I’ve been doing a bit of cleaning in the old house this week and happened to come across this collection of stories entitled Rod Serling’s Triple W: Witches, Warlocks, and Werewolves. I picked it up the first year I visited the San Diego Comic-Con back in the early 90s but it was released by Bantam Books back in 1963.
The writers for these 12 tales in this particular collection range from Rudyard Kipling to Fritz Leiber with an introduction by Serling himself of course. The tales offered up for your perusal are:
1) The Amulet By Gordon R. Dickson
2) The Story of Sidi Nonman By Anonymous
3) The Final Ingredient By Jack Sharkey
4) Blind Alley By Malcolm Jameson
5) Young Goodman Brown By Nathanial Hawthorne
6) The Chestnut Beads By Jane Roberts
7) Hatchery of Dreams By Fritz Leiber
8) The Mark of the Beast By Rudyard Kipling
9) And Not Quite Human By Joe. L. Hensley
10) Wolves Don’t Cry By Bruce Elliot
11) The Black Retriever By Charles G. Finney
12 Witch Trials and the Law By Charles Mackay
Probably my favorite of the book is the tale, Wolves Don’t Cry. It’s an interesting take on the Werewolf mythos and a love story to boot. If you happen to see this collection at your local used book store I would highly recommend that you pick it up and give it a read, especially if you are a fan of Rod Serling…and who isn’t?
After too long of a wait in my humble opinion, Universal Studios is releasing the third and final season of Night Gallery to DVD on April 10th!
In the third season of this classic television series, the hour long running time had been cut to 30 minutes by the heads of NBC. The 3 disc set will include 19 episodes starring the likes of Vincent Price, Patricia Sterling, Bill Bixby, James Farentino, John Astin, Joanna Pettet, Mickey Rooney, Raymond Massey, Sandra Dee, Dane Clark, Christopher Connelly, Ozzie Nelson, Harriet Nelson, Roger Davis, Michael Lerner, and Leonard Nimoy to point out just a few.
I’ve not been able to find any information concerning the special features but if it’s anything like the second volume of the Night Gallery DVD, I hope there will be further commentary by the authors of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: An after-hours tour, Jim Benson and Scott Skelton.
With an episode that concerns a suicide attempt of it’s main character, you could understandably be confused when I say it is not only one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes but one of the best “Christmas Themed” TV episodes.
The Changing of the Guard is a moving episode focusing on one Professor Ellis Fowler (Played expertly by Donald Pleasence!), a man who is forced into retirement by the headmasters of the school he teaches at on Christmas Eve. Brought low by the news of his dismissal he returns to his home and after looking through his many yearbooks, recalling the students he taught from years past he comes to the conclusion that his teaching have been for naught. In a fit of despair her intends to take his own life on the school grounds.
Let us not forget though…this is the Twilight Zone.
Just a bit of trivia about this episode:
1) The “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity,” quote that Pleasence mentions in the episode is credited to Horace Mann, the first President of Antioch College, which happened to be Rod Serling’s Alma Mater.
2) In fact, after completing the script for this very episode, Serling took a teaching position at Antioch College.
A huge thank you to Nally Bud over on YouTube for uploading this episode!
This creepy episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery originally aired on the NBC network on the night of February 23rd, 1972. The first tale stars Richard Thomas (The Waltons), Michael Dunn (The Wild Wild West), Geraldine Page (The Rescuers), and Barbara Steele (8 1/2). It deals with a young man (Thomas) who must pretend to be a Sin-Eater at a nobleman’s wake.
The second tale in the episode deals with an abusive couple who mistreat their maid, in this case a robotic servant. It stars Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein), Broderick Crawford (Highway Patrol), Henry Jones (Vertigo), Severn Darden (The Six Million Dollar Man), and Lana Wood (Diamonds Are Forever). I have to say that I’m always very moved by Dr. Kessler’s (Darden) righteous anger towards the couple in this tale, he really does a great job with it.
Originally airing on Oct. 27th, 1971 this second season episode of the Night Gallery presented the viewer with two tales. A Question of Fear stars Leslie Nielsen (Creepshow) as Col. Dennis Malloy who pits his courage against the boast of of Dr. Mazi (Fritz Weaver, also of Creepshow) that he cannot stay a night alone in the good Doctor’s house where he witnessed something so horrible that his hair was turned white. If he can stay the entire evening and not perish from fright he will be awarded $15,000.
The Second portion of the episode is entitled, The Devil Is Not Mocked, and stars Francis Lederer (Lux Video Theatre) and Helmut Dantine (Hollywood Canteen). Helmut plays General von Grunn, a Nazi officer during WWII…who is confronted by an evil greater than himself.
I’ve gone on record before with an earlier post about the episode The Shadow Man, that while I did enjoy the series on a whole I was…disappointed…that it chose to tell darker and outright meaner stories overall.
Submitted for your approval, a dark tale of the future. Examination Day.
This episode was adapted from the short story of the same name by Henry Slesar which was originally published in Playboy back in 1958. You can read the original short story, here.
David Mendenhall played the rather bright young kid, Richard “Dickie” Jordan, and has appeared in numerous TV roles and a certain 80s feature film that I hold close to my heart, Transformers: The Movie, where he provided the voice for Daniel Witwicky. He also supplied the voice of G.I. Joe member, Mainframe, in the episode “Grey Hairs and Growing Pains”, where the some of the Joes are transformed into children.
A big thanks to Calia386 for uploading this episode over on YouTube!
On today’s show we talk all about the too short lived TV revival, The Twilight Zone, sometimes called The New Twilight Zone or just The Twilight Zone. I talk about how it was made, the people behind it, the narration and its release on home video. Halloween is coming, so it is a good time to sit down and watch a good spooky TV series.
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