Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rod Serling

Before Morgan Freeman, before Peter Coyote, before even Leonard Nimoy...the world was narrated by Rod Serling. A brilliant writer who started out right here in the Cincinnati area, he pioneered both intelligent science-fiction on television as well as socially conscious drama. All in the same show! Often in the same episodes and often all but invisible to the censors who didn't like such things on TV. 

THE TWILIGHT ZONE aired past my bedtime during its original run but it jumped into my Top Ten of TV shows during reruns beginning in 1968 or '69. 

While I was still enjoying TZ, along came Rod Serling's NIGHT GALLERY. It was disappointing for the most part but, on rare occasion, somehow pulled pure television magic out of its hat!

I would find out later that the reasons NIGHT GALLERY was not really TWILIGHT ZONE REVISITED were behind-the-scenes squabbles. The fact that none of that showed through to us viewers says something about Rod's professionalism.

After that, Rod voiced commercials, TV and radio documentaries and even some of the pseudo-documentary movies that started appearing in theaters in the seventies. He died too young in mid-decade but he left his voice ringing in our ears...and more importantly, his thoughts as well. 

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