“You’re Traveling Through Another Dimension …”

Everyone knows the theme music to The Twilight Zone. So well, in fact, that it’s a kind of shorthand “name” for the series itself at times. An odd thing will happen, and someone will go, “De do, de do, de do, de do …”


Escher moment: Does it funnel IN … or OUT?

But while TZ’s musical signature lasted nearly the entire length of the series, the opening credits changed fairly often. The visual elements and Serling’s narration shifted almost from week to week at times, at least during the first three seasons.

Tinkering aside, though, The Twilight Zone featured three main opening credits: the clouds-landscape-starfield montage of Season 1 (the only one with different theme music), the swirling vortex of Seasons 2 and 3, and the shattering window-eyeball-ticking clock images of Seasons 4 and 5.

The question is, which one is the best? Here’s your chance to sound off. Play the videos below in case you need to refresh your memory, and vote. (Note from Anthony: Non-voters risk a trip to the cornfield!)

Candidate 1 (Season 1)

In its first season, we were introduced to the Twilight Zone via the music of the legendary Bernard Herrmann, which I must admit is my preferred opener:

Candidate 2 (Season 2/Season 3)

Starting with Season 2, however, it switched to the now-famous theme written by composer Marius Constant, along with the swirling vortex and a shorter, more terse intro by Serling:

Candidate 3 (Season 4/Season 5)

Beginning with Season 4, the series shifted to the visual elements that people associate most closely with the series: the window, the eye, the clock. The diver and the “E=MC2” is a nice touch as well:

So which intro works best for you?

Remember, don’t let anyone sway your vote. Except Talky Tina. ALWAYS LISTEN TO TALKY TINA. O_o


Photos courtesy of Wendy Brydge. For a daily dose of Serling, you can follow me on TwitterFacebook or Pinterest

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Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!


About Paul

Fanning about the work of Rod Serling all over social media. If you enjoy pics, quotes, facts and blog posts about The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and Serling's other projects, you've come to the right place.

Posted on 04/25/2014, in Twilight Zone and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. What a fun post, Boss! So glad that you’re highlighting these different intros. I voted for S2/3’s swirling vortex. But you know, the ultimate TZ intro would be a combination of all three. What I don’t like about the vortex one is the font of “Twilight Zone” at the end. For me, the swirling vortex with S1’s music and S4/5’s “Twilight Zone” logo would be perfect! :)

  2. Although I love the Constant theme, I like the season 1 opener the best. There’s just something about it. Most of my favorite episodes come from that season.

  3. Season 1 gets my vote, my good man. I find it so hauntingly immersive, like I’m actually moving through a fog. Great idea for a poll!

    • That’s why I like it, too! It feels like we’re passing through to that other dimension, both visually and musically. And thanks!

  4. I’d go for a hybrid of season 1’s music and graphics with not only the TZ font from seasons 4/5 but maybe also some hints of those iconic elements. (This is one thing I thought the 1980s series did very well in its opening sequence.) As they stand, though, I’ve gotta vote for season 1, too, even though it lacks some of the most iconic bits.

    Tougher choice than I thought! Fun post, Paul.

    • Ah, another hybrid suggestion! I don’t blame you — it IS a tough choice. You’re right about the ’80s opening credits; that was an inspired idea. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  5. I voted for Season 1, primarily because of the wording. Specifically, I really like that it lies between “the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge” since I think fear and knowledge defined so many of the greatest episodes. Great poll idea!

    • Yes, the wording and that phrase in particular are so poetic — and, as you indicate, very apt. Interesting side note: Serling’s first draft said “sunlight of his knowledge.” Thanks for voting!

  6. Season 1. Haunting.

  7. Victor De Leon

    S1 opening for sure. The ethereal music combined with the best written intro from Serling is hands down my favorite. I ALWAYS recite it at every episode’s start. Great post!

    • I wish Serling hadn’t changed it so much, but he just tinkered so much in those opening seasons. But I guess what matters is the show that follows it, and that was almost always a winner. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  1. Pingback: The Man Who Created TZ’s Opening Credits Looks Back | Shadow & Substance

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