The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
18 user 6 critic

To Serve Man 

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


Richard L. Bare


Rod Serling (teleplay by), Damon Knight (based on a story by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Lloyd Bochner ... Michael Chambers
Susan Cummings ... Patty
Richard Kiel ... Kanamit
Hardie Albright ... Secretary General
Theodore Marcuse ... Citizen Gregori
Bartlett Robinson ... Colonel #1
Carleton Young ... Colonel #2 (as Carlton Young)
Nelson Olmsted ... Scientist
Robert Tafur Robert Tafur ... Señor Valdes
Lomax Study Lomax Study ... Leveque
Jerry Fujikawa ... 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







English | French | Japanese | Spanish

Release Date:

2 March 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

To Serve Man See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Appears in three astronomy documentaries by Space Viz: Contact: The Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (1995), Odyssey of Survival (1999) and Planetary Defense (2007). The latter work was nominated for a 2008 Arthur Clarke Award in the UK. The "Arthur's", as they are known, are recognized as the "Oscars" in British Space Achievements. Fellow nominees in 2008 included In the Shadow of the Moon (2007), Sir Richard Branson and Prof. Stephen Hawking. 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 »


Kanamit: Please, Mr. Chambers, eat. We wouldn't want you to lose weight.
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Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.30 (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Irony . . .
8 August 2014 | by slimdudek9See all my reviews

I like this ep for so many reasons. Funny, for one, b/c they were lead to believe the surface book title was harmless. But the other reason is how all of the nations gathered together in the UN building to accept the terms of those other worldly beings without thinking twice. Yet, for decades maybe more, they war and kill each other without a shred of trust at all. How backwards a society they'd shown themselves to be, negotiating with total strangers from another world but shunning even nations who are double digit miles from us. And the ironic part of all the entire ep was the Russian delegate questioning the motives of the the Kannimits.

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