16 revealing behind-the-scenes pictures from 'The Twilight Zone'
Take a colorful peek at the production of the classic 1959–64 TV series.
Image: The Everett Collection
Not much is said about the production of The Twilight Zone. That likely has to do with the nature of the show. The expertly crafted 1959–64 anthology series felt less like a television show than a series of 159 movies. With a different story to tell each week, The Twilight Zone featured no regular cast. All the while, the writers were constantly shifting gears between sci-fi, suspense, allegory, drama and — sometimes — comedy. The stars that appeared in Rod Serling's eerie realm made their fame in other films, on other series. When William Shatner or Cloris Leachman are stopped by fans, "The Nick of Time" or "It's a Good Life," while both brilliant, are likely not the first topics of conversation.
Besides, with Rod Serling in front of the camera introducing the episodes, it felt as if we were already getting some insight into the mind of the creator. And, The Twilight Zone so convincingly created strange new visions, we did not want to peek behind the curtain.
That being said, it's pretty darn fascinating when you do get a glimpse behind the scenes. Especially when you see familiar black-and-white episodes burst into unexpected color. Submitted for your approval, here is a collection of production photos from the original series. [Up top, you can see Shelley Berman joking around with the prothestics for his doppelgangers in "The Mind and the Matter."]
Rod Serling pauses for a cigarette and coffee between scenes during filming of "The Twilight Zone" in this 1961 photo.
Burgess Meredith pauses on the stage of the immortal "Time Enough At Last," giving us a fantastic glimpse at this detailed set.
Peter Falk is hardly recognizable as Columbo here, playing a Castro-like dictator in "The Mirror."
Actors Michael Fox and Douglas Spencer are being fitted for their two-headed Martian costume, as seen in "Mr. Dingle, the Strong."
Will the real Anne Francis please stand up? Makeup artist Charles Schram applies some powder on the set of "The After Hours" — to the face of a dummy.
Again on the set of "The After Hours," director Doug Hayes gives some notes to Elizabeth Allen. Or, well, seemingly her mannequin.
Elizabeth Montgomery poses on the set of "Two," the first episode of season three.
Telly Savalas takes some time with his younger costar in "Living Doll," Tracy Stratford. Fun fact: Stratford also voiced Lucy in A Charlie Brown Christmas!
Agnes Moorehead shows her feelings towards her tiny costar in "The Invaders."
Serling cracks a smile surrounded by his sinistar stars in season four's "The New Exhibit," Robert Mitchell, Milton Parsons and David Bond.
Art Carney of The Honeymooners takes a leaner on the set "Night of the Meek."
Jesse White is the title character in "Cavender is Coming," the comedic episode also featuring a young Carol Burnett. Now you know that the guardian angel Cavender dresses in lavender.
Sherry Jackson and James Best get into action for "Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank," 1961.
Cliff Robertson, starring in the role of a ventriloquist, chats with Bethelynn Grey, center, and Sandra Warner on April 19, 1962, during a rehearsal of "The Dummy."
And here we see a color glimpse at the same episode.