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The Twilight Zone Companion Paperback – December 1, 1992

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 465 pages
  • Publisher: Silman-James Pr; 2 edition (December 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879505096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879505094
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Twilight Zone Companion is one of the finest examinations of a television series. Author Marc Scott Zicree spent five years researching and writing what is without a doubt the definitive look at this classic horror-fantasy-science fiction show. (The series originally ran from 1959 to 1965, but is still seen in syndication around the world.) Not only is the book an exhaustive episode-by-episode guide, but the author apparently interviewed every living soul who was ever associated with the show. It's quite likely that creator Rod Serling, who died before the book saw publication in 1982, would have been suitably impressed by the respect and dedication that clearly went into this labor of love. Zicree later revised and expanded The Twilight Zone Companion for a second edition in 1989, and discusses both the briefly revived series and the feature film based on the show. --Stanley Wiater

From Library Journal

From its signature theme song, to its many memorable images, to its very name, Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone is ingrained in our collective conscious like no other TV show. In this 40th-anniversary, updated edition of his 1982 American Book Award-nominated volume, Zicree takes readers through every episode of the show's five seasons (1959-64). In addition to credits and plot synopses, the author provides background on each episode, along with numerous pictures. Essential for all Zone fansAand who isn't one?
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

This companion book is very necessary for any fan of The Twilight Zone.
These criticisms aside, the book is a great reference source to all the episodes, including the casts and crew, opening and closing narrations, and episode synopsis.
Howard I. Goldman
For those like myself who know the episodes by name, then you have to get this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

275 of 283 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey W. Zentner on September 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
Although this is the best episode guide on TZ, the author fails to accurately analyze many of the shows. At times he seems to randomly nitpick and bash episodes that fans have loved for years. In addition, some of the shows receive only a few lines of analysis, while other shows receive very lengthy and detailed coverage. However, if you are a very big TZ fan, like me, you need this book. Some of the comments by Zicree are insightful, and his coverage of the series is the most extensive thus far.
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302 of 312 people found the following review helpful By Je'kob on June 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
This companion book is very necessary for any fan of The Twilight Zone. It offers, interviews, insight, cast lists, dates, EVERYTHING; even an extensive look into the lives and/or backgrounds of Rod Serling and the other writers - which I enjoyed.

Where it annoyed me is the fact that Zicree ends up criticizing and suggesting for us what to think of many episodes. Throughout the whole book, he bashes scripts (eg. "If such and such were changed or taken out, it would have been better." "This script is cliche-ed"), actors and actresses (eg. "...with and uninspired performance by..."), directors (eg. "...in the hands of any other director, this could have been great...").

Zicree even "nit picks" on facts: there's an episode in which he points out that Rod Serling had gotten the distance from Earth to the planet Venus wrong. LOL WHO CARES?!! Serling was an overworked writer (which Zicree makes very clear, but still decides to nit pick), not a NASA engineer! There's also another passage in which he proclaims an episode a disappointment just because the plot is slightly possible. "Any episode that is this grounded in reality, should be considered a disappoinment." Ok, thanks for letting us know Marc. *sigh* Pleeease... Further in the book, he starts off an episode's commentary with, "Despite the basically absurd premise..." WHAT?! It's science fiction! It's the TWILIGHT ZONE! Aren't all the stories based on absurd premises?! Not to mention, that aforementioned quote about being "too grounded in reality" - now the TZ is too absurd for him?!? What an annoying little man this Zicree dude is...

I was hoping for more behind the scenes info such as commentary from people who actually worked on the episodes, or how certain effects were accomplished in such an era.
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321 of 334 people found the following review helpful By John R. Pomerville on September 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Zicree's Twilight Zone Companion is alright as a reference guide for information on original airing dates, credits, and backstage tidbits. The organization of the book could have been more user-friendly but nothing to quibble about. Interviews with those associated with the program were also interesting and worth the price of admission.

Zicree is docked two stars for presenting his critiques as anything other than completely subjective. He is welcome to his opinions as we all have favorite episodes and ones that we find less enjoyable. That's the nature of art in any form. For me, the problem is with the fact that Zicree doesn't at least admit up front that his opinions have less to do with the quality of a given story and more to do with a leftist world view. His apologetics for all things Socialist (see his comments on Khruschev and Castro) coupled with a hatred for traditional American culture (see his comments about an episode concerning Custer, for example) are grating to say the least. While one may argue these geopolitical points in a different setting, a guide to a TV series, in my opinion, appears to be an ill chosen forum.

Just a closing comment here: Zicree could not bring himself to find any good thing to say about contributer Earl Hamner's episodes. It seems to me that it may have more to do with Hamner's later work in the Walton's, a series with a very traditional viewpoint that is the antithesis of Zicree's left-wing dogma, than with the quality of Hamner's TZ scripts.
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373 of 389 people found the following review helpful By William Smith on January 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Where this book is great is in the background work behind the scenes of getting the Twilight Zone off the ground, the history of the man himself, Serling, and the "facts" that range from the obscure, to the truly bizarre. Where this book suffers is in the authors extreme lack of vision when trying to discuss the episodes. Truly, an interpretation is a matter of opinion, however, when ideas are kicked around about classic material, I for one, have to draw the line. Example: The Old Man in the Cave. The author brings up the awkward idea of how the "old man" (the computer) is powered through all the years since the aftermath. Even going so far as sounding negative that the old man could run at all. Uh, that's the kind of stuff an eight year old would roll around their mind. Totally uncalled for, not to mention unnecessary. I wish their were a book written by people who seem to understand the Zone, or even like it. Marc, thanks for the book, it is an interesting read as far as fact, but leave the fiction to the master.
Also, there is far too much time devoted in explaining what each episode is about. I for one watch an episode, then refer to the "book" and find out the tidbits. Frustrating, when there is 4 paragraphs of "what the episode" is about (what I already knew) and barely 1 paragraph of tidbit. Looking at the book, it is bulky and one would assume it is chock full of useful stuff, not really, it's chock full of stuff you already knew. I don't know anyone who would buy a book like this and never watch the show.
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