When The Twilight Zone premiered on CBS in 1958, there was nothing else quite like it on television at the time. Creator Rod Serling presented audiences with a new half hour story each week that wove fantasy, horror, and science fiction together. The stories often centered on themes of war, space exploration, and the pitfalls of mankind’s quest for power and control.
The series has reemerged on TV before and on April 1st, CBS is inviting audiences back into the Twilight Zone, with Jordan Peele at the creative helm this time. If you’ve already binged the classic Twilight Zone episodes and are looking for some other shows of similar ilk, consider giving these a try.
This classic sci-fi show is a great watch for Twilight Zone fans who have made their way through all of the original TZ episodes. The show originally ran on ABC just as The Twilight Zone was coming to a close, but unlike its predecessor, each episode was an hour. Many episodes explore the unknown of outer space and possible horrors waiting for mankind there. Just like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits was also rebooted in the 1990s.
Netflix has had its share of hit series success stories, and Stranger Things may just be its strongest entry to date. Set in the 1980s, the show centers around a group of young friends and the newcomer to their group who has a link to another dimension. The show has had two seasons thus far with season three coming out in July.
The creators of Black Mirror have referenced The Twilight Zone as an influence, and it definitely shows. Much like TZ, Black Mirror presents a new story with each episode falling somewhere between horror, science fiction, and fantasy. The link that ties them all together is technology’s influence and its potential for utter misery and chaos in society. It’s one show that’s sure to have you looking at your cell phone in a whole new way.
There are certainly elements of science fiction lurking throughout this popular FX series, but horror is of course the real star. Each season presents a new storyline — though some characters do reappear — with typical horror tropes such as a haunted house or a coven of witches taking center stage. If the darker and more sinister episodes of The Twilight Zone are amongst your favorites, AMS should be right up your alley.
The Night Gallery was essentially The Twilight Zone 2.0. The series ran on NBC rather than CBS, but it was still from the mind of Rod Serling who served as host yet again. Whereas TZ had much more of a sci-fi vibe going on with it, Serling this time around tended to explore more of the horror genre and many episodes have a supernatural element. In December of 2018, Syfy announced its own reboot of the cult series.
In terms of horror TV series, Tales From the Crypt often gets most of the attention, but before the Cryptkeeper was cackling away in his dungeon, there was the Darkside. The series from Night of the Living Dead mastermind, George Romero, had a similar intro to The Twilight Zone, but the series primarily placed a focus on horror over fantasy.
Alfred Hitchcock was Television’s original master of suspense and showcased his skills each week with this popular series. While the show never veered too much into the supernatural or science fiction worlds, it fits well with other entries on our list for its themes of mystery and suspense. Just like The Twilight Zone, the series often had a who’s who of TV guest-starring in various roles, with many of its characters meeting an unfortunate end.
The X-Files Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) was a huge fan of The Twilight Zone, so it’s only befitting that this series-turned-movie be on our list. The show follows two FBI agents assigned to investigate strange cases of the paranormal — one’s a skeptic, the other a believer. If you’ve only seen the newer episodes or haven’t seen the old ones since the Clinton administration, it’s a strange show worth revisiting.