“This is the Twilight Zone”: Serling Explains
If someone asked you to describe The Twilight Zone, what would you say?
Rod Serling was asked that many times over the years, and he gave many interesting answers. Here’s one from a five-minute sales pitch that he filmed when The Twilight Zone was set to debut there:
To give you a very specific kind of working idea of what we mean by “Twilight Zone”, you might say that a man is on top of a burning building. Now there are certain ways he can get off that building — he can use a fire escape, a ladder, he might even be picked up by a helicopter. But in the Twilight Zone, he flies.
This is the so-called dimension of imagination, a literary device known by the English writer Coleridge as the “willing suspension of disbelief”. The things you see, you know may not happen. But at the time you see them on this program, you’ll believe that they do happen. This is the Twilight Zone.
Few series have used the fantasy element as effectively as The Twilight Zone. It wasn’t done cheaply or gratuitously. It was nearly always to make some larger observation about the human condition.
Here’s the whole clip. Enjoy:
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Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!