October 17, 2010

Five Things You Might not Know about "The Twilight Zone"


Who doesn't love trivia? Communists, that's who. Anyway, since I've been compiling lists of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes and all that jazz for October, I stumbled across a few interesting tidbits about the show and those involved with it. I thought I loved the show, but there are people on Wikipedia and fan forums that are absolutely and insanely stuffed with factoids about the show.

I've included five of my favorite ones here, which I discovered through Wikipedia and a message board called Twilight Zone Cafe. I also wanted to include the one about how Lee Marvin showed up drunk for the first day of shooting on the episode "The Grave" ... but it's Lee Marvin. Not exactly a shocker.

Anyway, here are five things maybe you didn't know about "The Twilight Zone":

  1. Orson Welles was originally approached to provide the introductory monologues for the show, but his asking price was too high. After Rod Serling provided the monologue to the debut episode, it received such a positive reaction he was made to do it from then on despite his personal insecurity about his public speaking abilities.

  2. An episode of the show actually won a Cannes Film Festival Award in 1962. The episode was called "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." But it aired on television in 1964. Technically, the episode was a film featured at Cannes and later purchased by the show because they were running over budget on their own productions.

  3. The famous theme music attributed to the show, composed by Marius Constant, was not used until the second season. Another piece of music composed by Bernard Hermann was used in the first season.

  4. Charles Beaumont, a celebrated author and contributor to the show, died at the age of 38 due to a strange disease that caused him to age rapidly. In his final years during the mid-sixties, other writers such as Jerry Sohl actually penned stories under his name in order for Beaumont to reach deadlines and honor his writing obligations. Beaumont and Sohl are credited as co-writers for "The New Exhibit", "Living Doll", and "Queen of the Nile" (Sohl's only writing credits with the show).

  5. Only one female author is credited as the sole writer for an episode. Adele Strassfield wrote the script for the episode "Caesar and Me" about a ventriloquist who commits robberies at the behest of his dummy. All other female contributors were co-writers with male collaborators (maybe that was considered progressive back in the sixties).

Any tidbits about the show or those involved with it that you think deserve mentioning?

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