ever wrote stuck in his memory, and is forced to become Shakespeare's ghost writer, without getting any of the credit or accolades.
    • "Examination Day": A boy wishes on his birthday to do well on the government exam. He does and it turns out people who do too well are killed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: One in "The Healer". Jackie's partner has gotten away with stealing the money they were going to split and leaving Jackie for dead. But not only has Jackie used the stone one more time to heal a boy's deafness, the boy used the stone to heal Jackie's bullet wound, and the stone has been returned to its rightful owner. Best of all, Jackie has changed for the better.
  • The Blank: The faceless blue construction workers in "A Matter of Minutes".
  • Blind and the Beast: In "To See the Invisible Man", the only person to be kind to Mitchell during his punishment is a blind man who cannot see the implant telling others to ignore him. Subverted when the blind man is then told of Mitchell's status, after which he angrily curses Mitchell and leaves him.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: In "Little Girl Lost", Carol and her boyfriend Greg both bring up valid points about Carol's career prospects and having kids. Carol points out if she takes the job and has kids they'll hardly see her and she won't get to see them grow. Greg points out that given his age, if they waited to have kids he'll be too old to do parent/child activities with his child
  • Brown Note: "Need to Know" features a Horrible Truth that causes insanity in anyone who hears it.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Several stories warn of the dangers of not taking a more active role or interest in world affairs. One perfect example is "A Little Peace and Quiet", where a harried housewife also refuses to take note of the fact that the Soviet Union and United States are on the brink of war, and that she – thanks to an amulet that can get people to "Shut up!" and "Start talking!" – might just be wearing the thing that can bring world peace. Instead, she uses the amulet selfishly (when her family gets to her or wants to deal with annoying visitors) ... and the United States pays a dear price in the end, thanks to her disinterest in world affairs and her not realizing that she held a gift of world peace – leaving her to finally stop time just an instant before a nuclear bomb detonates and wipes out much of central and southern California.
  • Caustic Critic: Harry Folger in "The Misfortune Cookie."
  • Chekhov's Gun: In "Need to Know", the fact that pretty much everybody in town listens to the same local radio station all the time...
  • Clothes Make the Maniac: In "Dead Woman's Shoes", a shy woman tries on a pair of haunted high heels at a thrift store that make her assertive, self-confident—and send her on a murderous mission.
  • Darker and Edgier: While somewhat tame compared to other 80s anthologies like Tales from the Darkside or Freddy's Nightmares, the show still had several segments which were purely horror in nature, unlike the original series.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: "Rendezvous in a Dark Place" is essentially the original series' "Nothing in the Dark" flipped around: instead of being fearful of Death and needing to be convinced it isn't scary, Barbara LeMay actually finds beauty in Death... and wants to join him. In fact, Death himself is flipped around: instead of being compassionate from the get go, he basically needs to learn how.
  • Dead All Along: In an extremely disturbing way, "Kentucky Rye" ends on this note. After managing to walk away from a car crash, Bob Spindler (drunk at the time) wanders into a bar and, after befriending the patrons and the owner, winds up buying it (after getting a little help from a somber looking man). The next morning, Bob wakes up in the bar... which is dusty and abandoned. The somber man is with him. And as they look outside, they see police and ambulance workers clean up a car crash outside the "Kentucky Rye". The victims? The somber man... and Bob (who hit him, then crashed).
  • Dead to Begin With: "Take My Life...Please!" depicts a callous stand-up comedian's unpleasant experiences in the afterlife.
  • Deal with the Devil: "Dealer's Choice," "I of Newton," "Time and Teresa Golowitz," and "Crazy As a Soup Sandwich" all feature humans making deals with literal devils, though in the case of "I of Newton", it happens involuntarily. Surprisingly, they all end fairly happily for the wish-makers.
