Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some Twilight Zone for your Sunday evening

by Salman Hameed

In preparation for co-teaching a science fiction short film class next semester, I've been watching some Twilight Zone episodes. I will be co-teaching the class with Hampshire College microbiologist, Jason Tor (we also co-taught Astrobiology for three years) and we expect the final student group products to be 5-6 minute short science-fiction films that have roots in real science (students can take as much creative leeway as possible in the service of a good film, but the back-story has to be grounded in what we know from astronomy and biology). From the storytelling perspective, I think the original Twilight Zone was phenomenal - and all of it was done with no special effects. We are planning on screening a lot of these episodes in our class as well. I recently bought the collection of 17 "Essential" Twilight Zone episodes, and have been going through those. Yesterday, we watched one of the more famous episodes, The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. Loved it! This is an episode written by the creator of the series Rod Sterling himself, and here is the opening narration:
Maple Street, U.S.A. Late summer. A tree-lined little world of front porch gliders, barbeques, the laughter of children and the bell of an ice cream vendor. At the sound of the roar and the flash of light, it will be precisely 6:43 P.M. on Maple Street. This is Maple Street on a late Saturday afternoon. Maple the last calm and reflective moment...before the monsters came.
Oh yeah!

And here is the full episode (but with ads). Enjoy!


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