The “Twilight Zone” zone.

                                                     

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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. There’s a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Twilight Zone!

Consider the case of one Joe the Troll, who is a fan of one science fiction show in particular. Born the year after the show ended its five year run, he’s rarely missed an opportunity to see it in syndication. Over at least 30 of his 41 years, he’s seen several episodes so many times that he’s absolutely convinced that he has to have seen them all. Convinced, that is, until New Year’s Eve 2006, when he and his television enter….. the Outer Limits or somesuch.

Yep, I was stuck to the tube for a good part of the weekend, which wasn’t bad since the streets were practically impassable anyway, and my workout on Sunday morning really knocked the stuffing out of me. A Twilight Zone marathon is difficult for me to ignore in any circumstances. I’ve been watching that show since  was a little kid, and if I’m channel surfing, few things make me stop cold like an episode of the ORIGINAL TZ. I cannot, however, for the life of me understand how I could have seen not one, not two, but FIVE episodes I’ve never seen before. This should be impossible.

I mean, I’ve seen that “Kick the Can” episode at least three times. Anne Francis as a store mannequin? At least five. I’ve probably seen Billy Mumy sending everyone except Cloris Leachman to the cornfield a good seven. William Shatner on a plane, Telly Savalas fighting with a doll, Burgess Meredith looking for time to read, I’ve seen them all over and over. I’ve been watching the damn show whenever it’s on for 30 frigging years! How… HOW in Hell did they find five episodes I’ve never seen before????

I suspect that they didn’t. I think these episodes – in black and white, with Rod, and featuring actors and actresses that were still alive in the early 1960s – aren’t actually that old after all. Rod Serling is somewhere beyond making more episodes, and slipping them into syndication. He’s still making TV… in the Twilight Zone.

I won’t get into the plots of these shows, since I’m sure they will be familiar to some of you. That’s the way the TZ works. Someone notices that something isn’t right, but that person is the only one who can see it. Shatner was the only one who saw the gremlin, remember? Martin Milner thought Vera Miles was nuts, until his own doppleganger showed up. You’ll recognize them, because you’re supposed to. I’m supposed to also, but I have somehow pierced the veil. It must be true, however, because there is no way, after all these years, that there could possibly be an episode I haven’t seen. No, there isn’t. Shuttup.

Frankly, since I love the show so much, I find it comforting that Rod Serling is still out there, doing what he did best, and producing great TZ episodes for me to enjoy for the first time.

I wish Gene Roddenberry would get on the stick, though.

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19 Comments

  1. Another thing that’s weird….. every time I save this post (I’m writing it on breaks at work), another paragraph turns red. I don’t know how to fix this, since the posting area gives me no color options for the type. More proof that something’s up.

  2. I’d be freaked out if IDOJ episodes I hadn’t seen popped up on the tube, so I can relate. I remember some of the TZ episodes you describe, esp. Telly and the doll. I used to watch Outer Limits sometimes, too. Good stuff.

  3. Yeah, that happened to me a while back when I actually witnessed two simpsons reruns in a row I hadn’t seen before. GO HOMER!!
    P.S. Isn’t Asimov due for a new novel?…Oh,crap

  4. Welcome back, Hillbilly Tim! Yes, I do beleive that something in the robot vein is long overdue… I haven’t been desperate enough to read the pastiches yet. I have two Asimov fiction books left to read….. I’m sort of savoring these last few bits of unread fiction. I’ll get to them over the next few years.

  5. my parents are big TZ fans. I haven’t seen too many of them. I did see one episode the other day where people were getting pulled into a wall or some fucked up shit.

  6. I Love TZ. Watched it New Years Eve for the first time in years too. Ever see the remake of TZ the Movie? A travesty. I hate remakes.

  7. ” I hate remakes”

    I could not agree more.

  8. Always been a big Twilight Zone fan. I have a ton of the episodes on VHS, as I was in a mail order club where I’d get a tape a month, each tape having 3 or 4 episodes. Love to have them on DVD.

  9. There’s a DVD boxed set out now, they were pushing it all weekend.

  10. Now the red’s turned into a link to the Rod Serling pic, which it wasn’t yesterday. This is REALLY getting creepy.

  11. I also love the old Twilight Zones and my favourite has to be one of the TZs you mentioned with William Shatner on the plane seeing the gremlins outside the window. I even enjoy the film version with the guy from Third Rock from The Sun taking Shatners part. Great programs.

  12. Hey, we watched it here, too, and caught the Bill Mumy episode! The least favorite that I saw: the Ida Lupino “I’m not aging gracefully” story.
    What a great show that was…and so copied. Remember “One Step Beyond”?

  13. Remember “One Step Beyond”?

    Oh yes, although I haven’t thought of it in ages. Now I wish the Sci-Fi chanel would show that, too. Modern science fiction shows are as bad as modern science fiction movies…. nothing but shoot-em-ups. These old shows were about normal people in extrordinary situations… far more interesting.

  14. Vera Miles wasn’t nuts?

  15. “Vera Miles wasn’t nuts?”

    No, and Martin Milner payed the price for that little assumption.

  16. “There’s a DVD boxed set out now, they were pushing it all weekend.”

    Oh, I know. It’s a matter of money, is all…

  17. My fav episode, btw, was “Five Characters in Search of an Exit.” A soldier, a clown, a ballerina, a hobo and a bagpipe player are trapped in a round room. They’ve no idea how they got there, no memory of anything preceding them being there. The room has no roof, so they can see the moon in the sky. They ponder whether they may be in hell. Finally, by standing on each others shoulders, the soldier is able to reach the top. Suddenly he falls outside and the others just watch and wait. Have you seen it? Know what happens next? It still creeps me out.

  18. I saw the beginning of that one, but someone called or something. I know I’ve seen it before. Wasn’t it a toybox or something?

  19. White bucket with toy dolls in it. At the end a little girl walks up, picks up a toy soldier and puts it back in the bucket with the other dolls — a clown, a ballerina, a hobo and a bagpipe player. The thing that always creeped me out was that there was a bagpipe player doll. Who the fuck gets a bagpipe player doll? Is it wearing underwear? Ew.


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