Go “Fourth” and Marathon

I couldn’t help retweeting that when the 2014 TZ marathon rolled around on the SyFy channel earlier this month. Talk about a rhetorical question!

There’s no denying that the New Year’s Eve marathon is the more well-known and “attended” event. We get more episodes, yes, but there’s something about the chilly, post-Christmas weather that lends itself nicely to parking your body on the couch and sending your mind to that land of shadow and substance.

It's a Good Life7

Serling introducing “It’s a Good Life”

But how many Twilight Zone fans think you should over-indulge only ONCE a year? No, we’re only too happy to “Zone out” before, after, and in-between the barbecues and the fireworks.

This year’s marathon ran from 8 a.m. on July 4 until 4 a.m. on July 5. Subtracting four prime-time hours that were inexplicably devoted to wrestling and episodes of “Spartacus” (seriously, SyFy?), we got 16 hours of TZ — 32 episodes.

From start to finish, I posted 143 tweets. That’s counting some retweets from fellow fans, but the vast majority was quotes, facts and other tidbits from yours truly.

Among the most heavily retweeted and favorited were from such classics as “Time Enough at Last” …

… “Eye of the Beholder” …

… and “The Hitch-Hiker,” which drew the highest number of favorites:

This year’s marathon was particularly special, though, because during it I hit a milestone on Twitter: 10,000 followers. About a month ago, when I hit 9,800 or so, I began to wonder if it might happen on July 4. Then, mid-marathon, I tweeted this:

Sure enough, shortly after midnight, as the marathon entered its final stretch, I saw my Twitter odometer click from 9,999 to the big 10K. And since then, another 115+ have joined the party.

Believe it or not, this doesn’t excite me for some egotistical reason. It’s not a paean to me. I enjoy it primarily because it testifies to the enduring popularity of what I consider the most well-written, intelligent, imaginative and fun series in the history of television.

In an age of shows that range from the gritty and the grotesque to the stupid and the salacious, that gives me hope.

Nick of Time9

“Nick of Time”

I never dreamed when I began my Twitter page in September 2010 that it would grow to this. I was just a Serling enthusiast with a head for quotes and trivia who wanted to share my hobby with a few like-minded fans. Turns out there are more than a few!

It took a long time, though, to find them all. Early on, I was just talking to myself, it seemed. It took a lot of patience. But I didn’t mind. See, I do this for all of you, yes, but you want to know a secret? I do it for me, too.

Yes, me. Every day, I post quotes and facts that *I* enjoy. I never phone it in. I know that if *I* enjoy it, there’s a good chance you will too. And judging by the numbers, I think I’m on to something!

And When the Sky Was Opened2 (2)

“And When The Sky Was Opened”

But it’s not just the number of followers that convinces me of that. It’s the enthusiasm. The excitement. People really love this series. It brings out that sense of awe and wonder that thrilled us when we were kids watching it for the first time.

Sure, now we can appreciate the subtext we missed when we were younger, and smile at the lessons we failed to grasp the first time around, but make no mistake: We’re kids again when we marathon. And I mean that in the best sense of the word. Whether you’re 2 or 102, something in human nature makes us lean in closer and listen up when someone says: “Let me tell you a story.”

We come back to the storytellers who earn our trust. Rod Serling, along with some extraordinarily talented colleagues, did that week after week for five seasons. And the magic they spun in the 1960s remains just as powerful today.

It’s a treat to share it with you day after day. Thanks for coming along for the ride.


Photos courtesy of Wendy Brydge. For a daily dose of Serling, you can follow me on TwitterFacebook 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 members can also hit “follow” at the top of this page.

Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!

About Paul

Fanning about the work of Rod Serling all over social media. If you enjoy pics, quotes, facts and blog posts about The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and Serling's other projects, you've come to the right place.

Posted on 07/17/2014, in Twilight Zone and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Well, first of all, another great post, Boss. A perfect follow-up to the marathon. And as I said the other night, your title is priceless. You know what a sucker I am for a clever title, and you certainly didn’t disappoint with this one.

