Monthly Archives: June 2021
You don’t have to be the most eagle-eyed Twilight Zone fan to notice that the coffin in “The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank” has holes in the side.
If you assumed they were there for star James Best’s peace of mind, you’d be correct. And who could blame him? Even if you knew that your “resurrection” was imminent, it would be hard not to feel anxious with that lid closed.
And you know what? It turns out it wasn’t closed — at least not all the way. As Best relates in Martin Grams Jr.’s The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic:Read the rest of this entry
Ask Twilight Zone fans to describe the opening to each episode, and you can be sure that many will mention the swirling vortex that spins into the vacuum of space, followed by the shattering title letters.
Or they may bring up the shattering window, the opening eye, the clock, the diver, the “E=mc2” equation. And quite a few, you can bet, will imitate the iconic “do do do do” music.
But as much as I love those elements, I can’t help thinking they got it right the first time — specifically, the opening theme for Season 1:
Bernard Herrmann’s haunting, dream-like music has a lot to do with it. It truly sounds as if we’re being ushered into that “middle ground between light and shadow.”
Rod Serling’s narration, meanwhile, is ideal — both in what he says and how he says it. His description of that land “between science and superstition” can’t help but intrigue a potential viewer, and the unhurried pace of his words sets the mood perfectly. We feel drawn in. Almost seduced, in a way.Read the rest of this entry