To Serve Man – The Twilight Zone
To Serve Man

To Serve Man

“To Serve Man” is Twilight Zone episode 23 of Season 3. It first aired on March 2nd, 1962 on the CBS television network. The incredibly eerie theme of this particular episode showed all the trademarks of the classic Rod Serling writing style. To this day it is on the Top 10 list of most Twilight Zone fanatics.

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A Little About Rod Serling

Before we dive into “To Serve Man”, we’d like to share something about the brilliant writer and creator Rod Serling.

Rod was a huge fan of Pulp Fiction stories and gobbled up any books and articles he could find. At the same time, he was incredibly interested in themes about social issues such as racism, society, war, psychology and government. All of these ideas combined made his writing immensely deep. It’s very hard to find any writers who were as creative in this way.

To Serve Man - The Twilight Zone

“To Serve Man” – 1962

Opening narration:

“Respectfully submitted for your perusal … a Kanamit. Height? a little over 9 feet. Weight? in the neighborhood of 350 pounds. Origin; unknown. Motives? Therein hangs the tale… for in just a moment we’re going to ask you to shake hands (figuratively) with a Christopher Columbus from another galaxy and another time. This is the Twilight Zone”


After the narrated intro, the episode takes us inside the spaceship where Mr Michael Chambers is being held captive by a race of giant-headed, excessively tall aliens in a small confined cabin. Despite the aliens’ cloaked efforts at hospitality, Michael refuses any food offered to him.

We are now taken to a flashback several months earlier where the origins of this predicament are laid out for us.

The Arrival

As the entire world is notified via radio and television of the arrival of the above-mentioned aliens, the masses question the motivation behind the mysterious visit. The Kanamits announce that the mission is purely to provide aid to humans via technology and medical knowledge. Simply put, To Serve Man. It’s all being done out of the goodness of their hearts……or maybe their stomachs!

The Book

After his speech (delivered telepathically) about saving humanity, the 9-foot tall spokesman for The Kanamits mistakenly leaves behind a book, which is written in their native language. It is at this point where Mr Michael Chambers ( a cryptographer) is brought in to decode the strange language


Despite the overwhelming confidence most citizens seems to have in The Kanamits, Mr Chambers smells a rat. As he plans his trip to visit the aliens’ planet, one of his team members (Patty) is hard at work deciphering the language.

As Mr Chambers boards the spacecraft, Patty come running towards her boss with her findings. The title is literally translated as “TO SERVE MAN”!!! The alien text is a Cookbook to prepare humans!!!

Video: The Twilight Zone – To Serve Man – Ending

No Escape

Despite just being told the horrifying news, Michael is unable to escape and is trapped aboard the spaceship. He then reflects on his grim situation and looks into the camera telling us all “Sooner or later we’ll all of us be on the menu…ALL OF US!”

To Serve man - Twilight Zone
To Serve Man

Closing Narration

The Twilight Zone T-shirt

To Serve Man Cast:

  • Lloyd Bochner – Michael Chambers
  • Richard Kiel – the Kanamit
  • Susan Cummings – Patty
  • Theodore Marcuse – Citizen Gregori
  • Joseph Ruskin – Kanamit voice
  • Hardie Albright – Secretary General
  • Nelson Olmsted – Scientist
  • Bartlett Robinson – Colonel #1
  • Carleton Young – Colonel #2
  • Robert Tafur – Senor Valdes
  • Jerry Fujikawa – Japanese Delegate
  • Lomax Study – Leveque

The Twilight Zone Trivia
  • A Twilight Zone movie was produced by John Landis and Steven Speilberg in 1983. The great actor Vic Marrow lost his life after a helicopter blade decapitated him. The film was narrated by Burgess Meredith
  • Producers tried to revive the series in 1985 but after 3 seasons, it was canceled. It just wasn’t the golden age of sci-fi TV any more
  • In 1993, a made-for-TV movie called Twilight Zone: Rod Serling’s Lost Classics was released. It featured two of Rod Serling’s works. The narrator was the great James Earl Jones, who also hosted the movie
  • Mr Serling invited viewers to submit scripts and he receive over 1,500! He read over 500 of them and two were actually used
  • Rod Serling wanted voice actor Richard Egan to do the narration but when Egan reported that he was not available, Rod did it himself
  • After naming his show, Rod found out that “The Twilight Zone” was a term already used by US Air Force pilots. It means crossing over from a day sky to a night sky above the earth
  • Desi Arnaz was technically the first host of The Twilight Zone. It was DesiLu Productions that produced the show. Thank goodness Rod Serling took control and hosted himself

3 responses to “To Serve Man – The Twilight Zone”

  1. […] combined made his writing immensely deep. It’s very hard to find any writers who were as creative in this […]

  2. […] combined made his writing immensely deep. It’s very hard to find any writers who were as creative in this […]

  3. […] combined made his writing immensely deep. It’s very hard to find any writers who were as creative in this […]

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