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5 Haunting Facts About ‘The Twilight Zone’

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Created by Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone changed the game for sci-fi TV. With its mixture of social commentary and twist endings, the show made people think more than shriek. Sixty years later, the series still influences people today. We look at some very interesting facts surrounding the original series.

Passing The Test

Following frustrations with censorship, Serling began working on The Twilight Zone. The first episode he pitched to CBS was, “The Time Element.” Instead of giving him the show, they used his script for the Desi Arnaz anthology, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse. The episode became a huge hit, which led to the network greenlighting The Twilight Zone.

One True Voice

Serling did more than just create the series. He narrated all 156 episodes of the original run. He wasn’t the first choice for the gig, though. Serling originally wanted actor Richard Egan to become the show’s narrator. Egan was best known for his work on Love Me Tender and Pollyanna. Unfortunately, Egan couldn’t work on the show due to various contract issues.

Such Haunting Music

The first thing people remember from the original series is the insane theme music. Composed by Marius Constant, this theme debuted during season two. Constant was originally hired to compose stock music for CBS’ programming. While searching for a new theme, they simply combined Constant’s “Étrange No. 3” and “Milieu No. 2.”

A New Medium

While the first season was a success, season two was plagued with money issues. One way to save a few bucks was filming episodes through videotape. In that era, using videotape was a completely new concept. Due to its difficulty, certain episodes, including “Long Distance Call”, had a stricter flow than others.

Locked Away For Decades

While the series ended in 1964, certain episodes were pulled from syndication for decades. “The Encounter” was originally pulled after its 1964 airing due to its subject matter. The episode resurfaced in 2016 through SyFy’s annual Twilight Zone marathon. French short film “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” was purchased to be aired twice in syndication. This episode has since been included in various streaming services.

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