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.