Thursday, December 28, 2006

Submitted for your approval...

Happy belated birthday to the creator of the "Twilight Zone," Rod Serling, born on December 25, 1924. He died in 1975. His numerous accomplishments include screenplays for "Patterns," "Requiem for a Heavyweight," "Seven Days in May," and "Planet of the Apes."

Rod Serling is one of my personal writing heroes for his crackling dialogue, twist endings, and superb handling of dramatic situations. Watching TZ now reveals the rampant fears of nuclear war and of technology taking over man. One favorite episode of mine (written by Serling) is "Twenty-two," in which a hospital patient has a recurring nightmare of following a figure down empty corridors to Room 22, and a gothic horror of a nurse emerges and says, "Room for one more, honey."

Room 22 is the morgue.


To hear Serling deny in an interview with Mike Wallace that he would not engage in social issues in TZ is to laugh. As a teacher, he encouraged numerous fledgling writers, including mystery authors Sharan Newman and Sue Henry.

You can listen to clips from the Wallace interview and "Submitted for Your Approval," the "American Masters" program on Serling, here. Join the effort to put Serling on a U.S. postage stamp here.

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