It's 'Twilight Zone Day' in America, and yet Google, who are usually on the ball with event days, have done nothing. Where is the Google Logo?
I would have loved to see what those bright sparks do with such a wealth of incredible imagery to play with. There's something sad about Twilight Zone not being on the same fandom fame level as any of the various incarnations of the Star Trek series, or even Dr Who. It's not as if it's an unknown or obscure show, if anything it's part of the everyday language, but it just doesn't seem to have the same following that the other cult shows have. To my way of thinking it is strangled by having something those other shows don't always have, which is a quality of writing way above standard.
My first journey into the Twilight Zone happened in the UK when I was in my early twenties. I'd arrived home from work around 11:30pm, this was back in the days before we had hundreds of digital channels of nothing worth watching. With my choice of three channels I flicked through looking for something to occupy my mind as I grabbed a bite to eat, and as I flicked onto BBC2 I caught the last few minutes of something the TV Guide called 'The Twilight Zone'. I did a double-take, as I expected it to be one of those late night discussion programmes, usually religious or political, neither of which I was wanting to see at that point. However, this was very different, it was what appeared to be a black and white movie with some guy in a diner discussing aliens. Now, needless to say, I was somewhat intrigued, and so watched what turned out to be the last few minutes of an episode called "Will the real Martian please stand up". I checked an old TV guide, this series had been on for weeks and I knew nothing about it. Just the last few minutes were good enough to that I made a vow to watch it the following week. I can't remember which episode it was the next week, all I know was that it was good enough to make me a regular viewer.
Decades later I have the entire black and white series on DVD. I dip into them every so often when I feel like a need a lesson on what it is like to be human.
There are more modern colour reboots of Twilight Zone which I won't go into here as they are somewhat hit and miss compared to the overall excellence of the original series.
The Original seasons of Twilight Zone are like an 'How to' guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy writing, it's all there. There are people I have spoken to who have the wrong idea about it, they see one episode and say things like 'I saw that one last night, I don't like sci-fi so I'll give it a miss'. I feel obliged to point out that it's not sci-fi, it's a fantasy theatre where one week you'll have the last man on Earth trying to cope with being all alone, the next week it'll be a Western tale about a Gunslinger with something of a special 'edge', and the week after that it'll be a ghost story about a haunted telephone.
It's the series that has inspired many Hollywood movies, 'Poltergeist' owes much to it, as does 'Real Steel', and has celebrities the likes of Robert Redford, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Duvall, William Shatner, Bill Bixby, George Takei, Hazel Court and most of the 'household names' in TV at the time among cast members. The diversity of the show is incredible, with stunning scripts from not only Rod Serling who wrote 92 episodes, but also from the writer of 'The Waltons' Earl Hamner. Other writers include some of the finest names in the sci-fi and fantasy fields such as Charles Beaumont and Richard Mathieson, there's even a story from Ray Bradbury 'I Sing the Body Electric'.
The entire thing is pedigree work from start to finish. Not every episode will grab you, and it is somewhat dated in light of technological overload that we have nowadays, but if you are a fan of excellent script writing and proficient acting this is one cult classic you don't want to be without.