Saturday, July 8, 2017

I'm in, if not from, The Twilight Zone

A couple of weeks ago I read a book about Rod Serling; written by his daughter Anne, As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling is a revealing look at the Twilight Zone creator from the perspective of his youngest child.

Anne Serling states in the book that she did not know what her father did -- other than writing -- until she was six or seven years old, and did not watch a lot in the way of The Twilight Zone (1959 - 1964) until she was a few years older. The first episode that Anne remembers watching was "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", a superb episode, one starring William Shatner, with her father. Although that teleplay was written by Richard Matheson it still gave Anne an idea what took so much of her father's time when she was a child.

(I knew what my father did at a fairly young age; something to do with explosives, although I never saw him at his place of work, for obvious reasons: the Canadian military -- specifically the RCAF.)

There's something inherently interesting, I find, about memoirs from the offspring of a well-known figure; certainly a talented, and introspective, creator of a upper-case television program -- even if historically the competition is anemic, to put it kindly. ("Television? No thanks.")

My own positive reaction to Ms. Serling's memoirs made me re-explore some episodes of The Twilight Zone.


Along with The Outer Limits (1963 - 1965), TZ is the best of its kind; that of dramatic television fantasy/science fiction.


Tibor said...

Oh, the same Richard Matheson who wrote "I am legend"? Still an all time fav pulp sci-fi novel!

Francois said...

I remember as a kid waiting with great anticipation for the weekly broadcast of this program. I was very very small. The music, the opening — please don't adjust your television... spooky! I remember specifically an episode with Buster Keaton as the main character. A very historical moment in time.

Simon St. Laurent said...

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've read little Richard Matheson. Robert Bloch, on the other hand....

I did not see 'The Outer Limits' until CKVR showed episodes during the summer of 1979 as part ot that station's 'Summer Cine' program. The theme music is terrific (both versions). Actually, Buster Keaton was in a 'Twilight Zone' episode titled "Once Upon a Time". Maybe you were referring to that series.

Thanks for posting your memories!

"There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission...."