  • Death of a Child: "Examination Day". The fascist government gives tests that identify child prodigies—who are then killed before they can grow up to question or threaten the power structure.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: "Rendezvous in a Dark Place" plays with this in that Barbara LeMay doesn't fear Death, she actually finds beauty in it. But Death isn't interested in her...
  • Downer Ending: Happens fairly regularly. Examples mentioned elsewhere on this page:
    • "The Beacon": The lighthouse gets its sacrifice.
    • "Burning Man": Doug and his aunt are trapped in a car with a genetically evil child.
    • "The Elevator": The two boys are killed by a giant spider.
    • "Examination Day": Do too well on the government test, get killed.
    • "Gramma": She takes over her own grandson's body.
    • "Need to Know:" The insanity spreads throughout the entire town, and will probably end up going world-wide.
    • "Shadow Man": Take your pick: either there's more than one Shadow Man going around killing people, or Danny's turned on him.
    • "A Small Talent For War": Humanity's alien creators wanted warriors, we're a bunch of useless second-raters and all get exterminated.
    • "Something In The Walls": The main character is replaced with a doppleganger, who leaves her trapped inside the wall.
  • Dream Apocalypse: The remake of "Shadow Play", in which a man is trapped in the same repeating nightmare. It's actually worse in the remake, since it's implied that unlike the original, where Grant was simply having the same nightmare every night, this is a nightmare Grant has yet to wake up from.
  • Doppelgänger: Appropriately enough, the first story of the series ("Shatterday") concerns this: after accidentally dialing his own number, Peter Jay Novins winds up talking to... Peter Jay Novins.
  • Dystopia:
    • "Examination Day" has child prodigies being killed for scoring too well on government tests.
    • "To See the Invisible Man", possibly; the protagonist undergoes a lengthy government-mandated Cool and Unusual Punishment aimed at correcting his morality rather than due to a specific crime, and there are enforcement drones buzzing around everywhere, but the society as a whole seems peaceful and prosperous.
    • "Room 2426" is strongly implied to be this.
  • Emergency Broadcast: The premiere episode is the apocalyptic "A Little Peace and Quiet," which at the end features a live announcer trembling through an EBS alert, losing his attempts to keep calm as nuclear war breaks out between the Soviet Union and the United States.
  • Enslaved Tongue: The deity Delos speaks through Leonard Randall's mouth in "The Trance".
  • Evil Old Folks: "Gramma," where a young boy has to spend a night watching over his monstrous bed-ridden witch-grandmother.
  • Exact Words: It Makes Sense in Context, but this is how Sam beats the demon wanting his soul in "I of Newton":
    Sam: ...get lost.
  • Famous Ancestor: In "Profile in Silver", Professor Joseph Fitzgerald, a time traveling historian from 2172, is a descendant of John F. Kennedy.
  • Fantastic Time Management: In the 1980s episode "A Little Peace and Quiet", a harried housewife finds a magic sundial that allows her to stop and restart time. She uses it to literally make time for herself, enjoying a peaceful breakfast or leisurely shopping for groceries while time is stopped for everyone else. Everything is perfect until nuclear war breaks out and she stops time while a missile is 10 feet above her head. She will have to choose between dying with everyone else and living her life forever trapped between two instants of time.
  • Fantasy Keepsake: The Wrights find the blue wrench thrown at them in a phone booth in "A Matter of Minutes".
  • Freudian Excuse: In "Wong's Lost and Found Emporium", the reason the titular David Wong lacks compassion is because it's just that: he's literally lost his compassion. Mostly it had to do with racist incidents, but the one that set off his bitterness was when he read about the murder of Vincent Chin.
  • From Bad to Worse: The situation in the radio studio in "Cold Reading" as all the jungle-themed adventure-show perils come to actual life; the director has to desperately re-write the show while in progress to head off even worse disasters, including an elephant stampede, an earthquake and a plane crash.
