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Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone: A Backstage Tribute to Television's Groundbreaking Series Paperback – April 1, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Looking through these behind-the-scenes photos brings back many fond memories of Rod Serling and those early days working on such a remarkable piece of television history. -- William Shatner ("Nick of Time," "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet")

Stanyard's book is an amazing, insightful journey into the creation of what is perhaps the best show ever on television. Brimming with behind-the-scenes anecdotes and rare photos, Dimensions Behind The Twilight Zone is an absolute must-have for any fan of Serling's. I loved it! -- J.J. Abrams (Creator of Lost, Alias, and Felicity)

A worthy addition to Twilight Zone lore. The arrival of this treasure trove of "lost" photographs and interviews with the Zone inhabitants is therefore a stupendous event. -- Carol Serling, wife of Rod Serling

"It appears Stewart Stanyard has done his homework. I think my old friend Rod and so many of his actors (now in their own "Twilight Zone") will be happy and relieved. Stewart has `got it right.' -- Cliff Robertson ("A Hundred Yards over the Rim," "The Dummy")

Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone is an amazing in-depth look into the most unique and arguably best television series ever made and the visionary who created and guided it. Stewart Stanyard has pulled out all the stops here. Packed with an abundance of rare behind-the-scenes photographs and fresh interviews with those who were there, it brings insights to the myth of Rod Serling. This is a good book, a real good book. Read it, or I'll send you to the cornfield! -- Bill Mumy ("Long Distance Call," "It's a Good Life," "In Praise of Pip")

Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone is a keen look into the making of a classic television series by people who were there. Stanyard asks the right questions and gets insightful answers from a fantastic array of superbly talented people -- the photos are priceless. I give high praise to ECW Press for choosing to publish this important book. -- George Clayton Johnson (Twilight Zone core writer)

Stewart Stanyard's marvelous book Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone provides a terrific look behind the scenes of one of the greatest TV shows ever made, chock-full of previously unpublished on-set photos and personal reminiscences of those who made the show a classic. If my book is the Companion to the Twilight Zone, then Stewart's is the ideal companion to the Companion. -- Marc Scott Zicree, author, The Twilight Zone Companion

About the Author

Stewart T. Stanyard serves as a board member for the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation and is the creator of The Twilight Zone Archives, a personal collection of memorabilia large enough to fill a museum. He is the illustrator of Clive Barker's graphic novel "The Life of Death" and the Savings & Loan Scandal trading cards. He created storyboards and digital art for the video games "Hellraiser: Virtual Hell," "Falcon 4," and "Star Trek: Birth of the Federation." He lives in Sebastopol, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 291 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550227440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550227444
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.8 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mike O'Connor TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Arguably Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone" is the finest television show of the early 1960s; certainly the one all us baby boomers remember most fondly. Every week, under the guise of science fiction or fantasy, Serling & Co. would present little morality tales that were, in turn, insightful, horrifying and touching. Stewart Stanyard revisits the "Twilight Zone" in this marvelous visual tribute published by ECW Press.

Some years ago Marc Scott Zicree wrote THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION, which many feel is the definitive book to Serling's creation. Zicree's book is basically an episode guide marked by insightful commentary and a genuine fondness for the subject matter.

Stanyard's book is more of a general history and appreciation of the show and complements Zicree's volume quite nicely. It certainly outshines it in terms of photographic material. Syanyard's book features over 350 rare production and behind-the-scenes photos showing Serling, cast and crew in action. What a treat!

Another plus of Stanyard's book is the collection of interviews he did with surviving cast and crew such as Carol Serling, Richard Matheson, George Clayton Johnson, Earl Holliman, Cliff Robertson, Bill Mumy, and others. It's a shame so many "TZ" alumni such as Buck Houghton, Burgess Meredith, John Anderson, etc. are gone since Stanyard is a gifted interviewer. (But why no interview with Jack Klugman who is still living?)

Lastly, the affection and respect so many viewers had for Serling and his creation are showcased in 12 appreciation essays that wrap up the book. The comments by George Clayton Johnson and the sons of Charles Beaumont and Buck Houghton are especially noteworthy.

In short, this book is a 24-carat treat worthy of Serling, who was one of America's finest writers. It is an essential purchase for fans of the series! Read and enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
First the plus: The interviews with cast and crew are extremely valuable. While the stars may drag on and on about the smallest thing and half of what they say isn't anything informative, the interviews alone are worth the purchase price. The photographs are the best you'll find in any book. Superbly reproduced from the author's private collection and he chose the best.

Now the negative: the history of the series is more of a salute than fact and what little he does feature isn't accurate. His bibliography cites only half a dozen sources and sadly this includes a web-site and Marc Scott Zicree's book which is loaded with errors.

While the author did not do any homework, don't let this book get away from you. Photos and interviews are a must. In short, it is not a perfect companion to consult, but it is a coffee table book.

Only reason I say this is the second best book ever written about Twilight Zone, is because Amazon.com offers the best book. THE TWILIGHT ZONE: UNLOCKING THE DOOR TO A TELEVISION CLASSIC by Martin Grams Jnr. which covers the entire series with 800 plus pages of behind-the-scenes trivia, exclusive interviews with cast and crew and a detail level will exceed anyone's expectation. If you are looking for a book that covers "everything" about the TV series, the Grams book is the one to invest.

Closing comment: Both this is the Grams book floored me. Exceeded my expectations and are worth the purchase price. Only books on Twilight Zone to ever do that and I have every book about Twilight Zone ever written so I know what I am talking about.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an enjoyable book. It has tons of B&W photos, which look great on the high-quality glossy paper. Also, "Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone" is slightly oversized (8" x 10") so the photos can be larger.

It is not a book detailing the episodes, however, except as they come up in the individual interviews and essays.
Contents:
1. Biography of Rod Serling
2. Biographies of other writers and producers who made this great show happen
3. "Themes of the Zone", such as Death & Dying, Redemption, and everything from magic to aliens
4. Comic relief. Not a comedy series, but there's quite a bit of humor here and there, particularly if you include wry humor. I'm not counting if you think William Shatner is hilarious in "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet".
5. "Beyond Dimensions" covers Rod Serling's career after "The Twilight Zone"
6. "Sight, Sound and Mind". This is the largest part of the book, consisting of interviews with 39 people who were involved with "The Twilight Zone": 24 actors, including Cliff Robertson, 4 directors, 1 producer, 2 writers and 1 friend. You also hear from Carol Serling, Rod's widow, and Robert Serling, his older brother. Robert says, "Rod didn't have ego, he had pride, and there's a hell of a difference."
7. Appreciation Essays. This is 12 tributes by people not involved in the TV series, but affected or impressed by it. For example, the 1st essay is by Dana Gould, producer/writer/voice actor for "The Simpsons".

I enjoyed reading "Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone", but for me it is an adjunct to, not a replacement for, Marc Scott Zicree's classic The Twilight Zone Companion. I gave Zicree's book 5 stars.
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