The Twilight Zone needs no introduction—though its creepy theme music is always a joy to hear. Rod Serling's influential anthology series blended mind-bending sci-fi with dark flashes of mystery and horror to masterful effect, setting the bar for the legion of sci-fi horror shows that followed in its wake. The first season of The Twilight Zone ran from 1959-64, the second from 1985-89, and the third from 2002-03. After the early 2000s revival wrapped up, we thought we'd seen the last of The Twilight Zone. Lucky for us, Jordan Peele revived the series in 2019, serving as both the executive producer and show host.
Peele has done a fantastic job of honoring Twilight Zone's legacy while establishing a thrilling new vision that reflects our strange times. We can't wait for the next season to drop. Of course, the universe is vast; there's a wide array of transfixing shows that bend the laws of time, space, and mind. The Outer Limits certainly springs forward, though that's just the beginning. So to help you on your journey into the fifth dimension, here are our favorite dark and twisty shows like Twilight Zone that will keep you glued to your television long into the night.
Electric Dreams (2017-2018)
It’s not hard to love an anthology show based on Philip K. Dick’s writing—and Electric Dreams does a fantastic job of interpreting the sci-fi author's tales for the small screen. The show is full of unnerving narratives and settings, from a world where psychics have taken the place of computers to a woman booking a cruise to visit the now-destroyed earth to a train station where people are purchasing tickets to non-existent places. Electric Dreams offers the same kind of mind-bending journeys fans of The Twilight Zone know and love.
Unsolved Mysteries (1987-2010, 2020)
Unsolved Mysteries debuted in 1987, with host Robert Stack presenting real-life cases of the bizarre in his inimitable style of trenchcoat detective meets haunted traveler from a foggy dimension. The show ran off and on until 2010. After 2010, it seemed like the show was done forever. Then, in 2020, Netflix released a new season of the mystery series. Each of its six episodes focuses on a different mystery or crime that went unsolved. If you’re into shows that cover everything from unsolved murders and UFO abductions to baffling disappearances, Unsolved Mysteries belongs on your must-see list.
Dark might not be an anthology show, but with all the different timelines and interlacing storylines, its easy to see its similarities to The Twilight Zone. One of the most acclaimed sci-fi horror shows available for streaming, Dark is a compelling and binge-worthy show that recently released its final season. It leaves you with the same feeling conjured up by The Twilight Zone—questioning the future of our world, and wondering what dark mysteries are out there.
Masters of Horror (2005-2007)
Get ready for an intense show. Masters of Horror is an anthology series that invites horror's greatest filmmakers to create self-contained episodes, many of which are based on narratives penned by award-winning horror authors. The masters of horror involved in the series include Stuart Gordon, Tobe Hooper, Dario Argento, and more. Better yet, each episode is described as an hour-long movie. Need we say more?
Channel Zero (2016-2018)
Channel Zero is seriously twisted and very watchable, with every season based on a different creepypasta. The series sucks you in, with nightmarish narratives that feel just real enough so that it's difficult to sleep afterward. Unlike The Twilight Zone, Channel Zero’s seasons follow a self-contained story. Just like The Twilight Zone, however, Channel Zero leaves you unsure of what is fact and what is fiction.
Black Mirror (2011- )
There is no way we couldn’t include Black Mirror on this list. The dystopian sci-fi horror show is often described as the spiritual successor to The Twilight Zone and has since become a cultural phenomenon. Each episode is typically set in the near future, offering very little hope for the future of mankind. The show's first episode, "The National Anthem", is one of the most unsettling episodes we’ve seen, while subsequent episodes like "San Junipero" or the choose-your-own-adventure-style movie Bandersnatch show how mesmerizing mind-bending television can be. Strap in and get ready.
Inside No. 9 (2014- )
Nobody does black humor quite like our neighbors across the pond, and the British TV anthology series Inside No.9 is a great example. Each episode of the series is self-contained, combining horror and comedy with new characters and a new setting, though show creators Reese Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton appear throughout. Two additional details tie each episode together: the number 9 and a brass hare statue seen in the background. The show has been running since 2014 and there’s no sign of it stopping, which we are eternally grateful for.
Time to go back to the 1960s for this one. Thriller aired from 1960 to 1962. Although lasting just two seasons, the show released a whopping 67 episodes during its run. Based on the format for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the show’s genre ranges from bloody horror to edge-of-your-seat thrillers. If that isn't enough to draw you in, Stephen King wrote in his book Danse Macabre that Thriller was the best fictional horror series of its kind.
Dimension 404 (2017)
With the title taken from the 1950s radio program Dimension X combined with the computer error code 404, Dimension 404 is a creepy and comedic blend of The Twilight Zone and our internet era. Mark Hamill narrates the show. He begins by telling us of a dimension that is home to things beyond our wildest imagination. The series conjures everything from horrors we never knew existed to wondrous creations people would die to see. Every episode of the series takes place in this dimension, while subtly exploring the extreme positives and negatives of our ever-increasing dependency on technology. Dimension 404 has been heavily compared to The Twilight Zone, so it’s an obvious candidate for TZ fans.
Amazing Stories (1985-1987, 2020- )
There is something about classic anthology shows that begs for a reboot, and Amazing Stories is no exception. Created by Steven Spielberg, the show originally ran for two seasons in the late 1980s and was nominated for multiple Emmy Awards. The episodes varied greatly in their themes but clearly took inspiration from The Twilight Zone's blend of sci-fi, mystery, and horror. The reboot premiered with the launch of Apple TV+, and since we haven’t heard any news regarding a second season, the five-episodes we have will have to do for now.
Room 104 (2017- )
Room 104 is a genre-twisting series, with each episode focusing on a different guest at an unnamed hotel stepping into room 104. An anthology series, the dream-like narratives vary widely and tap into different dark themes. Viewers will encounter stories about cults, paranormal events, and even a tale told solely through interpretive dance. The show is created by the Duplass brothers, so expect flashes of dark humor as well.
Featured still of 'Channel Zero' via SyFy