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 The Twilight Zone: A noobians journey into the unknown 
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Post The Twilight Zone: A noobians journey into the unknown

Blind bought the complete boxset last night. Enjoyed the first couple of episodes so far, but can't remember much discussion about it on RT. I'm kind of a big fan of 50s SciFi and monster movies, any fans? Favorite episodes?

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:50 am
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I'm currently in the middle of Season 4. So far, here are my favorites.

1) It's a Good Life
2) Time Enough at Last
3) Eye of the Beholder
4) The Grave
5) The Fever
6) What You Need
7) The Invaders
8) Little Girl Lost
9) Execution
10) The Thirty-Fathom Grave
11) A Most Unusual Camera
12) Jess-Belle
13) Once Upon a Time
14) Perchance to Dream
15) I Shot an Arrow Into the Air

It's a really great show.

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:56 am
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The Howling Man
To Serve Man
The Invaders
Incident at Owl Creek
The Monsters are Due On Maple Street
The Hitchhiker


Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:57 am
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Arguably the best television show of all time, so yeah, big fan over here.

Lot of favorites getting mentioned, so I'll plug "The Odyssey of Flight 33," which is pretty uncommon for Serling. It's just straight-up bad luck happening to the heroes, a grim little fantasy tale where Something Weird Happened and there's no solution.

Also, here's Nine Inch Nail's moody instrumental "The Four of Us Are Dying," named for the TZ episode.



And here's some commentary I did a number of years ago on films that seemed inspired by The Twilight Zone (and one that felt of a piece, even though it preceded the series).

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:26 am
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Yes. Hell yes.

It is hard to pick favorites, because it often depends on my mood.

I do love "Nothing in the Dark" (baby Robert Redford), "Nightmare as a Child" (genuinely scary!), "Invaders" (even for the Twilight Zone--that ending!). There is an episode where a man is being. like, hunted by the jungle. And somewhere in the middle when he's getting prank calls from the spirit of the jungle it turns the corner from silly to terrifying. Or maybe that was just me.

Anyone wanting to follow along with this thread--there are a ton of episodes on Netflix.

To me one of the most interesting things about the series is how clearly you see the effect of WW2 in the narratives. Both in episodes set during war and in themes of men and sacrifice. I feel like the series gets a lot of bang for its buck in terms of developing empathy for characters in a very short time frame.


Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:28 am
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I always forget about The Midnight Sun. Love that one too.

Honestly, even the episodes that aren't that good, or seem like rehashes of other episodes, I still mostly like. I've only seen a handful of true dogs. Like The Bewitching Hour. Ugh.


Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:05 am
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DaMU wrote:
Arguably the best television show of all time, so yeah, big fan over here.


The Simpsons or The Wire are the only ones that I'd even consider as being better.


Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:07 am
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I always enjoy the stories that show Serling's cruel streak for some reason. Time Enough at Last would be a well-known example, or Eyes from Night Gallery. But a lesser-known one is The Silence, about the guy that accepts the wager to not speak for a full year. Ol' Rod could be a harsh SOB sometimes.
Not saying those are my favorite episodes necessarily, just something that amuses me.

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:16 am
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Also, good call on The Howling Man

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:17 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
I always forget about The Midnight Sun. Love that one too.


Whoa--same!

The imagery of the
melting painting and that moment of awful tension when the man first breaks into the apartment.


It's an intense episode for sure.


Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:20 am
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I also have to vote this as perhaps the greatest TV show of all time. Certainly the best and most influential at what it does (anthology, sci-fi, social commentary). Will Black Mirror ever manage to surpass it? Well, that's not the point. The point is that it took over half a century before anyone came close.

So many favorites. If I were to pull out the list of episodes, I'd lose an hour, probably more as I'd have to reach for the box and watch a few.


Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:34 am
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I never watched TWZ all that much, but I do have certain scattered memories of it over the years; reading the script for "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" in one of my Literature classes in high school, watching "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge" in another class, seeing my family visiting from Louisiana watching "The Hitchhiker" when they were visiting here for Christmas earlier this month. I guess the popularity of some shows are just so widespread that you can't help but come across them in one form or another over time. Plus, all the parodies it's inspired!:


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Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:25 pm
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Stu wrote:
I guess the popularity of some shows are just so widespread that you can't help but come across them in one form or another over time.


I think that The Twilight Zone, maybe more than any other show I can think of that's so embedded in pop culture, really exceeds its reputation.

Are there twist endings and outrageous premises? Yes. Are the morals delivered, at times, with a deadpan irony that is very easy to parody? Yes.

But if you think that the scariest thing the show has to offer is
people with prosthetic pig faces
, you're totally wrong (I'm not saying you think that--I'm speaking about a more general audience and their impression of the show). One thing that the pop culture sensibility about the show fails to capture is the way that the show so frequently generated low-key disturbing atmosphere or simple-yet-horrible moral quandaries. The show is more often than not melancholy and can get 25 good minutes of drama out of three actors in uniforms walking around a desert landscape or a couple having a hushed conversation in their kitchen.