  • Funny Background Event: Not quite the background, but a lot of the humor in "I of Newton" comes from the demon's ever-changing Fun T-Shirt.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: "Need to Know" features a Horrible Truth that causes insanity in anyone who hears it.
  • Grand Theft Me: "Gramma," where a young boy has his body stolen by his monstrous bed-ridden witch-grandmother.
  • The Grim Reaper:
    • "Welcome to Winfield" has "agents of death", in particular St. George (dressed in all white) and Chen (the previous agent who St. George succeeded).
    • Since "Rendezvous in a Dark Place" is the original series' "Nothing in the Dark" but flipped, Death being one of the characters is a given.
  • Haunted Technology: "Her Pilgrim Soul" has a woman's (benevolent) spirit briefly possess a hologram-projection system.
  • Henpecked Husband: The protagonists of "Button, Button" are a shrewish wife and her down-beaten husband.
  • Historical-Domain Character:
  • Hollywood Atheist: Averted in "The Star", based on the story by Arthur C. Clarke, which has an atheist named Chandler who's friendly with a Jesuit priest, Matthew Costigan, and they seem to have frequent polite debates on God's existence. Both are scientists on a space ship which picks up a signal from an ancient civilization whose star had gone supernova thousands of years ago. Chandler questions how God could do this to an entire species. When Costigan discovers that the light of the supernova is what was seen as the Star of Bethlehem, Costigan has a crisis of faith at the idea these kind, peaceful aliens were sacrificed to herald Christ's birth. Chandler, however, apologizes for his prior criticism, seeing him distraught. He then shows Costigan a last message that the aliens left, saying not to mourn for them because they had lived full, rich, happy lives, a sentiment they both find uplifting. This is a kinder ending than the original story, in which the priest despairs at what he's learned, with no message from the aliens to save his faith.
  • Hope Spot: In "Need to Know" Sayers manages to mash Amanda's radio so that she at least doesn't hear the Horrible Truth that's just been broadcast all over town, but then it turns out she's already had a couple of visitors drop by...
  • Human Aliens: "A Small Talent for War" features a race who sowed humanity on Earth in the distant past, and so, yes, we look like punier versions of them.
  • Human Popsicle: "Quarantine" stars a twentieth-century man revived into a seemingly idyllic but stagnant future. It's eventually revealed to be... not so stagnant...
  • Humans Are Psychic in the Future: "Quarantine" is set in a future where survivors of World War III have reverted to living in Arcadia, eschewing all mechanical technology, but having developed a wide range of psychic powers and Organic Technology.
  • Inertial Impalement: In "The Once And Future King," Gary Pitkin, an Elvis impersonator, gets transported to 1953, where he meets the real Elvis Presley. At first, Elvis thinks Gary is his stillborn brother Jesse, Back from the Dead. However, when Gary begins coaching Elvis about his music, Elvis is reviled. The two men begin to fight, breaking a guitar at the neck. Then Elvis lunges at Gary; Gary rolls aside, and Elvis impales himself fatally on the jagged guitar neck.
  • Invisible Jerkass: In "To See the Invisible Man", Mitchell Chaplin is punished by being given a mark on his forehead that means others have to ignore him and act as if he was not there. He initially does things like walking into a women's change room, but then... see Irony below.
  • Ironic Echo: In "Button, Button", the couple offered the titular button are told that if they press it, they'll receive a large sum of money, but someone they don't know will die. At the end of the episode they've pressed the button and gotten the money, and are told that the button will now be offered to someone else. They're assured that it will be "someone you don't know".
  • Ironic Hell:
    • "The Misfortune Cookie" features a cruel food critic and a Chinese restaurant whose fortunes turn out to come true. After receiving the fortune "You're Going To Die", he storms out and finds himself surrounded by Chinese restaurants, but perpetually hungry. Eventually, he receives another fortune: "You're Dead".
    • In "Kentucky Rye", a man dies in a drunk-driving accident that he caused, and ends up in a deserted bar where all the bottles are empty.
