My Favorite Twilight Zone Episode: Deaths-Head Revisited

There will never be another series like The Twilight Zone. Most shows that attempt to be The Twilight Zone are quite mediocre, usually focusing only on the science fiction aspect of the show and forgetting all about the social commentary. The closest anybody has come is Black Mirror, a show that has its moments but tends to come across as overly bleak showing a negative view of technology similar to an old relative chastising you for texting.

Out of all the episodes, one that gets past over far too often is Deaths-Head Revisited.

From the moment I saw this episode it became my favorite. What really connected me to this episode that while most Twilight Zone episodes tend to be warnings of what society might become, this one was reflection on actual horrors of the past.

For those who have never seen this episode, Deaths-Head Revisited is about a sadistic former Nazi captain who decides to return to the concentration camp he served in, nostalgic for all the torturing and killing he did during the war. When he arrives, the ghosts of the concentration camp put him on trial for the war crimes he was never punished for.

Oscar Beregi gives a great unforgettable performance as the former Nazi captain Gunther Lutze and Joseph Schidkraut is fantastic as Alfred Becker, the main spirit informing Lutze of his fate.

Part of me loves and admires this episode because it’s a deep cut few sadly recall. I suppose it’s easier to admire something that isn’t as overplayed as To Serve Man or Eye of the Beholder. I rarely see a list of the great Twilight Zone episodes with Deaths-Head Revisited and that’s a shame.

If you’re a fan of the show, Deaths-Head Revisited is a necessary view. I can forgive those who have never seen this episode due to it being part of an intelligent show with countless memorable episodes, but I long for a day when the show is mentioned and people right away think of this episode with the other great ones.

 

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