Monday, May 30, 2016

Rod Serling at war.

I want you to know what shrapnel and "88s" and mortar shells and mustard gas mean.

—The dedication of an unpublished short story by Rod Serling to his children, quoted in Anne Serling's As I Knew Him
Rod Serling with his 1960 Emmy
for outstanding writing
(for The Twilight Zone)
Rod Serling served as a paratrooper in World War II and was profoundly affected by his experiences. In Vincent Casaregola's thoughtful discussion "War in The Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Haunted Visions of World War II" in Horrors of War, he notes that one-sixth of Twilight Zone episodes are about war (these include "The Purple Testament" with William Reynolds and "The Quality of Mercy" with Dean Stockwell; other examples from Serling's oeuvre are "The Time Element" aired on Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, "The Strike" for Studio One, and The Rack). In the episode below from Writing for Television: Conversations with Rod Serling, Serling states, "I was traumatized into writing by war events."

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