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 alien's language, using a book whose title they deduce is "To Serve Man".



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

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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






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Release Date:

2 March 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The newspaper that Patty picks up is the actual June 14, 1961, edition of "The Los Angeles Times." The top-most headline reads; "Specialist Checks John F. Kennedy's Back." The main banner headline reads; "4-HOUR POWER OUTAGE BRINGS CHAOS TO N.Y.," which refers to the previous evening's power failure in New York City. 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 »


Patty: [SPOILER] Mr. Chambers! Don't get on that ship! The rest of the book, "To Serve Man", it's - it's a cookbook!
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Edited from Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

An alien arrives on earth to help stop wars and famine.
18 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

This episode of the Twilight Zone is a must see. Bochner and the supporting actors work naturally in under 25 minutes in this teleplay. The story works on our fears and dreams as the alien Kanamits, all wonderfully played by Richard Kiel, tells the earth that they can turn our war and famined ridden world into a "Garden of Eden." The directing and script works so well together that it moves at break neck speed as questions about the Kanamits "good will" unfolds as you unfold them in your own mind. Kiel with bulbous head and darkened eyes doesn't moves his lips as he communicates telepathically. His expressionless face and a tinny Voice Over gives a strange and surreal effect. Good Night Mr. Serling!

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