A Critical History of Television’s The Twilight Zone, 1959–1964


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About the Book

Rod Serling’s anthology series The Twilight Zone is recognized as one of the greatest television shows of all time. Always intelligent and thought-provoking, the show used the conventions of several genres to explore such universal qualities as violence, fear, prejudice, love, death, and individual identity. This comprehensive reference work gives a complete history of the show, from its beginning in 1959 to its final 1964 season, with critical commentaries, incisive analyses, and the most complete listing of casts and credits ever published. Biographical profiles of writers and contributors are included, followed by detailed appendices, bibliography and index.

About the Author(s)

Don Presnell is the director of the Common Reading Program at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He has taught courses on “The Narrative Art of Comics”; “The Twilight Zone”; “Doctor Who”; “Dr. Seuss and Y(our) World”; “The Simple Complexity of Peanuts”; “The X-Files: Science Fiction Search for Truth”; and “Rabbit Tales: Bugs Bunny & American Culture.”

Marty McGee is a writer and researcher who previously had an award-winning career in journalism. He lives in Purlear, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Don Presnell and Marty McGee

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008 [1998]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3886-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1038-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      5
Part I: History      9

Part II: The Episodes      29
Season One      31
Season Two      70
Season Three      99
Season Four      138
Season Five      159

1. Chronological List of Episodes      197
2. Writer Biographies      200
3. Principal Writers and Their Twilight Zone Credits      213
4. Directors and Their Twilight Zone Credits      218
5. Principal Actors and Their Twilight Zone Credits      222
6. Close… But No Zone: Stories Never Filmed      232
7. Rod Serling’s Lost Episodes      239
8. Genres, Themes, and Plot Devices      242

Notes      253
Bibliography      261
Index      267

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Essential…marvelous…offers just about anything the serious fan of The Twilight Zone would want to read…as a source for research, Presnell and McGee could not have done a better job…addictive…highly recommended”—Midnight Marquee
  • “A treasure of a book…definitive…endlessly usable”—Scarlet Street
  • “Hurrah…these are my kind of writers…valuable info…fun reading”—Little Shoppe of Horrors
  • “Well-researched…fascinating…thorough…recommended”—ARBA
  • “Complete…[a] fine reference”—Midwest Book Review
  • “Information on unfilmed and ‘lost’ episodes”—Classic Images
  • “A solidly researched, thorough history of the series, from its idea to its demise after five seasons…exceptionally well-documented”—The Villadom Times
  • “Comprehensive reference…covers the celebrated show exhaustively”—Kettering-Oakwood Times
  • “Very thorough, well-written…contains a massive amount of information…every Twilight Zone fan should have it”—John’s Twilight Zone Page