Blog Archives

Why No One Could Have Expected “The Twilight Zone” to Last So Long

If you’re a Twilight Zone fan today, it’s hard to imagine a time when it wasn’t viewed as … well, as a work of art, really. As something that would go on to be enjoyed by generations of viewers.

“The Midnight Sun”

But in 1959, there was no reason to think that.

Not because people didn’t expect much from Rod Serling. Not at all. The man who had won three Emmys at that point for writing some of the live-TV era’s most celebrated teleplays was widely praised. It’s just that TV worked a bit differently back then.

Okay, a LOT differently.

I touched on that in my last post, which concerned my surprise that the man brought onboard to produce Twilight Zone in its fifth season greenlit “Caesar and Me” without realizing that the series had aired an episode about a ventriloquist dummy, back in its third season. How strange, I thought. How could he be unaware of any of TZ’s previous episodes? Read the rest of this entry

Finding Faith in the Fifth Dimension

Religious content in The Twilight Zone? The sci-fi fantasy show about time travel, homicidal dolls and aliens with hostile intent? The idea may seem absurd at first.

HMBrotherChristopherus

“The Howling Man”

Yet the deeper one looks for religious messages — and Lent certainly seems like a good time to do it — the more one finds them popping up, both directly and indirectly. (Spoilers ahead, casual Zone viewers.)

For starters, consider how often we see the Devil or one of his emissaries. In “Printer’s Devil”, for example, Burgess Meredith plays a man who helps a small-town publisher on the brink of suicide achieve financial success by ferreting out scandal stories that smash the competition. He then unfurls a contract stating that only by agreeing to relinquish his soul can the publisher cement this arrangement. Read the rest of this entry