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Which Videotaped Episode of the Twilight Zone is Best? Now You Can Cast Your Vote

One of the many hallmarks of The Twilight Zone is how good it looks. Rod Serling promised viewers “television’s elites,” and we got that — both in front of and behind the camera. Each episode was a visual feast, filled with clear, shadow-laden shots that outshines much of what we see on TV even today.

“Walking Distance”

Which is why the six videotaped episodes that popped up in Season 2 stick out like a Kanamit’s sore thumb. Even if you enjoy the stories (and I do, for the most part), it’s a clear step down from the vivid film images we get in the other 150 episodes.

But I’m not here today to dwell on that. (For more on why they were filmed that way, try this short post.) I’m here to ask a basic question: No matter where you stand on the videotaped episodes, which one do you consider the best?

Even if you cringe at the overall look of them, I’m betting most fans still can pick a favorite. So if you’re not among that tiny group who swears they can’t even watch them, how about casting a vote?

Here are the candidates:

Read the rest of this entry

Serling’s Brief Journey to the Videotape Zone

“This episode looks funny. Was it broadcast live?”

Hardly a Twilight Zone marathon goes by without at least one or two people tagging my Twitter page with a question like that. And when they do, it’s because they’re watching one of six episodes from Season 2: “The Lateness of the Hour”, “The Night of the Meek”, “The Whole Truth”, “Twenty Two”, “Static” or “Long Distance Call”.

lateness-of-the-hour5

The reason they “look funny”? They were videotaped, not filmed.

Why? Let’s turn to the oracle we all use at some point when we’re doing “research” — Wikipedia. Its entry for “The Whole Truth” notes: Read the rest of this entry

A “Nightmare” Role

Q: One of the actors who starred in The Twilight Zone‘s “Twenty-Two” found the experience particularly frightening. Who was it?

A: It wasn’t who you’d think. Most people would guess that it was Barbara Nichols, who played Liz Powell, the stressed-out dancer who’s in the hospital recovering from a breakdown. After all, she’s the one who keeps encountering that spooky nurse who emerges from the morgue and solemnly tells her, “Room for one more, honey.”

Arlene Martel - WB2

In fact, it was the nurse herself, played by Arlene Martel, who found herself most affected by the episode:

I had nightmares for about half a year after I got that part. It really scared the hell out of me. Every time Barbara Nichols would scream, I was terrified. It had an impact on me to embody that kind of alluring, enticing, negative energy, a sort of angel of death. That really affected me because of the story and because I was experiencing the character within me. It was like everyone’s nightmare of being lured to their death before they’re ready to go. Read the rest of this entry