    Second, and more importantly…..


    Sorry. Just needed to get that out of my system. ;)

    When we were pondering over a month ago whether or not you’d hit the 10,000 follower mark during the marathon, I predicted that you would. And lo and behold, Gal Friday was right. (Pft, like that’s a newsflash!) ;D

    Seriously, no one deserves it more than you do, my friend. Even though your Twitter page and blog are something you enjoy, I know how much WORK goes into your penniless “hobby”. We all get to sit back and reap the benefits of your dedication and determination. We get the finished product, all polished and perfect. But what people don’t see is your daily long hours and your research and your endless efforts to keep Serling’s works alive and in the public eye. And I raise my glass to you for doing it.

    The TZ marathons are fun all on their own, but then you come along and turn it up to 11. There are few things I enjoy more than live-tweeting the marathons with you, bantering and fanning alongside the rest of the TZ fans from around the world.

    You asked me to guess which of your marathon tweets was the most favourited, and I was so surprised when it turned out to be one from The Hitch-hiker. I never in a million years would have guessed that! That’s why it’s so much fun to get a little glimpse “behind the marathon curtain” now. You never really know WHAT people will like and what they won’t. They always surprise you.

    This was such a fun post-marathon read, Boss. Sure glad I suggested you do it! ;D

    • Ha! Yes, you told me so. I knew I’d hit 10K at SOME point, but I wasn’t sure it would happen during the marathon. (“Oh, ye of little faith,” I know. :P) So go on and gloat, GF. You’re good at that! ;)

      I appreciate you pointing out that it’s work. Enjoyable work, yes, but work nonetheless. I treat it like a trust: Serling gave us this amazing body of work, so I really want to do my best to present it as well as I possibly can. I think of my page as the annotated TZ, in a way, and try to make it a page I’D want to follow.

      And yes, live-tweeting the marathons with everyone makes it especially fun. We all can watch the episodes alone any time, but it’s nice to throw a “party” once in a while — to experience them at the same time and get excited all over again. And getting a chance to banter with the world’s best Gal Friday is, for me, the icing on the cake. :)

      Kudos, too, for suggesting this post. Though I made it MUCH more than what YOU talked about! ;D Seriously, this was a good idea. It’s been fun getting to 10,000. Thanks for all of your invaluable help along the way!

  2. Wonderful post! I was especially struck by this sentence: “In an age of shows that range from the gritty and the grotesque to the stupid and the salacious, that gives me hope.” Nice wordsmithing, Paul – worthy of Serling himself, I think!

    I was unfortunately unable to watch the marathon this year, but I followed it vicariously on Twitter as I could. Maybe I can catch you all for the fun at New Years – another holiday that just isn’t complete without the Zone!

    • Thanks, Mike! That’s high praise indeed. :)

      Sorry to hear you couldn’t watch it this year, but I’m glad that Twitter could help plug the gap to some extent. I’m always gratified when people who have to work or travel tell me that they’re really enjoying the tweets — makes me feel like I’m providing a real service. Hope to see you at New Year’s, yes!

  3. Another great post. I was concerned because at first I though you wrote this on July 5th and that I had missed it. The first time I watched the TZ New Year’s Marathon after signing up with Twitter was amazing. I stayed up until almost 4:00 tweeting back and forth with @ComplexWays, who introduced me to you and this blog. Through this connection, I met Wendy and others. “A few like-minded fans” indeed. Some of my favorite connections on Twitter and two of my favorite blogs are the result of the Twilight Zone and the marathon. Thanks!

    • Ha, no — this post SHOULD have come out on the 5th, I agree, but I went from post-marathon downtime right into a week of vacation. But although it was a bit late, I didn’t want to let the occasion pass without marking it somehow. And yes, I remember you joining during the NYE marathon! Glad you’re still enjoying the blog and the tweets. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Pingback: SyFy’s July 4th Twilight Zone Marathon Schedule | Shadow & Substance

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