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The Twilight Zone Companion [Paperback]

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Item Number 298594  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   465
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Silman-James Press
ISBN  1879505096  
EAN  9781879505094  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
'The Twilight Zone' has captivated, teased and haunted the imaginations of countless millions of viewers from 1959. This companion is the complete show-by-show guide to one of television's all-time greatest series. Zicree's account of the series from inception to cancellation, through syndication and subsequent offshoots and remakes, is fascinating reading for even the most casual fan. Coverage of each episode includes a plot synopsis, critical commentary, behind-the scenes stories and anecdotes from the original artists who created the series, a complete list of cast and credits and over 200 production photographs.

Buy The Twilight Zone Companion by Marc Scott Zicree from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781879505094 & 1879505096

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Doesn't Hit the Mark  Sep 26, 2008
Jason Collison's review on this site hits the mark. Zicree's book is good but isn't the final word on the matter. The book is littered with errors. The wrong airdate for "Long Distance Call" and William Froug's faulted memory regarding the cost factors in "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge" has been reprinted in so many books people think the errors are facts. Just because it is in print doesn't mean it is the gospel. Zicree is missing narration for "Time Enough at Last," "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim," "Walking Distance" "I Shot an Arrow Into the Air" and others. More than half of the episodes contain no facts - just critical opinions.

So why does a lot of people rave about this book? Because for twenty years there was nothing else available. The past five years has brought us a large number of publications that reveal the correct facts (though DIMENSIONS BEHIND THE TWILIGHT ZONE reprinted some of the errors). True fans of the program have been criticizing this book for years and the general public is not aware of this. So which book now should you buy and avoid the same problem?

Thankfully, this site does offer relief. THE TWILIGHT ZONE: UNLOCKING THE DOOR TO A TELEVISION CLASSIC by Martin Grams (available for purchase on this site) contains "everything." Dates each episode was filmed, in-jokes and bloopers, behind-the-scenes stories, production costs, reuse of props and more. Buy Zicree's book if you want - you'll get what you pay for. Or you can buy the Grams book and forever appreciate the craftsmanship of the program that does Rod Serling justice.
Extremely disappointed  Aug 29, 2008
I do concede that this book is a must-have for any serious Twilight Zone fan and is probably the best available resource of its kind. However after reading all the glowing reviews here I suppose I was expecting more. Much more.

If you own all the episodes on DVD and watch them on a regular basis, don't expect to get a whole lot out of this book. It's definitely worth every penny of the modest price and the time to read it, but it's not the treasure trove of knowledge I had hoped to find.

First let me say that I'm not one for biographies and the whole history of how it was pitched to the network, so I skipped the first chapter. What I wanted was a book that I could open up immediately after watching an episode and read all sorts of interesting tidbits. How it was filmed, accounts of the arguments/discussions over direction and editing, bloopers, how the special effects were accomplished, really anything.

Certainly Zicree has his favorite episodes and put much effort into those. But for most episodes here is what you get:

- Rod Serling's opening and closing dialogs. Just watched it, thanks.
- A one paragraph plot outline. Again, great for reference I suppose, but just watched it. I know what the episode is about. And some of them contain factual errors. Not huge things, just annoyances.
- For some episodes, selected lines of dialog. I know what the actors said, thanks.
- Then what you are left with is one small paragraph in most cases.

That one remaining paragraph is usually filled with Zicree's opinionated rants or raves about the acting and direction. If you are lucky you get one tidbit of information about the behind the scenes. Worse yet, most of the time those one or two facts were already in the DVD extras so you've already read them if you have the DVDs.

Now don't get me wrong, there is some good information in this book. Just very little of it on a per-episode basis. And for a select few episodes he really does go all out. The section for the first season is decent, and it seems to go downhill from there. Almost as if he was tiring from the research.

I'll select a few of my favorite episodes at random so you know what you can expect. For each episode here is what's left after disregarding Serling's narration and the plot outline:

"The After Hours"
As this was a first season episode, Zicree does a fair job here. Almost one full page of information. How the manequins were constructed (this was on the DVD), how they got access to the set, and one paragraph of Zicree's opinions. Two factual pieces of information explained in good detail, and that's about as good as you can hope for in this book for most episodes.

"A Most Unusual Camera"
The ONLY thing he can say here is why did the waiter fall out of the window at the end. Seriously that's all there is.

"Living Doll"
He explains that the voice of Talky Tiny was done by June Foray (Rocky the flying squirrel). This was on the DVD. And then he takes a paragraph _explaining_ the plot to us. Yes, we know the doll only talks when nobody else is around. Thanks.

