The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of TV

time well spent

Twilight ManI made my semiannual trek to my local comic book emporium, Earthworld Comics, this fall. On the shelf was a graphic novel The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television by someone named Koren Shadmi. I perused it for about ten seconds and decided to buy.

The book, of course, is about the creator of the legendary television program the Twilight Zone. In my book collection is The Twilight Zone Companion, an episode guide. I only have two DVD sets of complete television series; one is The Twilight Zone.

And there is that time I met the Man. (I’ve mentioned that, right?)

I found The Twilight Man to be thoroughly reached. The book had about three dozen items in the bibliography. The art was quite decent. I read the 170-odd pages in a couple of hours, and it was time well spent. There were bits of Serling’s biography I did not know or had forgotten about.

Speaking ill of the dead?

From a three-star review in Amazon: “A lot of the information presented seemed very personal and came across as a bit off-putting knowing that this was written by someone after the person in question was already dead. I would hope much of this type of information came from interviews or people who knew Rod..”

Yes, there is nothing in The Twilight Man that was out of character or inconsistent with the books and articles that I had previously read. If you can find it, check out Rod Serling: The Dreams and Nightmares of Life in the Twilight Zone – a biography by Joel Engel.

About THAT book, I wrote: “The subject of the book was unable to be content with his life, believe his success, [or] be happy with his first writing critic, his wife Carol.” The Shadmi book shows Serling with those same insecurities.

I was motivated to buy The Twilight Man because 2019 is the 60th anniversary of the first broadcast of Twilight Zone. Christmas Day would also have been Rod’s 95th birthday, though he didn’t get anywhere near reaching it.

Videos

Tell It To Groucho with Rod Serling (April 2, 1962). Rod plugs an Italian singer, leaves, but then returns

I’ve Got A Secret – 1972

Jack Benny Program – TWILIGHT ZONE LOST EPISODE –