Episodes like the one we mentioned above, "The Midnight Sun" can take place entirely in an apartment living room.

It's also got some of the best episode titles ever. I can remember renting VHS tapes of the show (three episodes would come on a tape) and getting shivers just from some of the titles ("King 9 Will Not Return").


Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:06 pm
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How do you guys feel about season 4? I notice they did longer episodes that season, one of the things I like about it so far is how concise each of the stories/episodes are.

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:48 pm
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topherH wrote:
How do you guys feel about season 4? I notice they did longer episodes that season, one of the things I like about it so far is how concise each of the stories/episodes are.

Expanding to an hour was definitely a mistake as far as I'm concerned. Those are still good episodes and worth watching, but the 30-minute format was where it excelled.

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:57 pm
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topherH wrote:
How do you guys feel about season 4? I notice they did longer episodes that season, one of the things I like about it so far is how concise each of the stories/episodes are.

I'm halfway into it so far. At first, I thought the first 2 episodes were a bit too long, but this had more to do with me being used to the 30 minute format as I grew comfortable with this format a few episodes later. I'll have to watch season 4 in its entirety, but right now, I wouldn't say I have a preference in regards to the time limit.

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:05 pm
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Love me some Twilight Zone. The marathons during 4th of July and New Year’s Eve are staples for me. You can see a lot of influence it had on more modern movies and shows. Also knowing Serling wrote Planet of the Apes and seeing an episode that’s essentially the same story as that movie including the twist (minus the apes) is pretty fascinating.

Was gonna finally sit down and watch them all in order but my glasses broke.


Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:26 pm
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topherH wrote:
How do you guys feel about season 4? I notice they did longer episodes that season, one of the things I like about it so far is how concise each of the stories/episodes are.


Generally it's considered a misstep. I honestly haven't seen many of the hour long episodes, and I don't remember much about the two or three I watched.


Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:37 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:

The Simpsons or The Wire are the only ones that I'd even consider as being better.


Those are formidable competitors, especially at their peaks. From the limited amount of Hill Street Blues I've seen, that would be in the running too.

But I gotta go Zone.

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Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:10 pm
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An argument could be made that the 4th season would have benefited from the half-hour format, but I think many of the stories are still excellent - "On Thursday We Leave For Home" being one of my all-time favorites, and "30 Fathom Grave", "Death Ship", "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville" and "The Bard" being stand-outs.


Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:45 am
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Did anyone else here grow up watching the original first-time airings of the entire Twilight Zone?

It was one of the fave shows in my parent's house, so I got to see it. Some episodes were kind of scary to a 7-10 year old kid. Nearly all made me think "Wow, what a cool story!"

And to be honest, because we sometimes had to leave the house at night, we sometimes missed the first showing of some episodes during the fall season, and didn't manage to see the reruns in the spring. So there are still a couple of episodes I've never seen.

I re-watched most of them as an adult when my sons were young and just getting the hang of the Zone. In fact, we started watching them (rented from Blockbuster!) because my younger son fell in love with The X-Files, introduced me to that show, and I couldn't help but show him and his brother the orig!

As a result of watching TZ as a kid, I developed a knack for comparing every similar program that ever aired to it, as if Twilight Zone were the original weird tales program!

There were some weird tales, twisty plots and bizarrities on radio long before Rod Serling's little weekly TV movies aired. But I was not yet born, so I never heard them. This was the original for me.

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Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:10 am
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Gort wrote:
Did anyone else here grow up watching the original first-time airings of the entire Twilight Zone?

We're not that old, dude.

Gort wrote:
There were some weird tales, twisty plots and bizarrities on radio long before Rod Serling's little weekly TV movies aired. But I was not yet born, so I never heard them. This was the original for me.

Yeah, they even had books and shit before radio. Whoa. Anyway, it's still the fucking Twilight Zone.


Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:34 pm
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First season completed, these were some good ones:

Where is Everybody?
Walking Distance
The Lonely
Time Enough at Last
Perchance to Dream
And When the Sky Was Opened
What You Need
Third from the Sun
I Shot an Arrow into the Air
The Hitch-Hiker
The Last Flight
Elegy
Mirror Image
The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
A World of Difference
Long Live Walter Jameson
A Stop at Willoughby
The After Hours

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Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:37 pm
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Deschain wrote:

Was gonna finally sit down and watch them all in order but my glasses broke.

Nice.


Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:44 am
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I have been a fan of so many of them in my time, but the one that jumps to mind for me right now is "Nick Of Time".
The Shat aside, that episode is just such a great little mind-fuck to me. So simple, so vague, and yet it delivers real dread.


Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:47 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
We're not that old, dude.

Why couldn't some of you be? I am.
Gort wrote:
There were some weird tales, twisty plots and bizarrities on radio long before Rod Serling's little weekly TV movies aired. But I was not yet born, so I never heard them. This was the original for me.

