Lately I've been watching the original Twilight Zone series. I'm still early in the series. I watched it as a kid, but there are a LOT of episodes I've never seen. Of course, the Twilight Zone is in my bones just because it's so much a part of the culture. So even some of the ones I haven't seen, I already know.
“There's a man out there!”
“It's a cookbook!”
“Where is everybody?”
But there are quite a few that I didn't know of, and something caught my eye. The episode “The Last Flight” was lifted, expanded on, and transplanted for one of the greatest Star Trek Next Gen episodes “Yesterday's Enterprise”. A really creepy, cool little episode called “Mirror Image” is something I've seen all over lately in ‘doppelganger’ stories, noticeably Jordan Peele's “Us”.
It's not just stories being repeated - it's the fact that some really impactful stories - some all time greats for me - were lifted from the Twilight Zone. I don't remember seeing Rod Serling, Richard Matheson, or the other writers or the show credited anywhere at the time. I think Jordan Peele said his movie was based on the “Mirror Image” episode. Star Trek Next Gen, in particular, seems like the writers were plundering The Twilight Zone like mad (in the first season so far, I've seen three or four episodes that became Next Gen stories).
As I get older, I notice a lot of recycled jokes, plot points and dialogue showing up in movies and on TV. And in books I'm sure. #noreading.
For some reason, the influence of Twilight Zone strikes me as especially glaring. Maybe because entire stories were lifted from it and I had no idea until now. I've worked here and there on a some Paranormal and Horror series, still in development - maybe it's time to start planning which Twilight Zone episodes I'm gonna steal!
By the way, I just realized that the Twilight Zone is 60 years old this year.
Hey… there was a reason for this post after all.
The series is being remade, for I think the second time, right now. And there was a TZ movie in the 80's. But I say take a look at the original show if you care to. At 60, a lot of it holds up incredibly well.
Have a fine day!
Banes at 12:00AM, April 18, 2019
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