Monday, March 27, 2017

A Journey Through "The Twilight Zone"(s) and the "Night Gallery"

Submitted for your consideration: an ongoing-project type of post, one which represents a march through several different television series, all of which are related to Rod Serling.
It started as a contemplation of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone.  My Mom gave me the complete series on Blu-ray for Christmas in 2016, and when I sat down to start working my way through the episodes at the rate of once per week or so, I thought maybe it made sense to keep track of my progress here. 
I'd actually already begun watching the originals via streaming earlier in the year, and had been marking that progress by pestering peppering the comments sections of various TZ-related posts at Dog Star Omnibus (home of Twilight Zone Tuesday) with my thoughts.  I'd gotten through most of the first season in that fashion before it occurred to me that I really ought to be putting something on my own blog as I went, given that this is one of the essential sci-fi television series.  I'd just about decided to do it, too, and then I got that Blu-ray set.

This brought up a quandary: should I continue my progress with episode 28, or circle back to the beginning and watch all the commentary tracks on the episodes I'd already watched, and then move forward?

Being as I am a sucker for home-video bonus features, the choice was clear: circle back to the beginning.

And I was going to do that, then it provided an opportunity to start working on a blog post about it.  Rather than wait until I finished with the whole project, though, I think I'll try something new: make this (as stated above) an ongoing-progress blog post.  I mean, sure, I could just do a separate post for each episode, but my intent here is to be very brief.  I'm not taking notes or extensive screencaps, just doing a quick little bit on each episode.  I'm prone to verbosity, and verbosity would slow this project down to the point of not being what I want to do with it.  So posts on each episode would be pointless.

Instead, I'm just going to do it all in a single post, and republish the post every time I update it.

THEN, I thought this: if I'm going to do that, why not expand the viewing list to include the relaunched versions of the series?  I'd been wanting to buy the eighties relaunch so as to own a copy of the Stephen King episode "Gramma."  Conveniently enough, an affordable complete-series DVD set is coming out in February.  It's like fate speaking to me!  And if I'm buying that, why not spend a wee bit more to get the '00s show, plus the Blu-ray of the 1983 movie (the latter of which I needed for my Spielberg collection)?

This, my friends, is the sound of progress being made.

Two final add-ons: I already owned all three seasons of Night Gallery, so figured hey, why not add that into the mix as well and call this sure-to-be-massive ongoing post a sort of Bryant-pedia page on the genre shows of Rod Serling?  Oh, and just for the hell of it, we'll toss the original Planet of the Apes in there too, when the time comes, chronologically-speaking.
If you're thinking that sounds like a lot of unrequested justification, you're not wrong.  I like leaving myself little reminders of why I've done certain things, though; it'll make for fun reading for me a decade from now.  For you, here and now?  Only you can say, and if you say no, I've got no hard feelings toward you for it.
But hopefully the rest of this sucker will be of interest.
With that in mind, let's get on the road.  There's a signpost up ahead...
"Where Is Everybody?"
(season 1, episode 1)
airdate:  October 2, 1959
written by:  Rod Serling
directed by:  Robert Stevens
The place is here; the time is now...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

No Beach to Walk On: Star Trek episode 6, "The Naked Time"

"The Naked Time" is the episode that I spent years thinking of as "the one where everyone got drunk and acted crazy."  It's never been a favorite episode for me, but I think that might have changed this go-around. There's a deep lake of melancholy lurking beneath the surface of this episode; it's frozen over and covered by a thick sheet of excitement, and the combination of the two creates a heady mixture at times.



Let's see if we can get to the bottom of that lake.