The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia

The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia

by Steven Jay Rubin


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A rich, fact-filled collectible, packed with vibrant history, amazing trivia, and rare photographs, The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia, assembled with the full cooperation of the Rod Serling estate, includes biographies of every principal actor involved in the series and hundreds who toiled behind the scenes—producers, writers, and directors. It is an exhaustive and engrossing guide, a compendium of credits, plot synopses, anecdotes, production details, never-before-seen images, and interviews with nearly everyone still alive who was associated with the show.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613738887
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/01/2017
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Steven Jay Rubin is a noted film historian, motion picture producer, and documentarian. The author of The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia, a former staff writer for Cinefantastique, and a 25-year motion picture public relations veteran, he has made frequent appearances at sci-fi, fantasy, and comics conventions. He lives in Los Angeles.

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ADDISS, JUSTUS (June 23, 1917–October 26, 1979): Television director who helmed three episodes: "The Odyssey of Flight 33"; "The Rip Van Winkle Caper"; and "No Time Like the Past." Born in New York City, Addiss honed his skills directing both live and filmed dramatic shows. He made his directing debut on "Girl from Nowhere," a 1953 episode of City Detective, which starred Rod Cameron, and later directed Schlitz Playhouse (38 episodes, 1954–1957).

ADLER, LUTHER (May 4, 1903–December 8, 1984; birth name Lutha Adler): American stage, screen, and television actor who portrayed antique shop owner Arthur Castle in "The Man in the Bottle" (salary: $2,500). The son of famed Yiddish theater entrepreneur Jacob Adler and the brother of renowned acting teacher Stella Adler, Luther was an acclaimed leading man onstage. However, his stage success did not translate into leading roles in film or television. For instance, in Clifford Odets's original stage play Golden Boy, Adler played the lead — boxer Joe Bonaparte. However, when it was time to adapt the play into a film, he lost the part to newcomer William Holden. This happened on a number of other occasions. It is ironic that, considering he was Jewish, Adler portrayed Adolf Hitler twice: in The Desert Fox (1951) and The Magic Face (1951).

"THE AFTER HOURS": Originally aired Friday, June 10, 1960; season 1, episode 34.

Rod Serling's Opening Narration

"Express elevator to the ninth floor of a department store, carrying Miss Marsha White on a most prosaic, ordinary, run-of-the-mill errand ... Miss Marsha White on the ninth floor, Specialties Department — looking for a gold thimble. The odds are that she'll find it, but there are even better odds that she'll find something else, because this isn't just a department store. This happens to be ... the Twilight Zone."

The Setup

Striking blonde Marsha White (Anne Francis) goes to a typical big-city department store to buy a very specific gift: a gold thimble. She soon finds herself in an express elevator to the ninth floor, where she is left stranded in what appears to be a darkened, deserted department. There she's greeted by a saleswoman (Elizabeth Allen), who ushers her to a practically empty display case — in fact, the only item for sale is a gold thimble. Marsha purchases it, only to discover in the elevator going down that it's scratched and dented. Annoyed, Marsha goes immediately to the department store complaints department and meets Mr. Armbruster (James Millhollin), the assistant store manager, who is surprised that she purchased the item on the ninth floor, given that there is no ninth floor in this store. Furthermore, they don't sell thimbles. Marsha then spies the salesgirl who sold her the damaged item — who turns out to be a mannequin. Freaked out, Marsha is allowed to lie down in the manager's office, where she falls asleep. When she awakens, she finds herself locked in the closed department store — where the mannequins start to speak ...

Behind the Scenes

The episode's star, Anne Francis, remembered, "When we did 'The After Hours' we had the whole soundstage set up for this store — it was a five-day project and we rehearsed for three days like it was theater, and this character I played had to build up to this insane hysteria at the end. So being able to do it straight through was fabulous, and on the fourth day they blocked with the camera, and on the fifth day they shot it. It was wonderful to be able to work that way." At the Twilight Zone convention in Los Angeles in 2002, Francis revealed that she kept a souvenir from the episode: the mannequin-head duplicate of herself, which she used as a receptacle for her straw hats.

The Cast

Marsha White Anne Francis Saleswoman Elizabeth Allen Mr. Armbruster James Millhollin Elevator Man John Conwell Mr. Sloan Patrick Whyte Miss Keevers Nancy Rennick

The Crew

Executive Producer/Narrator Rod Serling Written by Rod Serling Producer Buck Houghton Director Douglas Heyes Production Manager Ralph W. Nelson Director of Photography George T. Clemens Art Direction George W. Davis, Merrill Pye Set Decoration F. Keogh Gleason, Henry Grace Makeup Artist William Tuttle Editor Bill Mosher

AHERNE, BRIAN (May 2, 1902–February 10, 1986; birth name William Brian de Lacy Aherne): Tall, sophisticated Anglo-American performer of stage, screen, and television who portrayed time-traveling actor Booth Templeton in "The Trouble with Templeton" (salary: $3,500). Aherne earned an Academy Award nomination in 1939 for the part of Emperor Maximilian in Juarez (but lost to Stagecoach's Thomas Mitchell). With credits dating to the silent era, Aherne's films include: My Sister Eileen (1942); The Locket (1946); I Confess (1953); Titanic (1953), as Captain E. J. Smith; Prince Valiant (1954), as King Arthur; The Swan (1956); The Best of Everything (1959), as philandering book editor Fred Shalimar; Susan Slade (1961); and Sword of Lancelot (1963), again as King Arthur. He made his television debut in "Dear Brutus," a 1950 episode of The Ford Theatre Hour.

