Spooky TV: The Twilight Zone

My favorite episode To Serve Man.

My favorite episode To Serve Man.

Recently I purchased the entire set of The Twilight Zone on Blu-ray. When I lived in the US one of the local TV stations would have 48 hour marathons of it every year. One time I stayed up a full twenty-four hours watching it. I don’t know how the heck I did that, but by golly I was sure proud of that achievement at the time. Yes, I’m a nerd. Over here in the UK it is not as well-known and I haven’t seen a single episode of it on TV while here. Was I supposed to just use the word ‘whilst’? I’m so confused about British grammar!

Anyway! Where was I? Oh yes, I was about to talk about why I love the show so much. I can directly blame the show for my current love of the sci-fi, horror and post-apocalyptic genres of books and films. Yes, it has influenced my tastes that much. Episodes such as Time At Last, which dealt with a lonely bookworm left alone after a nuclear blast, spoke to me. I mean, could you imagine being completely alone after that kind of thing happening? What would you spend your time doing? Drawing still life portraits of half burnt buildings? Heck no! I would wander the wasteland, a mysterious figure neither good or evil, kind of like the Man With No Name in the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. Oh, except I’m a chick and I don’t smoke cigars.

As I mentioned in the caption below the photo included in this post To Serve Man is my favorite episode. It’s just so ironic. Aliens come to Earth claiming that they come in peace, when in fact they have arrived for more nefarious reasons. I’m not going to completely spoil it but if you think about the title a bit I’m sure you can figure out. It points out how really naive the human race is and how we shouldn’t trust seven-foot creatures with big heads. What would really happen if aliens came to Earth? Independence Day is so full of crap, there is no way that humans could defeat a superior force of alien beings. Hell no. Instead they would probably try to lull us into a false sense of security, maybe hand us all cute stuffed animals as gifts. *coughs*

If you watch enough episodes in a row you’ll notice how often the same back lots were used. Yes, I have noticed that. Watch closely enough and you’ll recognize the house of the Beaver in Leave It To Beaver and even Elvira’s! How neat is that? Very, I tell you! Also, you’ll notice the use of a famous location called the Vasquez Rocks. It’s a spot that was also used in episodes of the original Star Trek, another TV series that I really love.

While there are some very good TV shows being aired right now I don’t think any of them are as good as The Twilight Zone in terms of writing. Rod Serling himself wrote a huge amount of episodes. Having just watched through season one I can tell you that the man wrote or adapted almost 36 episodes! Seriously, he was a prolific script writer. It also featured Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson. Matheson is probably best remembered as the author of I Am Legend. No, not the CGI riddled Will Smith Film, I’m talking about the original story.

There are TONS of people who appeared on this show before they became famous; William Shatner, Martin Landau, Jack Klugman, Robert Redford, Charles Bronson, Robert Duvall,etc… In almost every episode I can either recognize a well known character actor or somebody who went on to star in films. I can’t think of any modern show that has spawned that much talent. No, ER doesn’t count; it’s not a spooky show and it’s crap.

I will always love this show because it holds a warm and fuzzy place in my heart. If you happen to live in the UK and have never seen it go out and buy a season and watch it, you will be awed. Honest!