Thursday, July 07, 2005

Misplaced Keys.



"You unlock this door with the key of imagination, beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... The Twilight Zone."
Rod Serling

My day job requires me to work on the 4th of July, but it's okay since I get paid double-time on holidays. After a long day at work I came home and started my usual unwinding ritual of channel surfing. To my surprise, I found a Twilight Zone marathon on the Sci Fi Channel. I got to see some of my favorite episodes including A Stop At Willoughby, Mr. Bevis, A Hundred Yards Over The Rim, It's A Good Life, The Odyssey Of Flight 33 and Once Upon A Time. I loved tuning into an episode and see a character or characters out in the middle of nowhere be it the desert or a distant planet. A puff of smoke appears behind them, yet the characters do not acknologe the smoke, then the camera pans over to the side to reveal that the smoke came from Rod Serling's cigarette. The Twilight Zone is or was great television that can be boiled down to good stories, good writing and good acting.

I find it funny that many people today see television as pure escapism, not healthy entertainment, but escapism. They want to get lost in the lives of others whether they are real or fictional. These people do not care to use television to be informed enriched or educated. The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Playhouse 90 and other anthology series told great stories yet sadly they are no longer marketable since most of the television viewing public would rather see formulaic programming with reoccurring characters, and don’t even get me started on reality TV.

Is it that people are too lazy to escape reality or is it a narrow-minded escapism? You can’t unlock the door with the key of imagination when you have misplaced the keys and refuse to go look for them. To quote Rod Serling, "You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead— your next stop, the Twilight Zone!" It’s not like this type of travel requires airfare, a passport or a security check. So why are you placing boundaries on it?

Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa

1 comment:

BZTV said...

It's a shame that there are not more anthologies on television. As a TV writer, I have tried to develop them from time to time and always get shot down by agents, producers or executives. Of course, they also said that continued storylines don't work -- until "Lost" came along.

RE: Serling. I was very proud to be the first writer/producer to run the TV Academy since Rod did back in the 60s. The best thing on my resume!