“You’re traveling through another dimension,
a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind,
a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.
That’s the signpost up ahead,
your next stop: The Twilight Zone…”
There was a new surprise waiting every week in The Twilight Zone, and most of them were head-turners. rod serling’s famed sci-fi anthology series prided itself on twist endings, most either poetically just or shockingly cruel. but whatever surprises the end of a Twilight Zone episode might bring, the journey itself was always compelling.
Serling, a playwright, had made a strong name for himself in the tv biz through his anthology series writing (Playhouse 90’s “Requiem For A Heavyweight” had won him one of two Emmys), and he parlayed that success into his own show in 1959, The Twilight Zone. the new series was another anthology, but the stories were of a more bizarre nature, dabbling in sci-fi and supernatural themes. Serling wrote more than half of the episodes himself (with charles beaumont and richard matheson writing many of the rest), and most wrapped up their odd stories with an even stranger twist of irony.
Of the more than 150 episodes produced during The Twilight Zone’s original run, many have gone on to become tv classics. among the favorites:
“The Hitch-Hiker” – A cross-country trip turns to panic when a woman sees the same hitcher several times.
“The After Hours” – A woman tries to return a department store item she’s just bought, only to discover that the floor she’s looking for doesn’t exist, and the mannequins look awfully familiar.
“The Eye Of The Beholder” – Plastic surgeons work frantically to try to restore a woman’s hideous face to the standard of beauty.
“The Howling Man” – A weary traveler stops for the night in a european monastery, but he foolishly ignores the monks’ warnings not to release a caged prisoner.
“To Serve Man” – A race of nine-foot-tall aliens bring peace and prosperity to earth, but at what cost?
“Nightmare At 20,000 Feet” – A rehabilitated mental patient thinks he sees a creature wreaking havoc on the plane’s wing.
“Living Doll” – A father strongly dislikes his daughter’s new talky tina doll, and the feeling is mutual.
“Time Enough At Last” – Bookworm Bank Teller Henry Bemis finds himself the sole survivor of a nuclear blast, with nothing but time to read…if The Twilight Zone allows (Hint: it won’t).
There were several other memorable episodes, of course, as the show gained a very loyal cult following in its early seasons. Famous faces—from Burgess Meredith to Vera Miles to William Shatner to Robert Redford—appeared on the show, but the most familiar of all was that of the host, Rod Serling himself, who gave an eerie intro and wrap-up to every episode.
At the start of the 1963, The Twilight Zone expanded to a full-hour format, but the original half-hour length proved to be more popular. Half-hour episodes returned in the fall, filling out the show’s final season of originals. Reruns aired in the summer of 1965, and the show continued to win new fans in a very successful syndicated run.
In 1983, big-name directors John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller each contributed a segment to an all-new Twilight Zone: The Movie (actually, mostly new—three of the segments came from TV episode scripts), which helped rekindle interest in the original series. A new Twilight Zone TV series debuted in 1985, with a handful of remakes joining a slate of original episodes, all in color (the original show was strictly a black and white affair). CBS ran the new series off and on through 1987, and more new episodes were added when the show went into syndication that year.
Today, the series has become such a part of pop culture that “Twilight Zone” has become a catchall phrase for any unusual turn of events. The show’s episodes are still turning the heads of those lucky enough not to have learned all the surprises yet, and eerie good times still await every traveler who sets foot in that dimension of mind and imagination.
USA / CBS – Cayuga – Syndicated / 138×25 minute episodes 18×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 2 October 1959 – 18 September 1964 and 27 September 1985 – 1988
Creator/Executive Producer: Rod Serling / Theme Music: Bernard Hermann, Marius Constant, Jerry Goldsmith
Rod Serling as Host (1959-64)
Charles Aidman as Narrator (1985-87)
Robin Ward as Narrator (1987-88)
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)
In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.
Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.
Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015
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