Shadow and Substance

Friday, October 02, 2009


This week marks the 50th anniversary of Rod Serling’s "The Twilight Zone." Serling used the sci-fi genre as a tool to tell larger stories of morality, says Larry Kassan, founder of the Rod Serling Video Festival. He has also influenced Hollywood writers and producers, including J.J. Abrams, creator of the television shows "Lost" and "Fringe." Abrams says that as a boy he would sometimes pretend to be sick to stay home from school and watch "The Twilight Zone."

Comments [3]

Chris Gray from New Haven

For me there will always be one unanswered question. I saw an episode, only once, and I can't remember the plot but it was the usual; some louse gets his comeupance in the Zone but the actor who played the louse..., well he was nobody I recognized by name in the credits, nor by face, with dark hair, of average height and build.

Thing is, I am well regarded for recognizing voices and his was memorable! Only I never heard it play the louse before. Plus, it was no surprise that the face, not an especially handsome, movie star quality to it, was unfamiliar as, if I am correct, I only ever saw the whole of it in two pieces.

One, was the bearded old prospector where we saw his eyes, brows and nose. The other was the masked man who that actor so loved that he fought, even as he neared death, to own the mask. I think Clayton Moore did one episode playing one last bad guy (he early on played Jesse James) under a name which would not tarnish the reputation of the Ranger, even in the Twilight Zone.

Oct. 09 2009 01:54 AM
James Peters

Many of the episodes are masterpieces, some are flawed but interesting, but a percentage of them are embarrassingly lame or corny. They are such a mix of great and trashy writing and presentation. It would be nice to see many of them redone, but that Serling could come back and do them the old way, in black and white.

Oct. 05 2009 08:27 PM
Barry York from Canberra Australia

Very insightful commentary about Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone. I had the pelasure of being shown some of Binghamton's Serling sites by Larry Kassan, in May last year, while in New York with my wife and children. The series first screened in Australia on public television in 1960 or 1961. It had a huge impact on me. My dad was also an admirer and discussion of episodes formed a bonding process between us.

My wife and I hosted a TZ@50 party at our home in Canberra two nights ago - so NY isn't the only place celebrating!!

Oct. 05 2009 12:31 AM

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