Posted: 04/12/2007

 

Dimensions Behind The Twilight Zone: A Backstage Tribute to Television’s Groundbreaking Series

by Stewart T. Stanyard; Foreword by Neil Gaiman


Reviewed by Del Harvey


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In the chronicles of television’s history, Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone is considered by far the medium’s quintessential creation. The CBS series that debuted in 1959 and aired for 156 episodes offered black-and-white morality plays both terrifying and poignant. Each week the ominous voice and brilliant mind of writer Serling took audiences on a trip through his surrealist realm of fantasy and science fiction, beyond the boundaries of imagination.

Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone is a visually stunning backstage glimpse through time and space, into the history and making of The Twilight Zone. Author Stewart T. Stanyard, creator of The Twilight Zone Archives online, invites readers to explore a portion of the archives collection: over 300 original behind-the-scenes production stills taken during the filming of the show. Accompanied by insightful captions, the book includes rare documents and interviews with 40 alumni, including producers, directors, writers, and actors who worked on the series, such as Dennis Weaver, Billy Mumy, Shelly Berman, Earl Holliman, and Earl Hammer, Jr. The book also features candid interviews with Serling’s wife Carol, brother and writer Robert, and Serling’s influential teacher Helen Foley. Aside from five informative and analytical chapters by the author, it features tribute essays by several Hollywood personalities, including Rush drummer Neil Peart, Simpsons producer Dana Gould, and Star Trek: The Next Generation writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe.

This long awaited coffee-table book features a foreword by writer Neil Gaiman, an extensive main section of production photos and interviews, plus author chapters “Realm of Rod Serling,” “Team of Wizards,” “Themes of The Zone,” “Comic Relief,” and “Beyond Dimensions.” The appreciation essay section includes a piece by Twilight Zone writer George Clayton Johnson and several of today’s Hollywood creators—including some very special surprises!

Carol Serling has offered her endorsements for Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone. She comments, “This Twilight Zone book contains a visual history that’s never been uncovered before now. Stanyard’s massive collection of original production photographs is truly a treasure.”

Stewart T. Stanyard is a board member for the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation, and the creator of The Twilight Zone Archives, a non-profit organization featuring enough Twilight Zone and Serling materials to fill a museum. He lives in Northern California.This book may be purchased here.

Del Harvey is the founder and publisher of Film Monthly, as well as a film teacher and filmmaker in Chicago.



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