Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Time Enough At Last

The other day I discovered that you can watch old Twilight Zone episodes online. I never saw the series when it was originally broadcast. I was just a kid then, and not only did I have an early bedtime, but I was frightened to death by the theme music and opening credits. (Seriously, I think Rod Serling could have had me cowering under the covers just by reading aloud a shopping list.) Eventually, when I was older and braver, I saw many of the episodes in syndication. Still later, after the invention of the VCR, I was able to catch a good number of the remaining ones thanks to several Twilight Zone marathons on a local channel.

There's one episode that every book lover remembers, "Time Enough At Last," about a hapless bookworm who, surrounded by unsympathetic nonreaders, has little time or opportunity to read the books he loves. Then a nuclear holocaust leaves him all alone with plenty of books and all the time in the world to read them -- or so you'd think. I had to play this for Fillius who had never seen it. I wonder what it's like to see a Twilight Zone episode and not know that there's usually a twist at the end.

By the way, the book cover above is from my copy of The Twilight Zone Companion which we bought in 1982. I never did see all the episodes, so I devoured this book which has a synopsis of every show along with notes on how each episode came to be written, details of the filming, etc. (For you youngsters who grew up in the DVD era, it was sort of like having a super deluxe edition with lots of Special Features.)

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