The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
13 user 5 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".



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

Watch Now

With Prime Video





Episode complete credited cast:
Secretary General
Citizen Gregori
Colonel #1
Colonel #2 (as Carlton Young)
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 more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

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 »


In the beginning when Mr. Chambers asks the computer what time it is on Earth and is told twelve noon, he is asking a source aware of Earth's different time-zones, yet is given the answer of his own time, Eastern Standard time, since it is known that this is what he is referring to. See more »


Kanamit: Please, Mr. Chambers, eat. We wouldn't want you to lose weight.
See more »


Referenced in NewsRadio: Space (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Don't Judge A Book By Its Title
28 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

Lloyd Bochner plays Michael Chambers, who relays the tale of how the Kanamits arrived on Earth not so long ago, promising all kinds of gifts including infinite energy and food sources, and a protective shield around nations that should make wars obsolete. Their promises are kept, and the world rejoices in their new alien providers, but some are still unsure, and a Kanamit book that was left behind becomes the determined object of deciphering, and the title is first found, "To Serve Man", but it is the contents of that book that really put the sting in the tail... Memorable and influential episode may not have an airtight plot, but the Kanamits are a most effective creation, and the surprise twist of course is now the stuff of legend(and punch lines!)

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page