Jinnistan wrote:
Yeah, they even had books and shit before radio. Whoa. Anyway, it's still the fucking Twilight Zone.

Yeah, that info about the books and stuff, that's new to me.

When I was little we used to sit around and play with sticks. We were very excited, waiting for the dinosaurs to evolve into existence so we could have pets.

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What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever. (Except they didn't)
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Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:44 pm
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I binge watched a massive amount of episodes to keep busy the days before the super bowl. Trying to put a list together although I'm quite exhausted. Great show. Little bit of everything.

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Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:21 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
An argument could be made that the 4th season would have benefited from the half-hour format, but I think many of the stories are still excellent - "On Thursday We Leave For Home" being one of my all-time favorites, and "30 Fathom Grave", "Death Ship", "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville" and "The Bard" being stand-outs.


Yeah, I have to agree. That was a nasty episode, but kudos to finding something useful for Julie Newmar to do.

The Exhibit is another one from that year. I'd say the climax did have some frightening thrills.


Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:28 am
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Twilight Zone stays in my Flix streaming queue. Once in a while I want to watch an episode or two, but as I scroll through the list they are all so clear in my memory, that I often just relish the nostalgia and don't actually watch anything. A friend made videos of the entire SciFi Channel marathon for me some time in the 1990s. I've seen every episode that they broadcast that year, which included some I hadn't ever seen before. Sure, the VHS quality is crap, but it still managed to catch the spirit of the show. I'm planning to buy the whole series on Blu eventually. Only four seasons can be available in HD, though.

Also, my favorite episodes now are often different ones from those I liked when I was younger. There are a lot of eps that deal in nostalgia that you can't really identify with until you're about the age of the protagonist in the episode.

The series is so well-written overall that it's transcended generational boundaries.

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever. (Except they didn't)
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:16 am
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Fans of TZ are encouraged to check out Tales of the Unexpected, which is currently streaming on Amazon. This was a series that aired in the late 70s, featuring stories by Roald Dahl (Dahl introduces each episode). I'd rented a disc years ago and enjoyed it, so I'm glad to now catch up on the rest of the series. Similar in tone to TZ, with some occasional horror or sci-fi, usually with some O. Henry-type ending. Out of the 4-5 episodes I've watched, I've already recognized two stories that had previously been filmed on Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Mrs Bixby's Coat & Lamb to the Slaughter). There's a layer of "70s TV" cheese which might put some people off, but I recommend it.

Image

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Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:49 pm
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So, "I Sing the Body Electric" is a bad episode, right?

I'm just going to talk this out if that's okay.

The premise is pretty straightforward Twilight Zone fare: a woman has died leaving behind her husband and three school-age children. The father is struggling to provide guidance for his kids, so they seek out a company that builds, basically, robot companions. The two younger kids are all in but the oldest, Anne, is leery. (There's a sort of inexplicable bit here where the two younger kids seem to want a robot that mimics their deceased mother--Anne rejects the idea but the others seemingly ignore her. But then when the robot turns up she doesn't seem to resemble their mother? And they call her "Grandma." So that's weird, but it's not a huge problem.)

Anyway, everyone seems happy with the new arrangement but Anne, who has a fit and runs away, also revealing her latent anger at her dead mother, who "left her." "Grandma" goes after her, and when Anne runs out into a street in front of a van, "Grandma" pushes her out of the way, taking the blow. When she realizes that "Grandma" is alive and unharmed, Anne is transformed--at last here is someone who will not abandon her--and is capable of loving again. This is totally fucked up! Instead of coming to understand that death is a natural part of life, Anne is taught that it can be circumvented. This is horrifyingly unhealthy, especially considering Anne has a father and siblings who are, presumably, mortal. But the episode blissfully presses on until the kids have reached adulthood (Dad is nowhere to be seen--maybe he died but no one gave a shit?), and now "Grandma" is going back to the factory to be repurposed or disassembled. Now, this seems like it might be a nod to the idea that the kids have matured and maybe accept transience, except "Grandma" talks about how maybe in a few hundred years she can achieve life for herself. Okay, good luck, Grandma! The whole thing is creepy, but the show doesn't seem to understand why it's creepy. Anne (and maybe her siblings) have a totally distorted view of the relationship between love and life but it's totally glossed over as benign or even positive. It's a strange misfire.


(For the record, I understand that Ray Bradbury was unhappy with how his script was cut down, but judging by the summary of the shot story version published later, it sounds like the central problem of the story remains.)

(Also for the record, I agree with those who consider this one of the all-time great TV shows. And I like Bradbury in general too! But this episode is a real turkey.)


Wed May 02, 2018 4:06 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
We're not that old, dude.


Yeah, they even had books and shit before radio. Whoa. Anyway, it's still the fucking Twilight Zone.
Gort wrote:
Yeah, that info about the books and stuff, that's new to me.

When I was little we used to sit around and play with sticks. We were very excited, waiting for the dinosaurs to evolve into existence so we could have pets.
Gort hasn't been impressed by self-important dickheads since the Jurassic.

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