Episode 12… People Are Alike All Over (Season 1, Episode 25) On Netflix!
This Episode is a great introduction into the mind of Rod Serling! If you don’t know much about the man himself, Serling was a very politically motivated man. He loved to bring attention to the horrors of this world and of course the weaknesses of man. He was very anti-war and anti-corporation. Some good examples of his ideology are movies like “Patterns” and “A Carol for another Christmas.” If you haven’t seen “Patterns” rent it! It is way ahead of it’s time and really attacks the greedy Corporations.”A Carol for Another Christmas” is not as good but shows Serling’s disdain for war.
Not many people know this, but Serling was a WWII hero. He earned three medals, including the Purple Heart. He fought in a platoon that was labeled as the “Death Squad” because of its 50% casualty rate. He was injured numerous times but always went back to fight more! He was pro-war before fighting in WWII but after seeing all his buddies die, reversed his position drastically. You will find that this point of his life was where he really built his views on people and the world. I love that he changed his position after the war. Shows that he was a very open minded man who was not afraid of being wrong.
Well, this episode is a perfect example of Rod Serling’s mistrust of the human race. “People are alike all over” was adapted by Serling from an old short story written by Paul W. Fairman. This episode is exactly what it is titled as and has a nice little twist to prove it’s point. I really do love the message in this episode. The reason it scores so low on this list is because I feel the story and the characters are a little weak, therefore the twist doesn’t pack the punch it should. It is very clever, but something never sits right with me with this episode. I feel the ending and the twist are perfect, but the story that leads up is just too weak. Anyway, enough of my criticisms, let’s get to it…
The description– Two men are on a mission to Mars, but the space ship crashes and one of the men, Marcusson, is gravely injured. Conrad, a scientist who is a complete cynic, doesn’t want to open the door to the space craft, fearing what awaits him outside. But Marcusson, a man of faith and God, wants the door opened. He believes that God made everyone in his image, so if there is intelligent life out there, they will be just like man and of course, help them. Well, Marcusson never recovers from his injuries and dies on the space ship. So, Conrad decides to keep the door closed and wait for help from Earth.
But suddenly the door begins to open itself. A paranoid Conrad grabs his gun and waits for the inevitable. But to his surprise, Marcusson was right, the Martians are not aggressive as feared and actually look a lot like him. They even have a way to communicate like humans also. So the skittish Conrad decides to trust them and accept their invitation to visit their civilization.
When they reach civilization, to Conrad’s surprise, the Maritans welcome him with a house similar to what he is used to on Earth. He has all the amenities… even television, Scotch and cigarettes (typical priorities of Rod Serling.) Conrad has everything he could ever want, but everything in life comes with a price. Conrad soon discovers that Marcusson hit the nail right on the head when he stated that people are alike all over… But he also confirms that his fears were not so ridiculous after all, when he takes a journey into “The Twilight Zone.”
I will tell you no more. I may have even told you too much! But I will tell you this, the twist is not at all predictable. It’s actually really inventive and says so much about us as people. This episode is well worth the watch and the twist will not disappoint you. But the real reason to watch “People are alike all Over,” is for its message! The message really hits home and will have you thinking for days.
If you would like to see a great story, message and twist I created, just come and take “A Seat on a Train” at http://www.aseatonatrain.com Tell me what you think of my story and if it reminds you of “The Twilight Zone.”