"A Stop at Willoughby"
One paragraph explaining the similarities to another episode. One paragraph of Zicree telling us that humans have a desire to escape from the pressures and demands of life. Absolutely zero real information.

"The Thirty Fathom Grave"
For being an hour long episode you'd think he'd have plenty to write about. Well he does: He complains that it was an hour long. And takes an entire paragraph to do so. A few lines of dialog. (Useless.) Then one paragraph explaining that Variety magazine didn't like the episode either. Again, zero information.

"The Old Man in the Cave"
One paragraph explaining to us mere mortals the deeper meaning of the plot. Other than that, all he can ask is how the computer got electricity for 10 years?? Come on.

The rest of the book is much like the above; I could go on and on.

Grab the book, but don't expect much.
"You unlock this door with the key to imagination...."  Jul 1, 2008
I bought the 1st edition of The Twilight Zone Companion back in high school and was amazed at the amount of information included. I learned a lot about the show, what went on behind the scenes and aquired a greater appreciation for the genius of Rod Serling and touches on other projects he worked on, including Requium for a Heavyweight and Night Gallery. There is a brief biography about Serling and information about writers Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson and George Clayton Johnson. All of them contributed stories, though Twilight Zone was Serling's baby.

The only drawback was the fact the shows Zicree personally didn't like, he didn't spend too much time talking about (his opinions would be less biased on the Twilight Zone boxset commentaries). Everybody has their favorite and not-so-favorite episode (my list of favorites would include Nick of Time, The Hitchhiker, The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, The Fugitive, Time Enough at Last, Back There, To Serve Man, A Passage for Trumpet, Night of the Meek, In Praise of Pip, Walking Distance, On Thursday We Leave for Home, Eye of the Beholder, It's a Good Life and Nightmare at 20,000 Feet). However, it's obvious that Zicree is a passioned fan, as he has obviously spent hours of research to each show. The opinions expressed and the lack of information on those episodes he didn't care for are a minor annoyance, but I wouldn't give the book 1 or 2 stars just because of that. The information given on most of the episodes was insightful, though if you haven't seen a particular episode, skip the plot synopsis until after you've seen it, lest the "twist" at the end will be spoiled for you.

The latest edition includes information about Twilight Zone- The Movie (I remember watching that with my sister and the It's a Good Life sequence scared the hell out of both of us!) and the Twilight Zone series from the 1980's (there were some good moments, but without the late great Rod Serling, it wasn't the same). In addition, the index includes the different actors in the index in the original series.

The original show includes a long resume of actors including Billy Mumy, Burgess Meredith (he'd become the narrator for the movie version), Agnes Moorehead (she sure looks different without all that black mascara!), Jack Klugman (Oscar Madison), Dick York, Elizabeth Montgomery (both from Bewitched but not featured in the same episode), Art Carney (Ed Norton), Jonathon Harris (Dr Smith), Sterling Holloway (the voice of Winnie the Pooh), Inger Stevens, Robert Duvall, Wally Cox (the voice of Underdog), Wanda Dunn (I believe she was in just as many episodes as Burgess Meredith or Jack Klugman), Stephen Talbot (Leave It to Beaver), Bill Bixby, Edgar Buchanan, Ann Jilian, Joan Blondell, William Demarest, Ron Howard (Andy Griffith and Happy Days), Jackie Cooper (fom the Our Gang/Little Rascals), Buster Keaton, William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Russell Johnson (the Professor from Gilligan's Island), Richard Deacon (both Dick Van Dyke Show and Leave It To Beaver), Charles Bronson (Death Wish) and many others.

I have read that there was a bit of information which was false. I have docked this book one star because of that. I will admit I liked the original book because of the information it seemed to gather.
Great Book  Jun 14, 2008
I love this book. The Twilight Zone was a great series with great writers and production. But, beyond the program are the tidbits about the writers, the actors, the scripts, etc. This book has those things along with cast summaries, first air dates, writer credits, etc. There's also a good deal of background on Rod Serling. This book is my companion when I watch the Twilight Zone marathons on SciFi. I read through the piece on the airing episode to catch the trivia bits.
Everything you wanted to know.....  Apr 1, 2008
about the Twilight Zone episodes. Man this book is great. As well as providing great information on the episodes themselves, the book goes deeper as it goes into detail of its conception, life and death of what some may claim to be the best TV series ever. Every TZ fan should have this book already.

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