The Wild West, gangsters, clerks, astronauts, nuclear families, and lonely people—all were fodder for the creepy-crawly, brilliant imagination of Rod Serling. With an abundance of futuristic and time-traveling themes, Serling seemed obsessed with the nature of man, where it would lead, and what, if anything, man could do to reinvent himself and change past mistakes. Serling’s eternal mantra—“be careful what you wish for”—struck a chord in audiences young and old back in the ’60s, and the fascination and subtle terror his stories invoked have never lost their bite. With Serling, the underdog does not always win, the bad guy doesn’t always get his due, and everything you think you’re seeing, is actually in reverse. This New Year’s Eve and day you’ll be able to trek down that shadowy, uncertain path with Serling for some of his finest. TZ fan etiquette requires you to once again gasp over To Serve Man, shriek at Living Doll, feel heartbroken for Time Enough at Last, get brain warped in Eye of the Beholder, and viciously conspire how you’d kill little Billy Mumy in It’s a Good Life. But don’t forget about the other best Bill Shatner TZ, Nick of Time and its diamond-eyed devil napkin holder, and my personal favs, the prophetic Number 12 Looks Just Like You (and she does!), the topsy-turvy Invaders, and the terrifying, hot, hot heat of the Midnight Sun! There just isn’t time enough (at last) to name all of the classics that’ll make you squirm, so just sit back and take your medicine—and be wary of fourth dimension doors opening up under your bed and long-distance phone calls from your deceased gran. (Stacy Davies)
Twilight Zone Marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel kicks off Thurs., Dec. 31, 8AM Episode info at www.scifi.com.