Rodman Edward Serling Essay, Research Paper
Rodman Edward Serling, in my opinion one of the most
brilliant men of our time, was born in Syracuse, New York,
on December 25, 1924, to a wholesale meat dealer, and
grew up in Binghamton. By his own account, he had no
early literary ambitions, though from an early age, he and
his older brother, Robert, immersed themselves in movies
and in shows like Astounding Stories and Weird Tales.
Rod was best known from the intro where he was seen
wearing a suit and most often dangling a cigarette, which
was unfortunately the cause of his untimely demise.
"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to
man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as
infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow,
between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit
of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the
dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call… THE
TWILIGHT ZONE," Serlings masterpiece would not come
until later in his writing career.
He began writing full-time in 1951, more than seventy of his
television scripts were produced, garnering both critical and
public acclaim. Full-scale success came early in 1955 with
the production of a script called "Patterns," deemed a
"creative triumph" by critics, and the winner of the first of
Serling’s six Emmy awards. Serling went to work on
screenplays for MGM and as a writer for Playhouse 90,
for which he crafted ninety-minute dramas. A critical and
financial success, Serling shocked many of his fans in 1957
when he left Playhouse 90 to create a science fiction series
he called The Twilight Zone. 156 episodes of Twilight
Zone, ninety-two written by Serling, aired on CBS over the
next five years. The show went on to be one of the most
widely recognized and beloved series in television history,
and achieved a permanent place in American pop culture
with its instantly recognizable opening, theme song and
charismatic host, Rod Serling. With appearances by
personalities such as Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds,
Dennis Hopper, and more, Twilight Zone became a
launching pad for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. The
show headed downhill in its fifth season chiefly due to the
fact that Serling lost most creative control of the show.
After production ended in January 1964, Serling continued
to write for film and television series and movies, and often
appeared in his own productions, such as Rod Serling’s
Night Gallery. He returned to Antioch College as a
professor and lectured at college campuses across the
country. Politically active, Serling spoke out against the
Vietnam War in the late Sixties and early Seventies.
I believe that this man is one of the most talented writers of
all time. Everything he did was a masterpiece; from Twilight
Zone to Night Gallery his work will go down in history and
definitely live on as a part of pop culture. Unfortunately his
life was cut short before mine was to begin, on June 28,
1975 in Rochester, New York; he passed away due to
complications arising from a coronary bypass operation.
He will be missed but still live on through his brilliant work.