Twilight Zone: Season 3, Episode 24

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

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
9.3
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Ratings: 9.3/10 from 1,371 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 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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Cast

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

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)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

In the source story, the aliens are short and look like hairy pigs that walk upright, and go by the name Kanamit (singular: Kanama). In this televised version they're called Kanamits (singular: Kanamit), and they all look like Richard Kiel wearing a prosthetic "big brain". See more »

Goofs

Chambers compares translating the Kanamit book into English to decoding Japanese messages in World War II. The two situations are entirely different. The codebreakers in World War II took a coded message, a meaningless string of Japanese characters, and reversed the coding process to produce a string of characters that would be meaningful to anyone who knew Japanese. Chambers's problem is not that the Kanamits coded their book, but that no one on Earth knows the Kanamit language. There is no way that they could take the book by itself and translate it. See more »

Quotes

Patty: [SPOILER] Mr. Chambers! Don't get on that ship! The rest of the book, "To Serve Man", it's - it's a cookbook!
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User Reviews

 
You can't get any better than this....
9 September 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The episode begins with a race from another planet coming to Earth and offering to make all our problems disappear. Despite our natural distrust of such claims, the planet soon becomes a paradise--with plenty to eat, peace throughout the land and humans praising these well-intentioned beings. However, despite the windfall, two translators who work for the United Nations doggedly try to unlock the alien language contained in one of their books. So far, they only have been able to translate the title, "To Serve Man", but the rest alludes them.

When it comes to the excellent show THE TWILIGHT ZONE, you can't find a better episode than this one--and that's saying a lot because they made quite a few gems. That's because this one is based on a short story that is so gosh-darn clever that you can't help but admire the episode. Plus, the acting, sets and mood is so well created that it just screams "quality television".


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