    • And in "Take My Life... Please!", a self-centered comedian who beat a prostitute, threw his mother out into the cold, and knowingly stole material from a young, starving colleague winds up in a hell where he is forced to recount all the most horrible things he has ever done, to an audience that will only laugh at his flaws and crimes, not his act.
  • Irony: "To See The Invisible Man". The main character is sentenced to a year of invisibility (where others are to shun him or face being shunned themselves) for the crime of 'coldness', yet he and others are forced to be 'cold' towards the 'invisibles'. In the end he defies this and comforts an 'invisible' woman with whom he had attempted to interact while under punishment.
  • It's All About Me: In "To See The Invisible Man", a character is sentenced to one year of invisibility. He manages to chat with a blind man for awhile, before the man is told that the stranger talking to him is 'invisible' and he shouldn't be talking to him or even acknowledging his presence. When alerted to this, the blind man mutters something in the vein of "Damn you!"
  • Jerkass Has a Point: "Cat and Mouse" has Elaine who may take advantage of Adrea's timid personality at times, but even she makes a point early in the episode that Andrea shouldn't duck out on dating decent men like her co-worker Carl, just because they may not meet up to her romantic standards.
  • Jungle Japes: "Cold Reading" features these coming to life inside a radio broadcast studio, including a native beating on a drum.
  • Just One Second Out of Sync: Or rather, between time, in "A Matter of Minutes".
  • Language Barrier: In "Wordplay", a man discovers that the English language has changed overnight when he starts hearing wrong words in other people's speech. The number of wrong words increases until all the man can hear is them. The episode ends with him starting to learn the "wrong word" version of English so he can understand everyone else.
  • Lighter and Softer: "The Star", an adaptation of the short story of the same title. The ending in the original had a priest in despair after finding out how an advanced and peaceful civilization perished, but the adaptation reverses the originally nihilist ending when the astrophysicist with him shows him a poem that this civilization should not be grieved for, as they were peaceful and joyful, but to grieve for those still in the dark.
  • Lighthouse Point: The titular object in "The Beacon." Another episode concerned a lighthouse that was sort of a waypoint on the afterlife, where the newly dead arrived before being sent on their way.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: "Wong's Lost and Found Emporium" is a magical shop, the entrance to which teleports around; some people stumble on it, others have to commit years of diligent effort to track it down.
  • Living Shadow: The murderous titular entity in "The Shadow Man".
  • Louis Cypher: In "Dealer's Choice" a group of friends find themselves playing poker with a stranger named "Nick", who keeps getting three sixes in every hand he is dealt...
  • Message in a Bottle: "A Saucer of Loneliness"; the small eponymous saucer arrives on Earth and passes on its message to an equally-lonely human.
  • Mind Virus: "Need to Know" features a Horrible Truth spreading through a small town via word of mouth.
  • Mirror Universe: "The World Next Door" is a rare example where the universe in question is not particularly evil, just different. The protagonist ends up permanently switching places with his alternate, to their mutual happiness.
  • Misfortune Cookie: And that was the exact title of the episode!
  • Murderous Mannequin: The remake of the "The After Hours", with a woman being stalked by mannequins in an after-hours department store.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: "Take My Life... Please!" Billy Diamond presents himself as "America's hottest comic" and has audiences going gaga over his acts. In his Ironic Hell (also see that entry above), he's forced to tell about the real him: an abusive drunk who refused to pay the young comic for stealing his act.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: "What Are Friends For?", with a young boy meeting another youth in the woods, who turns out to be an immortal being of light.
  • Oh, Crap!: As noted above under From Bad to Worse, in "Cold Reading", when it's pointed out to the old-time radio-show director what kind of things are still coming in the jungle-adventure script that his unintentional magic wish has brought to life. And then again at the very end, he combines it with a Big "NO!", when he belatedly realizes what kind of story the announcer is plugging for next week's show.
