Revisiting the Twilight Zone: The Imagination Dimension

“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man … 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.”                                   ~~Rod Serling

I doubt Rod Serling knew his Twilight Zone series would live on more than forty years after his death.  From 1959 to 1964, his short stories thrilled viewers with frightening twists to what appeared normal.  And no matter where you reside, there is undoubtedly at least one station on which you can catch the mellifluous tones of his introduction to each show.

While this might be his most remembered accomplishment (156 episodes, ninety-two written by Rod), Serling was a prolific writer. His created stories, movies (twenty-two) and television shows (252 scripts, winning six Emmy’s) for many years.  His stories broke open the behaviors and beliefs of Everyman and held a mirror up to the watcher.  He never hesitated to reflect humanity’s darkest side, inviting us to recognize where our prejudices and hatreds led us.

Like many writers, he received his first encouragement from a teacher.  In 1983, he gave her name to a teacher in Twilight Zone: The Movie.

In 2009, the United States Post Office debuted a stamp in his honor.  Today, while we celebrate Twilight Zone Day, I imagine Rod in his sharp suit, cigarette in hand.  He’s probably shaking his head as he remembers saying, “Fame is short-lived. One year after this show [The Twilight Zone] goes off the air, they’ll never remember who I am. And I don’t care a bit. Anonymity is fine with me. My place is as a writer.”

And he wrote well.


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[The link to the 28-DVD Twilight Zone set is an affiliate link.]