Critical Research Report
Ready Camera One
Carroll, Noel. Tales of Dread in The Twilight Zone. Philosophy in The Twilight Zone. Ed. Noel Carroll. Lester H. Hunt. 1st ed.Singapore: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2009. 5-25. Print
I did not use this essay very much in my paper. I found the descriptions of episodes rather pointless, and the theory behind the story types rather dull and obvious. The background information on the concept of poetic justice provided some insight into the term and it’s use, however.
Clark, Lynn Schofield. From Angels to Aliens Teenagers, The Media, and the Supernatural. Oxford, NY: Oxford University PRess, 2003. Print.
From Angles to Aliens was helpful in writing my paper in that it (like The Gospel) it discusses the repercussions of watching the fantasy and science fiction genre. In this case, the book is mostly too contemporary to read fully, but it did have some interesting insight into why teens are so fascinated by the genre and how their religious views are affected by it.
Engel, Joel. Rod Serling The Dreams and Nightmares of Life in the Twilight Zone. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1989. Print.
Rod Serling’s Biography helped me gain a better understanding of the messages and themes he incorporated in his writing, such as the nostalgia for his childhood, or his critique of war and the Nazi movement. The book also provided a detailed source of history about The Twilight Zone and Rod’s personal involvement with the production.
Gordon, Lewis R. Through The Twilight Zone of Nonbeing Two Exemplars of Race in Serling’s Classic Series. Philosophy in The Twilight Zone. Ed. Noel Carroll. Lester H. Hunt. 1st ed. Singapore: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2009. 5-25. Print
I really appreciated this insightful essay on race in two of Serling’s episodes. I found the information on the treatment of African Americans in “The Big Tall Wish” much more useful than the account of “To Serve Man,” which was rather shallow. Gordon’s analysis of “The Big Tall Wish” touched on the normalcy surrounding the characters, the concept of bringing aliens into your home via the television set to encourage familiarity, and the popularity of mixed performances.
Hodges, F.M. “The Promised Planet: Alliances and Struggles of the Gerontocracy in American Television Sciene Fiction of the 1960s.” Aging Male 6 (2003): 175-182. Web. 9 Nov 2009.
This article was useful in that it discusses science fiction television in the context of the various conflicts happening during the 1960s. It helped me form a time, place and mindset for my paper in my mind and on paper. Mainly this article takes a look at the issues of the 1960s such as fear of overpopulation, the cold war, fear of nuclear war, the outcome of quickly advancing technology, and the after effects of WWII and analyses the presence of these issues in four science fiction shows: The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Start Trek and Lost in Space.
Hunt, Lester H. And now, Rod Serling, Creator of The Twilight Zone The Author as Auteur. Philosophy in The Twilight Zone. Ed. Noel Carroll. Lester H. Hunt. 1st ed.Singapore: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2009. 5-25. Print
I used this essay extensively for it’s detailed information on Rod’s creative struggle to maintain his personal writing ethics. A fairly detailed account of his personal background is also given. There was a lot of information about censorship and excellent examples of sponsors going over scripts with their fine tooth combs.
Mandell, Paul. “Walking Distance From ‘The Twilight Zone’.” American Cinematographer LXIX.6 (1988): 36-43. Web. 6 Nov 2009. <http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:fiaf&rf t_dat=xri:fiaf:article:004/0282741>.
I found this article very useful in taking a look, technically as well as philosophically, at Rod Serling’s episode, “Walking Distance”. I used several observations on lighting to further my own analysis of this particular episode. I also used a quote from Buck Houghton on actors’ abiding love of working with Rod.
McKee, Gabriel. The Gospel According to Science Fiction From the Twilight Zone to the Final Fronteir. Louisville, KT: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007. Print.
This book focuses on theology in science fiction and the repercussions of reading and watching this media. For the most part, The Gospel of Science Fiction strayed too far into the depths of Christianity to be very useful to me. I read some of it to get me thinking about the content of media, both allegorically and physically in the script. It was most interesting to read about the predictive nature of the genre and to think of the eerily accurate and the closely avoided situations science fiction tends to place humans in.
Plantinga, Carl. Frame Shifters Surprise Endings and Spectator Imagination in The Twilight Zone. Philosophy in The Twilight Zone. Ed. Noel Carroll. Lester H. Hunt. 1st ed. Singapore: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2009. 5-25. Print
This essay was particularly helpful in that it discussed the types of surprise endings used in The Twilight Zone. As my paper discussed writing format extensively, I used the information to draw connections to the many episodes I viewed and vise versa.
Presnell, Don, and Marty McGee. A Critical History of Television. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1998. 11-28. Print.
This book provides a concise history of The Twilight Zone without too much detail. The last two thirds of the book gives detailed behind-the-scenes information on every episode.
Rothenberg, Randall. “The Synergy of Art and ‘The Twilight Zone’.” New York Times (1991): 11. Web. 12 Nov 2009. <http://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/02/books/the-synergy-of-art-and-the-twilightzone.html?scp=1&sq=Synergy%20of%20Surrealism%20and%20The%20Twilight%20Zone&st=nyt&pagewanted=all>.
“The Synergy of Art and ‘The Twilight Zone’” is a concise article about the influence of the “The Twilight Zone” on viewers who are now prominent artists, which I found very helpful, as my thesis directs me to write about the show’s influence on children during the late 1950s and early 1960s. It also discusses the artistic design and influence of outside art within the framework of the program. Surrealist elements are mentioned, and though I found this information interesting, I chose not to include it in my paper.
Russell, Christine Ann. Telephone Interview (recorded on digital voice recorder). 5 November, 2009
In this interview, I learned that my mother loved The Twilight Zone in part because she remembers warm feelings of being at home and having fun being scared with her siblings. Coming from a lower income, blue collar family, there was not a lot of intellectual dialogue within the home, and The Twilight Zone proved to be the first thing that truly engaged my mother in critical thinking as a young child.
Serling, Rod. “About Writing for Television.” Patterns (1957): n. pag. Web. 10 Nov 2009. <http://www.rodserling.com/PPBintro.htm>.
This introduction to Rod Serling’s book of short stories, Patterns, is a detailed account on his beliefs about the ethics, procedures and responsibilities of writing for television. The main information I gleaned from this essay includes: Rod’s early writing history, his beliefs on censorship, the evolution of television writing, and the crippling effect sponsor and network censorship had on his two teleplays “The Arena” and “Noon on Doomsday”.
Stanyard, Stewart. Dimensions Behind The Twilight Zone. Toronto, Canada: ECW Press, 2007. Print.
This book was the most helpful to my research topic in that it provided a moderately in depth look at the format, style and history of The Twilight Zone in the first third of the book. For the next two thirds, Stanyard included over fifteen long interviews with cast and crew members. These interviews all recount fun stories behind the scenes, first hand experience with the gears of the show and various opinions about other workers on the show, including Rod.
Templeton, Joel Allyn. Telephone Interview (recorded on digital voice recorder). 5 November, 2009
As I found out for the first time in this interview, my father did not like The Twilight Zone. He found the show too negative for his liking and he preferred to engage himself in critical thinking outside the dark parameters of the program. However, he did state that it was most unusual for it’s time in that it’s content was far superior to that of any other show in the late 1950s and early 1960s.