Matheson: Why I Named It “Spur of the Moment”
The title of a particular TV episode means almost nothing to the average TV viewer. An entertaining story is all we ask. Yet some writers do take care with their titles … and it can even affect how good the episode is.
Case in point: “Spur of the Moment,” from Twilight Zone‘s fifth season. The highly imaginative Richard Matheson explains:
I love that title! She married on the “spur of the moment,” really. She married for emotion. And there was also the spurs of the person riding the horse … there were multiple and hidden meanings in that title, which is something I like to do. Titles are very important, and it’s really nice if you can get a good one. As a writer, I prefer to have the title occur to me instantly — even sometimes before I do the story. It colors how I approach the story, and I feel much more comfortable.
Having a catchy title must have helped. There’s a good reason I included “Spur of the Moment” on my list of the best Twilight Zone episodes to watch on Halloween.
Would it have been as good with its working title, “Pale Rider”? Maybe. But I have a feeling that Matheson’s flash of inspiration left us all with a better episode.
Photo courtesy of Wendy Brydge. For a daily dose of Serling, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. You can also get email notifications of future posts by entering your address under “Follow S&S Via Email” on the upper left-hand side of this post. WordPress followers, just hit “follow” at the top of the page.
Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!