Well, once again, the Sci Fi channel celebrates the new year by running the Twilight Zone series back to back for several days.
The Zone first aired in 1959 when I was 12. It ran until 1964 with a variety of tales of science fiction, horror, comedy, morality plays and fantasy.
It drew from some of that eras most creative minds and got it on to ''prime time'' TV.
Unlike anything else before it, Twilight Zone tossed out into the popular culture questions of speculative potentialities that no other TV program and
in most cases movies even dared to touch. From week to week we never knew what it was we were about to see.
One week it would tell the tale of a little boy with psychic powers holding a household of adults in abject fear and then the next week it would deal
with the fears of a neighborhood and the morality of that fear of anything ''different''. "" The Monsters are Due on Maple Street'' was a
classic look at paranoia and how it deranges people.
The next week would have a flying saucer fly to earth with massively advanced technology that surely could easily overcome earthly military might only
to find that their normal size was only one hundredth the size of humans. A study of perspective.
And of course there was "To Serve Mankind''. The benevolent aliens come to help us only to prep us for their dinner.
My parents were not so happy with it but because my closest uncle was a sci fi fan, they allowed me to watch it. Serling stood before us week after
week asking us to suspend our disbelief and to wonder ''what if''. Then he would take us on a ride from nostalgic revere to existential angst.
And who could forget the bus stop in the snow storm when the idea of hidden aliens among us reveal themselves. What a hoot
My favorite though was Little Girl Lost. Not so much my favorite for making me happy or sad but mostly for the way it turned my head inside out.
Remember that one? A normal little home and a normal little life. Mama hears her daughter crying and goes to her bed room to sooth her only to find
that her daughter is not there, even though she can hear her.
The father soon joins in the search along with his friend, an atomic scientist. They discover that there are parallel realities and that at times a
breach between these realities can happen and unknowingly someone can fall into a parallel universe.
LIke no other the Twilight Zone looked ''out side of the box''. Even questioned ''if'' there was a box in the first place.
My favorite one was the one with the bankteller who loves to read, gets trapped in the bank vault accidentally and survives the nuclear war. Now he
has all the time in the world and is totally psyched that he can read all he wants now. Unfortunately he breaks his glasses and we are left wondering
if he will ever get to read another book in his life.
Oh yeah, I love The Twilight Zone.
You mentioned a couple of my favorites...
The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up
The Nick of Time and Nightmare at 20,000 Feet with William Shatner
The Living Doll scared the hell out of me as a little kid lol
Probably quite a few more that I can’t think of right now.
Witness Flight Lieutenant William Terrance Decker, Royal Flying Corps, returning from a patrol somewhere over France. The year is 1917. The problem is
that the Lieutenant is hopelessly lost. Lieutenant Decker will soon discover that a man can be lost not only in terms of maps and miles, but also in
time - and time in this case can be measured in eternities.
WWI pilot leaves an aerial battle and flies into the clouds for safety. Fearing he left his wingman in an act of cowardice; he returns to support in
a dogfight only to find himself in the future. He winds up at a joint American British Airbase. He is taken into custody and questioned. No-one
believes him even when he describes the battle with his wingman nicknamed
Whom is now (future) commander of the joint forces. When learning his colleague is alive and a Commander; The WWI escapes to return to his Aircraft
and find the clouds he came from. It is then (now back in the past) that he saves "Leadbottom"
William Terrance "Terry" Decker of 56 Squadron Royal Flying Corps lands his Nieuport biplane on an American airbase in France, after flying
through a strange cloud. He is taken into custody and questioned by the American base commander, Major General Harper, and his provost marshal, Major
Wilson. Decker identifies himself and his squadron and claims that the date is March 5, 1917. He is informed that it is actually March 5, 1959.
Decker tells the officers that he and his comrade Alexander "Leadbottom" Mackaye were fighting seven German aircraft; Mackaye was shot down and Decker
escaped into a cloud. The Americans tell him that Mackaye is alive and
Happy New Year's ATS..
edit on 31-12-2018 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)
Burgess Meredith.. I loved that one and made me think about solitude and how I would deal with it should I end up like him. I too would read and was
so happy for him until he broke his glasses. Taught me about relying on crutches and how easily they can be stripped from us.
Unlike any other program of that century, TZ dealt with many of the issues that we are facing to day and in the near future. AI in the form of
''nanny'' or trusted mentor is still the moral question we will soon be facing if not already.
Maybe it was just my age at the time that these were coming out. There seemed to be questions in every program that offered us the chance to question
our world, our government, our reality. Ourselves.
Finally giving in to me, my parents watched it with me and after each program we would talk about it. Discuss what it was saying, Some were just
entertaining but most offered metaphors on lifes big questions and the conundrums we could be facing in the future, a future that in so many ways we
are living through now
I just finished the one with Theodor Bikel, where he plays a paranoid anti communist, anti evilist. An early representation of a conspiracy theorist
out to hunt down all the evil doers until he goes mad himself. Bravo on that one.
I just recalled the episode where automation was dealt with. The latest machine to do away with workers. The boss slowly brings in this new computer
that does away with a number of jobs in the factory, Then a bigger machine and more jobs were lost until it was only him that was left and it was
always for the benefit of the corporation that he worked for. Effeciency and profit.
Then of course he got his pink slip and wondered what had happened.
Who else was even thinking back in the early 60s about the problems that automation would bring us.
That one was an easy one for me. Ed Wynn was such a sweetheart kind of guy, always fun and nice in his performances.
That one was pretty karmic I think. Like others is made the point that actions have consequences.
Amazing show! Love The Twilight Zone... All the episodes previously mentioned are great.
Not ranked with the classics, but the first episode I ever saw was "Twenty-two" from season 5, watched it with my dad when I was about 10. Creepy as
hell! The recurring nightmare that ends with an elevator ride down to the morgue, and then the voice of that nurse... "Room for one more, honey." That
really stuck with me! I was hooked.
...and of course, they zing you with the crazy twist at the end. That's how it's done!
Final note: Outer Limits was decent, The X-Files was awesome in its own way. But Black Mirror is the show that comes closest to the great episodes of
Thanks Gut. TZ was important to me. A member here recently queried why do we think that some people search for truth or what is behind the established
curtains while other people just go on about their regular days. In my case I know that I can directly attribute much my own early propensity to ==out
of the boxness'' because of TZ.
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