AIDMAN, CHARLES (January 21, 1925–November 7, 1993): American character actor who portrayed US Air Force astronaut Colonel Ed Harrington in "And When the Sky Was Opened" (salary: $600), and Bill, the physicist who helps a suburban family search for their missing daughter, in "Little Girl Lost" (salary: $1,000). Like many actors who served in World War II, Aidman was comfortable in uniform. One of his first roles was that of a patriot captain in the You Are There episode "Washington's Farewell to His Officers" (1955). Four years later, he had the small role of Easy Company's Lieutenant Harrold opposite Gregory Peck in Lewis Milestone's Pork Chop Hill (1959). In War Hunt (1962), another Korean War drama, he played Captain Wallace Pratt opposite John Saxon and a very young Robert Redford. He would later serve as narrator for two seasons when The Twilight Zone was revived in 1985.

AKINS, CLAUDE (May 25, 1926–January 27, 1994): Durable and gritty character actor who portrayed Steve Brand in "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" (salary: $1,000), and levelheaded space jockey Commander William Fletcher in "The Little People" (salary: $1,500). Tough, beefy, and formidable on screen, Akins was adept at playing villains, no-nonsense cops, and soldiers. In The Twilight Zone, Serling tapped into his good-guy side. A native of Bedford, Indiana (although his birthplace was Nelson, Georgia), Akins made his first screen appearance as Sergeant "Baldy" Dhom, one of the boxers in From Here to Eternity (1953). Gliding between features and increasingly more visible TV roles, particularly westerns, Akins achieved a higher profile as murderer Joe Burdette, whose arrest incites the action in Howard Hawks's western classic Rio Bravo (1959). After appearing in the memorable Combat! episode "Nightmare on the Red Ball Run" (1967) and in the recurring role of Cotton Buckmeister on Laredo (1966–1967), Akins played Sheriff Butcher in the classic TV movie The Night Stalker (1972), written by Twilight Zone veteran Richard Matheson. The following year, under heavy ape makeup, he played bullish gorilla general Aldo in Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973).

ALBERTSON, JACK (June 16, 1907–November 25, 1981; birth name Harold Jack Albertson): Celebrated American character actor and former song-and-dance man in burlesque, vaudeville, and Broadway who portrayed Jerry Harlowe, a friend of bomb shelter builder Dr. Bill Stockton (Larry Gates) in "The Shelter" (salary: $1,000), and the one-wish genie in "I Dream of Genie." Albertson received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Subject Was Roses (1968), in a role he originated in the Broadway play (which netted him a Tony for Featured Actor). He also won two Emmy Awards, one for a guest appearance on the variety show Cher (1975) and the other for playing one of the leads in the sitcom Chico and the Man (88 episodes, 1974–1978). He had appeared in bit parts as early as 1940's Strike Up the Band, and made a memorable impression in the small role of the US Post Office mail sorter who directs thousands of "Dear Santa" letters to the courthouse in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). Albertson found new popularity in early television, where he made his debut in "Firebug," a 1950 episode of the suspense anthology series The Clock. To younger audiences, Albertson is best remembered as Grandpa Joe in 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

ALEXANDER, DENISE (November 11, 1939–): Actress and former child television star who portrayed Jody Sturka, the daughter of a nuclear engineer (Fritz Weaver) in "Third from the Sun" (salary: $500). Remembered Alexander, "I enjoyed doing the show — it was a slightly unusual experience, and it had a sense of mystery about it. There are questions I've had about it that have never been answered — which makes it unique, in my experience. I had been working since I was a kid, I had worked a lot in New York — my family's original base was back east. It was a natural move to come west, because that was where the film and television work was. It just stuns me how creative Rod Serling was, and the wonderful premise the show was built on, and how lasting it has been."* A New York State native, Alexander made her television debut in the 1951 Armstrong Circle Theatre episode "That Man Is Mine." That same year, she appeared opposite future Twilight Zone player J. Pat O'Malley in the "Bubbles" episode of Robert Montgomery Presents. Alexander is best known for her recurring roles on a number of popular television soap operas, including Days of Our Lives, in which she played Susan Hunter Martin (1,329 episodes, 1966–1972), and General Hospital, in which she appeared as Dr. Lesley Webber (1975–2013). It was for her performance as Dr. Webber that she received an Emmy nomination, for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series.

