An ode to Rod Serling – the genius that created The Twilight Zone TV series

For the past few years, Myself and Priya have had a new year ritual – watching the Twilight Zone marathon on the SciFi channel. It was a 60’s CBS show created by Rod Serling and can probably be best described as a SciFi genre. At the risk of over-hyping it, I could say that it will entertain you like no other show in the history of television. Hopefully some other show will top it one day. Its even more amazing, when you consider that it was entirely shot in Black & White and the technology to create special effects did not exist at that time. But still Twilight Zone brings out the macabre thoughts, strange fears, delights and mysteries to life in a thought-provoking fashion. Every episode is a gem. Rod has won the Peabody Award which is one of the most coveted ones. Like many other super-talented people, his boss once told him that Radio broadcasting was not for him and he should be finding another career. Thankfully, he never listened to that advice. If you have not watched Twilight Zone and you reside in the US, head over to the SciFi channel and you may be able to savor a few episodes. Enjoy and happy new year to all of you and your families.


  1. Anonymous said February 20, 2006, 6:56 pm:

    Reading this posting was a nostalgic trip for me. I also appreciated your observations and appreciation of this great series.

    I was just 13 when the program made its debut in 1959. I was growing up in Kansas City, Missouri. At the time, we never thought anything about the program being broadcast in black and white because we only had a black and white TV. I don’t think that my family got a color TV until after I graduated from high school in 1965. Perhaps it was even later.

    Nevertheless, I remember that I was an avid viewer subject to not having a time slot conflict with other family members. There was no cable TV back then with replays at different times of the day. We only had three TV channels from which to choose. (It seems like there was more I was interested in seeing on three channels then than I can find now most days on 200.)

    You commented on the low-tech or no-tech special effects, which by today’s standards certainly appear primitive or even naive. For me, however, they were sufficient to scare me or at least leave me amazed and wondering how they did what they did. At the time, they were probably leading edge.

    One feature that is salient in my mind is the almost moralistic commentary at the end of each program. At the time, I wasn’t so analytical about such things, but in retrospect, I see that as a unique stylistic touch.

    Finally, the theme music is etched into my memory. I can hear it now as I am writing and I still get a chill running up and down my spine.

    I endorse your recommendation that anyone who has access to the SciFi channel take a trip to the Twilight Zone.


  2. Anonymous said February 24, 2006, 9:20 am:

    Thanks for the comment Bill. You are right, the theme music rings in my ears as well. Also Rod Serling’s introduction to the episode in his inimitable style is another one that is etched in my memory.