Monthly Archives: March 2023

Twilight Zone’s “The Hunt”: A Remake of Earl Hamner’s “The Hound of Heaven”

You don’t have to own a dog to be a fan of Twilight Zone‘s “The Hunt,” but it sure helps.

Every time I tweet about this Season 3 episode, I hear from followers who are just as crazy about Fido as they are about the fifth dimension. They love this sentimental tale about a backwoods man named Hyder Simpson, a raccoon-chasing pooch named Rip (R.I.P, get it?), and an unexpected trip to the Pearly Gates.

“The Hunt was my first script for The Twilight Zone,” Earl Hamner, creator of The Waltons, later said, “and it is probably my favorite.” He went on to write seven more Zone episodes, and although fans fondly remember a couple of them (such as “A Piano in the House” and “Stopover in a Quiet Town”), none seemed to strike the same deep chord that “The Hunt” did.

Perhaps that’s because it came from a very personal place.

“My father had a hunting dog he loved,” Hamner later recalled. “One night the dog ran away, and my father spent all night searching for him. It was part of the family, so when he found the dog the next morning, the animal was dead, and my father grieved.”

The incident clearly made an indelible impression on young Earl, judging from what we see in “The Hunt.” But not many Twilight Zone fans are aware that he wrote an earlier version of the story — and it was even televised.

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We’re Getting Closer to Having a Statue of Rod Serling in His Hometown — and You Can Help

What does Rod Serling mean to you?

Perhaps you’re a writer who finds his work inspiring. In fact, you may have even started writing in the first place because of Rod Serling. A lot of people who follow my Serling Twitter page tell me that.

Maybe you’re an actor or a producer whose imagination was sparked by The Twilight Zone, and your career path was lighted years ago by the man who penned such classics as “The Midnight Sun,” “Eye of the Beholder,” and “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street,” to name only a few of his many beloved scripts.

Or, like so many others, you simply enjoy science fiction and fantasy, and you can trace your love of the genre back to watching the Zone.

Whatever your particular circumstances, we share that bond: a love of Serling’s work, and a deep and abiding respect and admiration for the man himself. So let me ask you: Do you think he deserves to have a statue dedicated to him in his hometown of Binghamton, NY, home of the carousel that we see in “Walking Distance”?

I’m sure every Serling fan would agree that he merits such an honor. Well, I’m glad to say an effort to get such a statue made is underway now — and you can help.

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