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Twilight Zone 50th Anniversary

Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone

The first time I saw the Twilight Zone was 1974, nine years after the  show ended. The episode was The After Hours, about mannequins that went to live in the real world, as normal humans. The show came on at midnight on the L.A. staple KTLA (channel 5). It really put the hook in me.

George Clayton Johnson and Gravy

George Clayton Johnson and Gravy

It’s been 50 years since the premiere of the Twilight Zone and 35 since I started watching it. On Friday, October 30th, the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood hosted the 5oth Anniversary of the famed T.V. show. The evening started with 3 of the most well known episodes (and, also, the three that were reprised in Twilight Zone: The Movie): Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Time Enough At Last and Kick the Can.

After that, an all-star panel showed up and talked about their experiences. The host of the evening was Marc Zicree, author of The Twilight Zone Companion.  The panel consisted of the following:

Actors:

H.M. Wynant (The Howling Man)

H.M. Wynant

H.M. Wynant

Arline Martel (a.k.a. Arline Sax) (Twenty Two and What You Need)

Director:

Joseph Newman (The Bewitchin’ Pool)

Authors:

George Clayton Johnson (Kick the Can)

Earl Hamner (The Hunt)

Richard Matheson (Nightmare at 20,000 Feet)

Twilight Zone 50th Anniversary

Arline Martel and Earl Hamner

Highlights from the Panel:

“If Rod Serling were alive today, he would be fighting for Net Neutrality.” -George Clayton Johnson

“I feel like I’m only here by default.” -H.M. Wynant

“I only had one line in ‘What You Need’ and I am remembered more for that than shows where I had tons of dialogue.” -Arline Martel

“I didn’t like the remake of Nightmare at 20,000 feet. John Lithgow is a good actor, but he was given a crappy screenplay.” -Richard Matheson

After the panel discussion, there were 4 Twilight Zone episodes, shown back to back. The Hunt, It’s A Good Life, A Walking Distance, and Howling Man.

Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson

I’ve never tired of watching the Twilight Zone, but I’ve gotta say they showed one too many episodes. If they were to get rid of any, they should have done away with Walking Distance and It’s A Good Life (I’ve never been so enthralled with The Hunt. Seeing it on the big screen gave it a whole new life). Also, they should have added Twenty Two so that Arline Martel would have been represented. She was the only one without a credit in this event.

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