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
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Ratings: 9.2/10 from 1,358 users  
Reviews: 9 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".



(teleplay), (based on a story by), 1 more credit »
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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





| | |

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?


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 »


Chambers says that the new nitrate was demonstrated in Argentina, and that he knows the country was "barren and fruitless as any place on Earth." Argentina has the thickest layer of humus (fertile soil) in the world, and has always ranked among the largest world producers of wheat, soy and other grains, as well as fruits and vegetables, not to mention bovine cattle. See more »


Narrator: [closing narration] 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 from The Twilight Zone.
See more »


Referenced in Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Good Episode: Has a Linguistic Flaw
18 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was at one time my favorite "Twilight Zone" episode. It still stands up pretty well. The idea of a group of overlords, deciding what is best for us, is a standard bearer of science fiction. These tall big headed guys come to earth to save us from ourselves, to put an end to war and violence. They've got the goods to back up what they do, so there is little resistance. As a matter of fact, they even give the earthlings a chance to visit their planet. The fact that they have a foothold and are completely dominant makes one suspicious of their motives. The story is well told, but we know Rod Serling is up to something. The weakness in the episode is that there is a near linguistic impossibility, dealing with the translation of the book at the end. If you think for a few minutes, you will see what I am talking about.

12 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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