Readers of “Marie Torre Reports,” a column in The New York Herald Tribune, had a surprise on August 8, 1960. Marie was out that day, and she had a special substitute: Rod Serling.
Naturally, the questions centered on The Twilight Zone, which had recently finished its first season. The show had been renewed, but only for a preliminary order of 10 episodes; the ratings had been respectable, but not great. Whether it would run for a full second season depended on how well those 10 episodes did. (They eventually filmed 29 episodes for season 2.)
I particularly enjoyed Serling’s answer to the first question. His words ought to encourage any writers out there who work in the field of fantasy and science fiction.
Q: “The Twilight Zone stories are uniformly different. How do you manage to find enough ideas?”
A: “We haven’t even scraped the surface of ideas. What we’re dealing with here is imagination, and the scope of this approach is broad, wide, deep and almost unfathomable. This is possibly the one anthology format that is not self-limiting. We can travel as high or as deep as the human imagination, and the material for this kind of dramatic excursion is limitless.”
Of course, few of us have imaginations as fertile as Rod Serling’s. Still, it’s good to know there’s more than enough material out there to mine — if we’re willing to work at it.
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Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!