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Twilight Zone turns 50

Copyright CBS, Inc.
Copyright CBS, Inc.

You are now entering the Twilight Zone of cinema and science!

On October 2, 1959, the first episode aired of what would turn out to be a seminal work of science-fiction television. For the first time the famous four-note musical motif played, and for the first time Rod Serling told viewers that they were “entering a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.” Yes, it may be hard to believe, but October marks the fiftieth anniversary of the premiere of The Twilight Zone.

The first episode, titled “Where Is Everybody?” and starring Earl Holliman, was written by Serling and very much set the tone for the series: Holliman plays a man, dressed in an Air Force jumpsuit, who wanders about a town that seems to have no other people in it, though has evidence of very recent habitation (food on the stove, burning cigarettes in ashtrays, etc.). It turns out (SPOILER ALERT) that he is imagining the whole thing, and that he’s actually been put in isolation to see if he can stay sane for a trip to the moon.

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Author:

Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.