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The Twilight Zone

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Rodman Edward Serling was born in Syracuse, N.Y., on December 25, 1924, and grew up in Binghamton. By his own account, he had no early literary ambitions, though from an early age, he and his older brother, Robert, immersed themselves in movies and in such magazines as Astounding Stories and Weird Tales.

On the day he graduated from high school, Serling enlisted in the U.S. Army 11th Airborne Division paratroopers, and after basic training (during which time he took up boxing and won 17 out of 18 bouts) he was sent into combat in the Philippines and wounded by shrapnel.

After being discharged in 1946, Serling enrolled at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he majored in Physical Education. He soon switched to Language and Literature, and began writing, directing and acting in weekly productions on a local radio station. While still a student, Serling sold his first three national radio scripts — and even his first television script, "Grady Everett for the People," which he sold to the live half-hour anthology series Stars Over Hollywood (NBC 1950-51) for $100.

Serling married Carolyn Louise Kramer in 1948. After graduation, the pair moved to Cincinnati, where Serling became a staff writer for WLW radio and collected rejection slips for his freelance writing — 40 in a row at one point!

Serling's fortunes changed when he began writing full-time. From 1951 to 1955, more than 70 of his television scripts were produced, garnering both critical and public acclaim. Full-scale success came on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 1955, with the live airing of his Kraft Television Theatre script "Patterns." Deemed a "creative triumph" by critics, and the winner of the first of Serling's six Emmy awards, the acclaimed production was actually remounted live to air a second time on Feb. 9, 1955 — an unprecedented event.

Serling went to work on screenplays for MGM and as a writer for CBS' illustrious Playhouse 90, for which he crafted 90-minute dramas — including both the series' 1956 debut, "Forbidden Area," starring Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Jackie Coogan and Tab Hunter; and the multiple-Emmy Award-winning "Requiem for a Heavyweight," starring Jack Palance and Keenan Wynn that later was turned into both a feature film and a Broadway play. Remarkably, in a milieu that included such writing legends as Paddy Chayefsky and Reginald Rose, Serling took the writing Emmy again the following year for his Playhouse 90 script "The Comedian," starring Mickey Rooney.

A critical and financial success, Serling shocked many of his fans in 1957 when he left Playhouse 90 to create a science-fiction series he called The Twilight Zone.

CBS would air 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone, an astonishing 92 of which were written by Serling, over the next five years. His writing earned him two more Emmy Awards. The show went on to become one of television's most widely recognized and beloved series, and it has achieved a permanent place in American popular culture with its instantly recognizable opening, its theme music and its charismatic host, Serling himself. With early appearances by such performers as Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, William Shatner, Jack Klugman and many others, The Twilight Zone became a launching pad for some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

After the production of The Twilight Zone ended in January 1964, Serling remained active in television and movies, winning an Emmy for his Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre adapted script "It's Mental Work," and hosting and writing episodes of the 1970-73 anthology series Rod Serling's Night Gallery. There, his script "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" earned an Emmy nomination as the year's Outstanding Single Program. Serling returned to Antioch College as a professor and lectured at college campuses across the country. Politically active, Serling spoke out against the Vietnam War in the late '60s and early '70s.

Rod Serling died on June 28, 1975, in Rochester, N.Y., of complications arising from a coronary bypass operation. Rush dedicated their album Caress of Steel (1975) to the memory of Mr. Rod Serling.

A pleasant faced man steps up to greet you

He smiles and says he’s pleased to meet you

Beneath his hat the strangeness lies

Take it off, he’s got three eyes

Truth is false and logic lost

Now the fourth dimension is crossed

You have entered the twilight zone

Beyond this world strange things are known

Use the key, unlock the door

See what your fate might have in store

Come explore your dreams’ creation

Enter this world of imagination

Wake up lost in an empty town

Wondering why no one else is around

Look up to see a giant boy

You’ve just become his brand new toy

No escape, no place to hide

Here where time and space collide

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Rod Serling has been an inspiration to me. I grew up just a few miles from where he went to college and listened to WLW radio all my life. I consider him the first neo-Romantic writer and a genius at his craft. A heavy smoker from his army days, his is the often heard story of a life of brilliance cut short by the effects of longterm tobacco use.

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One of my favorite episodes actually not written by Rod, but rather Richard Matheson "A World of His Own" from Season 1, it was episode 36 and First aired: July 1, 1960.


Rod’s first on screen appearance in the series.

Arriving home early one day, Victoria West (Phyllis Kirk) is stunned to find her husband, playwriter Gregory West, (Keenan Wynn) embracing another woman named Mary (Mary LaRoche). When Victoria demands an explanation, Gregory is forced to reveal that Mary was purely a figment of his imagination, "invented" on the writer's tape recorder. To prove this point, Gregory not only makes Mary re-appear, but also a "huge, red-eyed element." But this is not the only surprise in store for the bewildered Victoria West. The priceless finale finds series creator Rod Serling joining in on the festivities.

Also, Rod co-wrote the 1968 Planet of the apes starring Charelton Heston and Roddy McDowell.

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My favorite episodes; "The Obsolete Man," "To Serve Man," "The Hitchhiker," "Nothing in the Dark," and "Night Call." Also, the one, which has a name I can't remember, where the guy is being sentenced to death, and he keeps telling everyone it happens to him every night, and he knows what's going to happen next.

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Batman, the episode you seek is titled "Shadow Play," (from season 2) about a man being sentenced and he must convince the jury it is all not really happening.

My favorite episodes are The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, Eye of the Beholder, The Obsolete Man, Two, It's a Good Life, The Thirty Fathom Grave, and The Masks.

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"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone." Rod Serling~ Season 1 Intro.

"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead— your next stop, the Twilight Zone!" ~ Rod Serling-Season 2 Intro.

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension— a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone." ~ Rod Serling-Seasons 4 & 5 Intros.

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Burgess Meredith, a classic everyman in "The Twilight Zone"

"Witness Mr. Henry Bemis, a charter member in the fraternity of dreamers." Opening narration from: "Time Enough At Last."

"Uniquely American institution known as the neighborhood bar...And this is Mr. Luther Dingle, a vacuum cleaner salesman..."

Opening narration from: "Mr. Dingle, The Strong."

"You walk into this room at your own risk, because it leads to the future, not a future that will but might be...This is Romney Wordsworth, in his last forty-eight hours on earth."

Opening narration from: "The Obsolete Man."

"Take away a man's dream, fill him with whiskey and despair, send him to a lonely bridge, let him stand there by himself looking down at the black water..." Opening narration from: "Printer's Devil" :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

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Eye of The Beholder is an excellent episode, but it's not in my collage. The face on the far right is the face of the monster on the wing of the airplane, in the episode "Terror At 20,000 Feet" featuring William Shatner. The devil thing is a coin operated fortune telling machine in the episode "The Nick of Time," also featuring Shatner. Shatner's character uses the machine, and the predictions are startlingly accurate and specific. He becomes obsessed with the thing. It's a great episode.

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I used to keep track of the episodes I saw, but I lost the list, and forgot which ones I'd seen and haven't seen. I was pretty close to seeing all of them though. About Ricky, yes, we all miss him, but I think it was a necessary change. About the collage, it took a while to make, because I was trying to make it as clean looking as possible. If you click the link, you can see the full size picture, and it's much cleaner.

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