Twilight Zone: Season 3, Episode 24

To Serve Man (2 Mar. 1962)
"The Twilight Zone" To Serve Man (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
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Ratings: 9.3/10 from 1,533 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 2 critic

An alien race comes to earth, promising peace and sharing technology. A linguist and his team set out to translate the alien's language, using a book whose title they deduce is "To Serve Man".



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Title: To Serve Man (02 Mar 1962)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Lloyd Bochner ...
Michael Chambers
Susan Cummings ...
Secretary General
Theodore Marcuse ...
Citizen Gregori
Bartlett Robinson ...
Colonel #1
Carleton Young ...
Colonel #2 (as Carlton Young)
Nelson Olmsted ...
Robert Tafur ...
Señor Valdes
Lomax Study ...
Japanese Delegate (as J.H. Fujikawa)


Michael Chambers recounts recent events on Earth after the arrival of a alien space craft. The aliens, known as Kanamit, seem friendly and assure everyone they have nothing to be afraid of. In fact, they offer to share wonderful technology that will provide limitless energy, cure all disease and convert deserts into lush gardens. For the people of Earth, paradise has arrived. Chambers is an encryption specialist and they try their best to decrypt a book the Kanamit left behind. The book's title seems benign - but it's not what they think it is. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





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Release Date:

2 March 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The plot also has some similarities to the Arthur C. Clarke novel Childhood's End, first published in 1953. See more »


When Chambers is talking about the Kanamit's fertilizing process he says the soil had more vitamins than a drug store chain. While adding certain nutrients like minerals to soil would make it more fertile, vitamins would have absolutely no effect. See more »


Michael Chambers: [narrating] This is the way nightmares begin - or, perhaps, end. Very simple, direct, unadorned. Incredible, and yet so terribly real, that even while they're happening we live with them, and digest them, and assimilate them. And if it's twelve o'clock noon, that's what you preoccupy yourself with. You don't think about twelve o'clock noon on the next day or the day after that. But that's what we should have been thinking about - tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. We were preoccupied with ...
See more »


Referenced in Supernatural: There Will Be Blood (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

12 December 2013 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

A lot of fun to be had with this one, even if you are good at guessing twists. The fourth wall comes down. You get a very cinematic short sci-fi drama carried by Lloyd Bochner as a cerebral, urbane, relaxed hero. He gives an almost Montaigne-like portrait of 'how to live well with aliens'. Susan Cummings blends with him perfectly as his female linguist counterpart. The introduction of a Kanamit (Richard Kiel) by the enormous shadow at the UN is impressive (going straight there saves the Kanamits the embarrassment of saying 'Take me to your leader').

Having heard Richard Kiel's excellent ability as a public speaker (one of the best I've ever heard in person, and I've listened to a lot of Shakespearean actors) at a James Bond convention, I am amused now to see only his visual talents used on screen. I believe his Kanamit was voiced by Joseph Ruskin (Genie from Man In The Bottle, series 2).

One of the great episodes. Clearly having a little fun at the 1950's sci-fi movies expense.

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