Middle School Youth

6th – 8th Grades

The Fifth Dimension

The Twilight Zone tackled a diversity of social issues and political statements not seen in shows of its time. Its creator, Rod Serling (himself a Unitarian), believed that controversial messages and dialogues were needed to get a point across, and purposely created a science fiction show to get such messages past corporate censors. The result was five seasons of timeless episodes that resonate as strongly today as they did in the late fifties and early sixties.

The Fifth Dimension uses episodes of The Twilight Zone as the basis for in-depth discussions of a wide variety of topics. At each class, an entire episode is viewed, a distinct advantage when discussion is the intention. After viewing, the class engages in discussion and activities, designed to encourage deep contemplation of issues.

Classes and themes:

Episode Season Theme
Time Enough At Last 1 nuclear war, solitude versus loneliness
The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street 1 the dangers of prejudice and hysteria
The Howling Man 2 evil
Eye of the Beholder 2 prejudice and social conformity
A Most Unusual Camera 2 greed
The Obsolete Man 2 censorship and the dangers of totalitarianism
Two 3 geopolitical differences
The Shelter 3 nuclear war
A Quality of Mercy 3 bigotry
To Serve Man 3 visitors from outer space, and speciesism
Four O’Clock 3 the danger of being judgmental
The Old Man in the Cave 5 greed, power, and questioning one’s faith
Number 12 Looks Just Like You 5 conformity and objectification
I Am the Night – Color Me Black 5 racism and capital punishment
The Brain Center at Whipple’s 5 excessive industrialization


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