Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine posted this notice the other day:

"On Saturday, June 21, EMPSFM [held] its 2008 Science Fiction Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Those being honored this year are Betty and Ian Ballantine (Literature Category), William Gibson (Literature Category), Richard M. Powers (Art Category), and Rod Serling (Film, Television and Media Category.)"

It's Rod Serling's induction that interests us at Toobworld Central, of course. Here's the write-up about Serling which EMP/SFM used to describe the writer-producer, reprinted from John Clute and Peter Nicholls' "Encyclopedia of Science Fiction":

American scriptwriter and producer Working name of US screenwriter and television producer Rodman Edward Serling, best known for the television series 'The Twilight Zone', for which he won three Hugo Awards (1960-62). A paratrooper in WWII, he went to New York in 1948 as a freelance writer, first for radio and then for television. During the 1950s he became one of the most highly regarded television writers, winning many awards including six Emmy Awards for such television plays as “Patterns” (1955) and “Requiem for a Heavyweight” (1956).

In 1959 he created, wrote and produced the first of his 'The Twilight Zone' anthology series, on which he also appeared as host; his dark figure and gravelly tones became very familiar to viewers. The series, mainly fantasy dramas with some science fiction, lasted five years and came as a breath of fresh air to fans of fantasy and science fiction, who had previously had little television material available. Over the course of its five seasons, 'The Twilight Zone' won two Emmys for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Drama, and three Hugo Awards for Best Dramatic Presentation. In 1970 he tried to repeat this success with a similar series, 'Rod Serling's Night Gallery', but it lasted only until 1972. Two of his scripts from the show were also nominated for Emmys.
In addition to his television work, which included writing many episodes for both The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery, Serling wrote a number of film scripts such as those for "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (1963; based on his television script), John Frankenheimer's "Seven Days in May" (1964) and the original version of "Planet of the Apes" (1968). Serling wrote some of his teleplays into short-story form and published them in collections: Stories from 'The Twilight Zone' (1960), More Stories from The Twilight Zone (1961), New Stories from The Twilight Zone (1962) and many more. After his death, Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine (1981-9) achieved prominence in the fantasy/horror field.

Selected Filmography:
“Patterns,” Kraft Television Theatre (1955)
“Requiem for a Heavyweight,” Playhouse 90 (1956)
“The Comedian,” Playhouse 90 (1957)
The Twilight Zone (1959 – 1964)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Rod Serling’s Night Gallery (1970 – 1973)

Selected Bibliography:
The Twilight Zone Companion (1989)

Courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Copyright © John Clute and Peter Nicholls 1993, 1999, published by Orbit, an imprint of the Time Warner Book Group UK.

Serling's influence can still be felt more than thirty years after his death in Toobworld. American viewers of 'Doctor Who' will understand what I mean when they finally get the chance to see the episode "Midnight" in a week and a half.....

Toby OB

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