Rodman E. “Rod” Serling, one of Earth’s finest, took inter-dimensional flight in 1959.
For five years, he observed humanity’s curiosities, absurdities and flaws. His journey spanned millions of years and millions of miles.
The ship he travelled in – The Twilight Zone.
PARALLEL MADNESS would like to take you on a short guided tour of the man and the cult TV show.
Of all the boundaries Serling transcended, one of his most precarious obstacles must have been 50s America. Dangerous times for an empathetic, conscientious TV writer with a critical mind, boundless imagination and unlimited potential.
McCarthyism was at a feverish peak, crushing the livelihoods, families and reputations of not only celebrities, but ordinary folk too. Many of Serling’s friends didn’t emerge from it.
Rod was an illusionist and a conjurer. A smoke and mirrors man. A sharp mind in a dull time.
His appearance on The Mike Wallace Interview in 1959 below demonstrates a showrunner willing to pedal anything with absolute conviction in order to protect their baby.
At times the conversation resembles a first round of interrogation with the House Committee of Un-American Activities. Was The Twilight Zone safe for the public? And could “sponsors” afford to be associated with it?