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TheTwilightZoneliesbetweenthepitofmansfearsand thesummitofhisknowledge.Theshowwasintelligent.It examinedthemysteriousandunknown.ItscreatorRod Serlingmadeashowthatwasmorethanjustthought provokingitprobedsocialpsychologicalandhistorical aspectslayeredwiththedarkrecessesofhumanity.I rememberbeingcaptivatedbythefirstfewepisodesIever watchedasakidbutIllgettothoseinafewparagraphs.I feltfearandsurprisebuttheshowwasacatalystformeto beginquestioningthecertaintyofourworld. In1951RodSerlingsatinadinerwithhiswifetomake animportantdecision.Hedecidedtogiveupthesecurity ofhisjobworkingatatelevisionstationdoingcommercial testimonialsthathecalledaparticulardreamless occupationRodSerling.Serlingwasfedupwithrampant censorshipintelevision.Itiseasyforusthesedaystoforget howheavyhandedcensorshipwas60yearsago.Oftentimes writerswouldwanttomakeasocialcommenthoweverthe censorswouldchangeitsomuchtheendproductwouldbe watereddown.Whenawriterwritessomethinghebelieves inhebattleswithcensorshipRodSerling. TheTwilightZoneaffordedRodSerlingtheabilitytobea producerandawriter.Plusasnarratorhisdeepandarticulate voiceaddedaserioustonetotheshow.Serlingwasable tostrikeagoodbalancewithsponsorsandshowcontent. Theshowwasintelligentandlayeredwithdarkelements. Itsveryadulthighqualityhalfhourextremelypolished films.RodSerling.Hewasfreetocreatethetypeofshow hewanted. Writerslikeanyotherartistscommentonaspectsofour society.Awritermustunderstandhishermediumtodothe mostwithit.TheTwilightZonehadaprofoundinfluence onme.Itshapedmystyleasawriter.Ipickedthefirstfour episodesIeversaw.Twoofthemareclassicepisodes.The othertwoarenotaswellknown.HoweverIpickedthese fourbecausetheyexpresstheversatilityoftheshow. InEyeoftheBeholderawomansfaceisbandaged assheliesinahospitalroom.Wediscovershehasafacial deformity.Inthisrealitynotlookinglikeothersisacrime. Weneverseethedoctorsornursesfaces.Whenwefinally doseeallthefacessheisbeautifulandeveryoneelsehas uglypigfaces.Itisrealitywherebeautyisuglyanduglyis beauty.Thisisoneofthemostwellknownepisodes.Whatis themessageOuraestheticpointofviewsaboutbeautyand uglinessaretrulyrelative.Itistruenoworahundredyears fromnow.Beautyisintheeyeofthebeholder. InTimeEnoughatLastabookishandintrovertedman playedbygreatBurgessMeredithisconstantlyridiculed forreading.Heseeksrefugeinthevaultatthebankswhere heworks.Thennuclearwarbreaksout.Heisleftaloneand realizeshecanspendtherestofhisdaysreadingeverybook hewants.Atthelastminutehetripsandbreakshisglasses. Ineverfeltthisonehadadeepmessage.Itissimplygood storytellingwithacrueltwistattheend.TheTwilightZone becameknownforthatlongbeforeanyothershow. InTheHowlingManamanseeksshelterduringastorm atamonastery.Afterenteringheencountersahowlingman beingheldcaptive.Heclaimstheheadmonkisacrazed religiousfanatic.Themonkclaimsitisthedevilinthecell. Thedevilthemonkexplainscametothepeacefultown nearbytocorruptit.Hecapturedhimandholdshiminthecell withthestaffoftruth.Theonebarrierthedevilcannotpass. Themanskepticalreleaseshim.Itturnsoutitisthedevil whopromptlyescapes.Themanrealizeshewasdeceived. WhatisthemessageThedevilsgreatesttrickwas convincingtheworldhedoesnotexist.Theepisodeends withRodSerlingreiteratingtheoldadageYoucancatchthe devilbutcannotholdhimlong. InTheMonstersAreDueonMapleDriveresidents oneafternoonseeanobjectflythroughthesky.Thatnight allpowerradioetc.goesout.Whileeveryonestrugglesto understandwhatisoccurringlightscomeoninonehouse thengooff.Thencomeoninanother.Onecarstartsstopsand thenanotheretc.Soontinyjudgmentsbecomeaccusations whichleadtoparanoia.Neighborviolentlyturnsonneighbor. Ididnotgointotoomuchdetailaboutthisone.Ididnot wanttoruinit.Youoweittoyourselftowatchthisepisode. Howeverthemessageofthisoneisclear.Underneathallour civilityandtechnologywearestilldangerousanimals. DramabyitsverydefinitionshouldmakeacommentRod Serling.RodSerlingwasauniquewriterwhopioneered intelligenttelevision.TheTwilightZonewasinsightfuland thoughtprovoking.Itwastrulyofshadowandsubstance.Iam sureitwillinspireandinfluencewritersformanyyearstocome. Ihavealwaysbelievedyoushouldwritewhatyouknow Mypassionsandfascinationsincludehistoryphilosophy mythologyandpsychology.Ilovetopeoplewatch.Iget manyideasthatway.Iamanavidsciencefictionfan.Science fictionisbasedinourimaginationourimaginationpropels humanityforwardinallourendeavors.-LewisStockham BYLEWISSTOCKHAM 22 WWW.FLIPMAGAZINE.NETJUNE2015