My Favorite Twilight Zone Episode: Deaths-Head Revisited

There may never be another series like The Twilight Zone. Most shows that attempt to be The Twilight Zone only focus on the science fiction aspect of the show and forget all about the social commentary. The closest anybody has come is Black Mirror, a show that has its moments but tends to be overly bleak while having a negative view of technology, similar to an old relative chastising you for texting too much.

Out of all the episodes, one that I have really connected with is Deaths-Head Revisited.

From the moment I saw this episode it became my favorite. What really connected me to this episode was that while most Twilight Zone episodes tend to be warnings of what society might become, this one was reflection on actual horrors that happened. When this episode originally aired, only sixteen years had past since the demise of The Third Reich and The Holocaust.

For those who have never seen this episode, Deaths-Head Revisited is about a sadistic former Nazi captain who after deciding to leave the safety of Brazil, returns to the concentration camp he served in. As you’ll see in this episode, Gunther Lutze is nostalgic for the power he had while torturing and killing 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 captivating performance as the former Nazi captain and Joseph Schidkraut is equally captivating as Alfred Becker, the main spirit informing Lutze of his fate.

I mention this episode as much as I possibly can because it’s a deep cut few sadly recall. It’s something just as powerful as To Serve Man or Eye of the Beholder and with every rewatch the emotional power is still there. If you’re a fan of the show, Deaths-Head Revisited is a necessary view. It’s understandable if you have yet to get around to this episode since The Twilight Zone is a series with many must watch episodes. If you love the show and have yet to see this episode, do yourself a favor and watch it.

 

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