  • Ontological Mystery: "A Matter of Minutes" opens with a couple, Michael and Maureen Wright, waking up to the sound of blue blank-faced workers loading stuff into their house, along with every other house in the neighborhood. This winds up being a short mystery, however, since after they wind up stumbling across a White Void Room, they meet a man dressed in orange who explains that they are essentially backstage time itself, seeing one particular minute being made. And now, he doesn't want them to leave...
  • Opening Shout-Out: An image of Rod Serling is featured in the opening credits.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: In "Crazy as a Soup Sandwich", a loser sells his soul to a demon in exchange for winning at the horse races, only to get cheated. He goes to the mobster he borrowed his betting money from, begging for protection and the mobster does—because he's an arch-demon in human form, and now the loser owes his soul to a worse demon.
  • Parting Words Regret: In "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty", a man visits his old hometown and finds himself in the past. During that time, he meets his father. Not telling who he is, he tells him how his father is always angry but never got the chance to tell him that he loved him.
  • Passing the Torch: "Paladin of the Lost Hour" features a dying elderly man passing on the titular object (a pocket watch containing the last hour of the world) to a new bearer.
  • Past-Life Memories: In "Memories," everyone has the ability to recall the memories of their past lives. Memories that include past grudges, traumas, and every stressful event they've experienced. Plus, if their current life sucks, they have a chance at a new one.
  • Persecuted Intellectuals: "Examination Day", in which the government exterminates anyone who scores too high on a mandatory examination at a young age.
  • Place Worse Than Death: At least two episodes make jokes about Newark, New Jersey being like Hell.
  • Plucky Office Girl: Karen Billings, played by Pam Dawber in "But Can She Type" who stumbles on a way to switch to a parallel universe where secretaries are treated like supermodels.
  • Point of No Return: Frost winding up in 1928 in "The Convict's Piano" was an unintentional variant: after he steps away from the piano when Mickey Shaughnessy takes over, Mickey winds up being sent back to the prison in the present, and after coming face to face with a now elderly Eddie O'Hara, he gets punched (in the face) into the piano, causing it to be knocked over and broken.
  • The Remake: Several episodes from the original series were remade, including "Dead Man's Shoes" (Gender Flipped as "Dead Women's Shoes") and this time it's implied the ghost succeeds, "Night of the Meek" being played more as a comedy, "Shadow Play" having the implication that it's not a reoccuring nightmare, but rather an ongoing nightmare, "The After Hours" being played more as horror, and "A Game of Pool" using George Clayton Johnson's original script and its original ending, where the challenger loses... without informing Johnson, which he did did not appreciate.
  • Rerouted from Heaven: In the episode "Dead Run", a truck driver takes a job delivering dead souls to Hell. However, the people he's delivering there seem way too nice to deserve damnation. It turns out the new Celestial Bureaucracy that has taken over is using an overly-literal fundamentalist interpretation of The Bible, mainly due to them being paper-pushing Obstructive Bureaucrats, rather than actual malevolence.
  • Reset Button: The eponymous individual in "The Leprechaun-Artist" pushes one at the end of the episode.
  • Schmuck Bait: "Button, Button" has a couple being given a button, which if pressed with give them wealth at the cost of killing a complete stranger. They end up pushing the button, which is then taken away... to be given to a complete stranger.
  • Secret Shop: Wong's Lost and Found Emporium in the episode of that title is a combination of this and The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday.
    You won't find it in the Yellow Pages or advertised in the local papers. Its reputation is spread purely by word-of-mouth, from one satisfied customer to another. But if, like most of us, you've lost something in your time, look for this door. And if you don't find it at first, don't lose hope, because even that can be found the Twilight Zone.
