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June 6th, 2001

The Twilight Zone

A few months ago the Sci-Fi Network ran a multi-day marathon of old Twilight Zone episodes. I had never really watched a full ep but, as TiVo noted, the show was very much something I enjoyed!

The premise of the show, of course, is that Rod Serling introduces you to a story. There is a definite sci-fi element here for many of the events can not be explained logically, but all of the episodes I’ve seen have a very human element. This is some of the best storytelling television has to offer, past or present; while series such as Star Trek Voyager (which I like!) tend to lean more on technology to explain things, all too often Twilight Zone relies on humanity.

What’s great about the show is that it’s often a part of the Cable in the Classroom program, so it airs very early in the day – but without any commercials. And don’t be fooled by the series from the 80s with the same name!

A few of my favorites:

  • A World of Difference: A businessman, going about his normal duties, is interrupted by a director. He soon learns that his life has been a movie.
  • The After Hours: A woman shops at a department store and is helped by a particular salesperson. The next day she returns to find that the salesperson is now a mannequin. An entire layer of reality becomes unraveled, as we learn that mannequins and humans interact.
  • A Most Unusual Camera: A couple on-the-run discover a camera that takes pictures of the immediate future.
  • The Silence: An eccentric millionaire bets a fellow club member that he can’t keep silent for 6 months. The prize? $500,000.
  • Five Characters in Search of an Exit: As it says. The five characters, from diverse backgrounds, are trapped in a huge cylinder.
  • A Kind of Stop Watch: A fellow finds a stopwatch that has the power to stop time. He begins to use it for personal gain.
  • Number 12 Looks Just Like You: In the year 2000, a girl elects not to go through with a mandatory right of passage.
  • The Masks: A dying man invites his rather selfish family to join him on the eve of his death; he asks them to wear grotesque masks that match what they look like inside.

I realize that’s a lot of favorites, but that might speak volumes to what I think of the show. Check it out. -pm

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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