Friday, January 04, 2008

Twilight Zone-a-Rama

Was anyone else glued to SciFi's Twilight Zone Marathon over New Year's? I just couldn't stop watching. "One more episode, and then I'll turn it off," I'd say. But, nope. Couldn't do it.

I guess you could write it off as nostalgia - "Ooh! I saw that one at Debbie Goff's slumber party!" - but it's more than that, I think. Great stories. Tight writing by the likes of Rod Serling (natch), Ray Bradbury, Earl Hamner. Stars and future-stars aplenty.

The weirdness was in the tales themselves. And yeah, there was some hokey make-up for some of the space monsters and that odd thing outside the airplane window that freaked out William Shatner, but most of the stories didn't involve special effects of any kind. Just little twists in reality. Nothing was what it appeared to be on the surface. And when the truth was revealed, you'd smack your head and say, "Oh, man! I never saw that coming!" C'mon. You know you fell for "To Serve Man" just like the rest of us did.

Most of the episodes are text-book Cold War fables. And the ones about space were written and performed during the height of the Space-Race, which gives them an interesting perspective. The show says so much about the socio-political climate of the late 50's/early 60's. The fallout shelters. The "aliens" next door. Time travel (backward and forward). And those pesky evil toys - telephones, dolls, ventriloquist dummies.

Yes, but what impact does Twilight Zone have on our lives today? Well, I don't know about you, but I always look for that monster on the airplane wing every time I fly. And I never answer toy telephones. Oooh.


PT said...

Ooh, spooky. I received Twilight Zone - Season One on DVD this Christmas (well, it was on my wishlist, so maybe not THAT spooky!). Now all I need is some spare time to sit down and watch them all.

They haven't all been seen too much over here, so when you do see one it's all fresh and new and exciting. And you're right, with acting and writing that good, you don't need special effects!

Elsie said...

I missed it! Would you believe that one of our holiday visitors got stuck on a "Beverly Hillbillies" marathon?!! Talk about the Twilight Zone.

jomoore said...

I always look out for William Shatner on a plane...!

jomoore said...

P.S. Thanks for dropping by chez-moi (in blogland!). All's well, except for the apathy!

Now I've just got to catch up with everybody...!

chux said...

Twilight Zone! Man that use to play late last thing on a Friday night when I was a kid.
I guess I shouldnt have been up so late but my parents were quite easy going about bedtimes. I did get to see fantastic and scarey episodes of this. William Shatner pops up all over the place.
It also reminds me that we have the Phil Silvers Show on late like this too over here in the 70's and 80's. I love Bilko!
And finally......During your times in the UK did you ever catch Tales of the Unexpected? Very similar to the Twilight Zone is as much as things were never what they seemed and there was always a twist, but at a much smaller bugdet. Also not such a strong link to Sci-Fi.
We've been rewatching them lately and they have been excellent viewing too!

MaryB said...

chux - I vaguely remember Tales of the Unexpected. I don't remember seeing it when I lived in England, but I think it aired over here. I'll need to check into it to job my memory.

Kathryn said...

I can't believe you posted that picture! I still think about that Twilight Zone sometimes.