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18th April 2015
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The Twilight Zone

1959

TV: The Twilight Zone

Creator: Rod Serling

Recollections...

a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mindarrow icon

I really don't know. It's almost like it's always been there, just around the corner.
more from paulg1974

"A Wonderous Journey!"arrow icon

It was 1981 and I was 14. I was holidaying in the USA with my parents, and I got to see 'The Twilight Zone' for the first time on TV there (where it w ...
more from third-doctor

In Depth

The Twilight Zone

Unquestionably the most enduring science fiction anthology series ever made, whose influence on future filmmakers is immeasurable. One young boy particularly affected by the show was Steven Spielberg.

The show was the brainchild of multi-Emmy award winning television writer Rod Serling, who penned more than half of the 156 episodes and also acted as host. It was the the first adult prime-time fantasy series, and a big gamble in an age where western shows ruled US networks.

The power of the piece lies in its off-beat and thought-provoking scripts centering usually on ordinary folk caught up in bizarre situations. There was also an element of morality fable: benevolent souls got a second chance, the cruel of heart got their comeuppance.

Despite finding critical favour the show was never a mainstream hit, and acquired its legendary cult status during unending re-runs. The show is also famous for giving many future stars - including William Shatner, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson and Robert Redford - early breaks in television.

The show was revived in 1985 for a further run, with a creative team including William Friedkin, Wes Craven and Joe Dante. Stories were a mix of remakes and new twist-in-the-tail tales, which at their best certainly compared favourably with Serling's originals.

Work nominated by third-doctor

Text © Radio Times/BBC Worldwide

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