ALIENS: For five years running, The Twilight Zone was central casting for all manner of interplanetary life. In effect, all the material relegated to B movies throughout the 1950s was suddenly fodder for a grown-up anthology series on national television. Sometimes the aliens on The Twilight Zone were background observers. In Serling's fascinating "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," an average suburban neighborhood comes unglued when an alien saucer cuts the town's electric power. In Serling's equally disturbing "Eye of the Beholder," a beautiful woman (Maxine Stuart / Donna Douglas) awakens from plastic surgery only to learn that her procedure has failed, and that she looks nothing liked the "normal" pig-faced creatures that surround her. In a rare comedic turn, Serling wrote "Mr. Dingle, the Strong," in which a quiet vacuum cleaner salesman (Burgess Meredith) is chosen by twin aliens to become the world's strongest man. In "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" Serling took a cue from Agatha Christie, setting up a mystery involving a downed spaceship and stranded bus passengers in a quiet, warm diner. The title said it all. Next, working from a story by Damon Knight, Serling gave us one of the iconic episodes of the series: "To Serve Man," in which a giant alien (Richard Kiel) arrives on Earth, apparently to peacefully guide the human race forward — secretly maintaining a dark agenda that must be decoded by cryptanalysts played by Lloyd Bochner and Susan Cummings. In Charles Beaumont's "The Fugitive," one of the kindest aliens of all time is introduced: Old Ben (J. Pat O'Malley), who comes to Earth to escape alien pursuers but finds time to help a disabled young girl (Susan Gordon). In Serling's "The Little People," space explorers (Joe Maross, Claude Akins) discover a civilization of fascinating and industrious alien beings the size of sand grains — and one of the explorers realizes that there are advantages to being a relative giant. Returning to comedy, Serling wrote "Hocus-Pocus and Frisby," in which a desert gas station owner and chronic spinner of tall tales (Andy Devine) is abducted by humanoid aliens who must soon reckon with the fact that he isn't the apex of human intelligence he claims to be. In Serling's "The Gift," the focus is on Pedro, a little Mexican boy (Edmund Vargas) who befriends a kindly alien fugitive (The Bridge on the River Kwai's Geoffrey Horne) with an extraordinary gift to share with humanity. In "Black Leather Jackets," the humanoid aliens created by writer Earl Hamner Jr. are a mixed bag: Scott (Lee Kinsolving) falls for next-door neighbor Ellen (Shelley Fabares), but his two motorcycle-riding buddies are dead set on fulfilling their mission — to destroy all human life on Earth. In Serling's last episode on the show, "The Fear," he perfectly captures the tension of a California Highway Patrol officer (Peter Mark Richman) and a beautiful recluse (Hazel Court) investigating a possible alien close encounter in the rural wilderness.

ALLEN, ELIZABETH (January 25, 1929–September 19, 2006; birth name Elizabeth Ellen Gillease): Tall, striking leading lady who portrayed the unusual thimble-selling department store saleswoman opposite Anne Francis in "The After Hours" (salary: $750). A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Allen jumpstarted her television career when she landed the high-profile role of Jackie Gleason's sexy "Away We Go Girl" on The Jackie Gleason Show (1957). She later made an even bigger splash as initially stuffy Boston heiress Amelia Dedham in director John Ford's Donovan's Reef (1963). Her on-screen chemistry with John Wayne was palpable.

ALONZO, JOHN A. (June 12, 1934–March 13, 2001): Award-winning cinematographer who began his career as an actor, and portrayed convicted killer Luis Gallegos in "Dust" (salary: $400). Alonzo received an Oscar nomination for shooting Chinatown (1974) and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lighting Direction for the TV movie remake Fail Safe (2000). He was previously nominated for Outstanding Cinematography Emmys for World War II: When Lions Roared (1994) and Lansky (1999). In his earlier life as an actor, he made his film debut in director Don Siegel's The Gun Runners (1958), a thriller starring Audie Murphy and Eddie Albert that was a remake of To Have and Have Not (1944). Like Vladimir Sokoloff, who plays his father in "Dust," Alonzo had a small part in The Magnificent Seven (1960). Alonzo made his feature film debut as a cinematographer on Bloody Mama (1970), directed by Roger Corman.

AMERICAN AIRLINES: Major US airline, founded in 1930, that offered a mock-up of a Boeing 707 jetliner passenger cabin to any studio that needed it for film or television production. MGM took them up on the offer, and in 1960 The Twilight Zone used it for airplane interior sequences in "The Odyssey of Flight 33." It was used again in 1963 for "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"— though, out of dramatic necessity, the episode notably takes place in a propeller-driven aircraft, not a 707. The mock-up cabin was originally used for stewardess training. Since the airline was building a new one, the old one was considered expendable.

AMONTILLADO: Type of dry Spanish sherry that KGB commissar Vassiloff (John Van Dreelen) shares with defecting Major Ivan Kuchenko (Martin Landau) in "The Jeopardy Room." Unfortunately, Vassiloff laces the vintage with a sleep-inducing drug.

"AND WHEN THE SKY WAS OPENED": Originally aired Friday, December 11, 1959; season 1, episode 11.


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