May 11, 2010

Twilight Zone Day

"There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone." -Rod Serling

Every May 11th is "Twilight Zone Day". The origin of this observance is as cloaked in mystery and steeped in suspense as the very plots of the show itself. The creator of the observance is unknown, and it is a mystery as to the connection between the show and the date, May 11, since the show's air date was Oct. 2 and it's creator was neither born nor died on May 11. Eerie, isn't it?  But, anywho...  

"The Twilight Zone" was a television anthology series which aired on CBS between 1959 and 1964, the pilot entitled, "Where is Everybody", premiered on October 2, 1959 and received rave reviews. The series consisted of unrelated episodes which depicted science-fiction, fantasy, suspense, paranormal, and futuristic story lines. Each episode usually contained a surprising plot twist and ended with some sort of a message. 

The shows creator, writer and narrator was Rod Serling. Rod Serling was a gifted writer with a passion for causes. He wanted to give the viewing audience shows that addressed such things as nuclear war, racism, and anti-war politics. But at the time "The Twilight Zone" premiered, television was in it's infancy and network executives and sponsors were not ready or willing to deal with controversial issues. Serling found that he could weave his political and social views into the shows if they were veiled by aliens, fantasy, and science-fiction.

"The Twilight Zone" featured many well-known actors of the day such as, Jack Klugman, Burgess Merideth, Cliff Robertson, Lee Marvin, Telly Savalas, and William Shatner. And it was a launching platform for many new actors who later became famous such as, Peter Falk, Leonard Nimoy, Carol Burnett, Robert Duvall, Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, and Ron Howard, among others. 


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