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In the Zone: The Twilight World of Rod Serling

by Peter Wolfe

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The Twilight Zone explores the possibilities inhering in the ordinary. A Twilight Zone episode can move us by being poignant and intimate, rambunctious or thought provoking. It can also be orchestrated as a set of intertwined plot developments or as a serial progression. But regardless of whether it takes place on an asteroid, in a city pool room, or in the backwoods, it will usually convey both a folklorist's eye for detail and the born raconteur's sense of pace. Rod Serling, the show's founder, main scriptwriter, and artistic director, knew how much burden he could place on his rhetorical and dramatic gifts. Deservedly celebrated as a pioneer in TV science fiction, he also writes about history and loyalty, the grip of everyday reality, and the dangers of both forgetting about one's ghosts and giving them the upper hand.… (more)
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The Twilight Zone explores the possibilities inhering in the ordinary. A Twilight Zone episode can move us by being poignant and intimate, rambunctious or thought provoking. It can also be orchestrated as a set of intertwined plot developments or as a serial progression. But regardless of whether it takes place on an asteroid, in a city pool room, or in the backwoods, it will usually convey both a folklorist's eye for detail and the born raconteur's sense of pace. Rod Serling, the show's founder, main scriptwriter, and artistic director, knew how much burden he could place on his rhetorical and dramatic gifts. Deservedly celebrated as a pioneer in TV science fiction, he also writes about history and loyalty, the grip of everyday reality, and the dangers of both forgetting about one's ghosts and giving them the upper hand.

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