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The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic Paperback – September 1, 2008
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Readers who feel they've entered this dimension before, namely via Marc Scott Zicree's TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION years ago, are in for a treat. Grams has dug further than any other researcher into this durable anthology's creation and history, a series which included among its fans novelist Ayn Rand and actress Jodie Foster. THE TWILIGHT ZONE: UNLOCKING THE DOOR TO A TELEVISION CLASSIC is a proud testament to the series's enduring appeal. --Issue #120, Filmfax Magazine
I'm blown away by the mass of data... by the attention to the smallest detail. It puts everything else written about TWILIGHT ZONE in the shade. Monumental and fascinating and hugely informative. --William F. Nolan, famous science fiction author
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Top Customer Reviews
If you find this the type of error that could not possibly stand going uncorrected, this is the book for you!
Echoing many others here: This is easily the most exhaustive and "definitive" compilation of Twilight Zone lore ever published - but that isn't necessarily a good thing. Reading this, one gets the impression that Grams did not leave a single WORD on the cutting room floor (so to speak). This book isn't for die hard fans, it's for DIE HARD fans . . . and maybe not even for them. (The usual testimonial: I am a HUGE fan of Serling and TZ and I've read Zicree's TZ Companion so many times that my copy looks like something Burgess Meredith found in the rubble.) In his quest to include literally every piece of information he's uncovered, Grams has almost completely sacrificed readability. Add to this that Grams is nowhere near the writer that Zicree is, and this can sometimes be a very long slog. Paragraphs are sometimes complete non-sequitors from what has come before, the chronological sequence in which certain info is presented is often haphazard, and the general organization of the book itself (photos show up with absolutely no relation to the surrounding text) is a mess.
Having said all that, I am amazed with how much "new" information Grams presents us with.Read more ›
The greatest part of the book is the chapter on all 156 "Twilight Zone" episodes. In this each show is discussed in full with air dates, who played who, bloopers that took place, salaries of directors, shooting locales, and what made each of these shows the gems that they ultimately became.
There have been other "Twilight Zone" books that have been released through the years, but all pale in comparison to this jewel. A lot of time and care went into the writing of this work, and it's obvious Grams has a special place in his heart for both Serling and the series itself.
This softcover book was originally published in September, 2008 and it has already gone into out-of-print status which shows the demand that "Twilight Zone" enthusiasts had for this book. If you see a copy anywhere grab it despite the cost. What is great is that while watching the individual episodes you can use this book as a companion piece which will give you a good idea as to how each show was put together.
Firstly, the book is definitely a reference book, packed full of information. Well-organized, fully indexed, and so on, it's not such a "sit down and read" type book as some other previous Twilight Zone books may have been (and at around 800 pages, you would be sitting down for quite a while!).
This book lists just about everything you could imagine about the series: how many pages scripted for each episode, script revisions, what got censored and why, precise costs incurred for specific items, which actors were chosen or passed over and why, musical cues, alternate opening and closing monologues, and so on and so forth.
I particularly like the numerous quotes from Serling's own letters, whether they be to the studio, defending why the series needed to be filmed rather than videotaped, or to any number of fans (Tom Brown, in the ninth grade in Towson Maryland, wrote to ask permission for the school Drama Club to perform his own adaptation of "The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine", admitting that if royalties were involved, he could probably not pay them. Mr Serling granted him permission - cool!).
Quick - how many euphoniums were used in the score for the First season show "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street"?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For ZONErs and newbies THIS is THE quintessential breakdown of EVERY episode of the original series with minutiae details and ephemera too boot. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
As virtually everyone else has said, the detail Mr. Grams has invested in this book is wonderful. Whether or not you're a fan of the Twilight Zone, this book provides an insightful... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kent Martin
Great reference tool. Everything you'd want to know about the show! Can pick up and read by episode or from beginning. So glad I got this book!Published 12 months ago by Chris Johnson
The synopses aren't as good as they are in the Zicree book,but much more information about each episode's background is here.Published 13 months ago by Thomas Dockery
If ever you wanted to know anything about the original (and best, in my opinion) Twilight Zone, THIS is the book you need. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Shelley Young
This is a must-have book for all hardcore fans of The Twilight Zone. Martin Grams Jr hasn't just published an episode guide. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Roman
I was really close to saying I love it. It is a great book for Twilight Zone fans or even people just getting into the show. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Luke
the twilight zone is a beyond ingenius, completely brilliant show, but the book was a bit much i must agree. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bria
Incredibly detailed book about one of the most influential series ever. Very enjoyable reading and fasctinating facts. Read morePublished 16 months ago by gina