“Who am I talking to? I’m talking to monsters from outer space.”—Steve (Claude Akins)
In a quiet neighborhood where everyone knows each other by name and considers one another friends, a strange flash in the sky disrupts the normal peaceful street. First, thought to be a meteor, the theory is soon discounted when not only is the electricity cut in everyone’s house, but cars, portable radios, and the telephones all seize to work.
Two of the neighbors decide to walk over and find out if the next street is also without power, but a young boy, Tommy (Jan Handzlik) stops them. He states that what has occurred is reminiscent of a story he knows about aliens who come to earth and take the form of humans to blend in. At first, they all dismiss the idea, but when one of the cars start while the others remain dead, suspicion falls on the owner, Les (Barry Atwater).
Soon, accusations fly, the friends become bitter enemies and everyone becomes a suspect. When Steve (Claude Akins) attempts to be the voice of reason and calm the mob mentality, he too get puts under surveillance and every activity including the construction of a normal home radio becomes scrutinized and questioned.
This by far is one of the best, if not thee best episode of the spectacular series. Often the Twilight Zone shows the weaknesses in human condition and how quickly relationships and trust dissolve when self-preservation becomes a real risk. What makes the show so captivating is how true to life the reactions are, especially in this episode.
The Monsters on Maple St is as drawing now as it was when it first aired. It stands the test of time because Rod Serling, the genius that he was, understood that imperfections of behavior, emotions and conscience remain the same generation after generation.
RSR Review: 10/10. The Twilight Zone at its best!