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The Twilight Zone

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The Twilight Zone was an Earth science fiction and fantasy television program.

Trip Tucker said T'Pol's story about her second foremother, T'Mir, sounded like something from The Twilight Zone. (ENT: "Carbon Creek")

Background Edit

Relevance Edit

The Twilight Zone was created by Rod Serling and ran on CBS from 1959 though 1964. Using the framework of science fiction and fantasy, Serling hosted every episode himself, telling speculative stories that explored the Human condition and topics too sensitive for open public discourse. It won three Emmy Awards as well as three Hugo Awards.

The series was important for Star Trek in several ways. Many Star Trek: The Original Series actors got their start with the series, demonstrating their ability to work in the science fiction genre. Also, four of the writers and directors were contributors to the series. The series also exposed the general public to science fiction as a prime-time genre, whereas previously it had been aimed at juveniles (the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials, and the Steve Holland Flash Gordon TV series, and the later Lost In Space series, for instance).

It were not just the actors for whom the series was important, the main supplier of the visual effects for the series, the then recently founded The Westheimer Company, too profited from the work they had done on the series, as they were the second effects company that was brought in early to work on The Original Series, mainly based on the strength of the work they had done on The Twilight Zone. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, 1st. ed. , p. 143)

Thematically, The Twilight Zone also set the tone for Star Trek by discussing sensitive issues in an "other-worldly" setting. Essentially, both Serling and Gene Roddenberry were sneaking the touchy issues past the studio censors under the pretext that the episodes were not about the issues, but were just science fiction stories of the far future.

Rod Serling gave a mixed review of Star Trek in 1970. He stated, "Star Trek was again a very inconsistent show which at times sparkled with true ingenuity and pure science fiction approaches. At other times it was more carnival-like, and very much more the creature of television than the creature of a legitimate literary form." (Pioneers of Television: Science Fiction) On another occasion, Serling gave a positive opinion on the show, stating "The day Star Trek was cancelled, I could have cut off heads at the network. It was a marvelous show." (Starlog 2. (August, 1976), p. 15)

Additionally, several TOS episodes bear a strong resemblance to earlier Twilight Zone episodes:

Crossover performers, writers, and directors Edit

External linkEdit

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