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: In "A Message from Charity", Charity Payne, a Puritan girl living in the colonial Massachusetts village of Annes Town in 1700, and Peter Wood, a teenage boy living in the Massachusetts town of Anniston in 1985, gain the ability to communicate with each other across time and see through each other's eyes after they both contract cholera. Charity and Peter can also experience sensations from the other's perspective. For instance, Peter introduces Charity to the unimaginable luxuries of his time such as orange juice and chocolate ice cream and she quickly becomes drunk when Peter has a glass of wine.
  • Star of Bethlehem: In "The Star", based on a story by Arthur C. Clarke, it's discovered by a Jesuit priest and scientist that this was actually a supernova long ago, which wiped out an entire species of peaceful aliens. The fact troubles him deeply.
  • Subtext: "Extra Innings" had a washed-up former baseball star who was good friends with a tween or teen girl. Nothing too creepy, yet. He and she trade cards a lot, and she gets him this 1909 card of a rookie who looked just like him and had exactly the same stats as him. Then, he discovers that the card allows him to take control of the rookie on the card, which also takes him back to 1909. Then, the next day, he tells the girl about it, and at first she doesn't believe him. When he shows her the stats, she believes him, as they have changed. Then, when he takes her back in time with him, before the card opens the portal, he puts his arm around her. Between her face there and the dialog, which sounds like it came from a Very Special Episode about child molestation, the creepy subtext is amazing.
  • Talking to Themself: "Shatterday" features Bruce Willis's character doing this with a mysterious doppelganger.
  • Tanks For The Memories: The protagonist of "The Mind of Simon Foster" sells chunks of his memories to pay his liviing expenses.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: In "The Shadow Man", the murderous titular entity takes up residence under a boy's bed and offers him immunity to his/its attacks. Only it turns out there's more than one of them... Maybe...
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The Twist Ending of two episodes.
    • "The After Hours," like the original, the protagonist learns/remembers she's actually a mannequin.
    • "A Day in Beaumont" shows an astronomer and his girlfriend witness a UFO landing, apparently the start of an alien invasion. At the end, they discover that they themselves are aliens, and everything that happened is part of a training exercise to help the aliens infiltrate Earth society.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: "The Beacon" depicts a doctor stumbling into a small town protected by an enigmatic lighthouse that demands a human sacrifice for its services.
  • "Truman Show" Plot: "Special Service" features a man who learns that the last five years of his life have been scripted as a television show. This example stands out because it was made before The Truman Show.
  • Time Stands Still: Among others, "A Little Peace and Quiet" in the 1985 premiere. Penny, a typical 80's frazzled housewife, finds an amulet that allows her to stop and re-start time with the commands "Shut up!" and "Start talking!"); she abuses this privilege until the next night, when nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union breaks out. Penny is able to freeze time just seconds before her hometown is destroyed by a nuclear missile.
  • The Vietnam War: "Nightcrawlers" depicts the lingering and quite nasty after-effects of a military experiment conducted on a squad of soldiers during the war.
  • Weirdness Search and Rescue: In the short "A Matter of Minutes", the foreman of a group of people (played by Adolph Caesar) takes time to explain to a couple who end up 'outside time' how time really works, even showing them an animated computer graphic prepared for such an event.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: "A Small Talent for War" features a race who sowed humanity on Earth in the distant past. Humanity's desperate attempt to impress our "fathers" ends badly.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Near the end of "Shelter Skelter", the camera leaves Harry in his shelter and pans over the destruction and rubble among a darkened landscape... before coming across a curved wall. Moving past it, we are shown... a bright, sunny day, with people out and about in a park, where we also see that the curved wall was part of a dome.
    • At the end of "The Toys of Caliban", over the sounds of approaching police sirens, Ernest Ross shows Toby one last image, so that he can summon it. That image in question (which is reflected in Toby's eyes)? A fire.
    • By the end of "Many, Many Monkeys", Claire Hendricks becomes blind, much like most of everyone else in the episodenote . Only problem? The episode ends by zooming in on her face... and her eyes are normal. She's blind in a psychosomatic sense.


Example of: