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George Clayton Johnson and the Legacy of The Twilight Zone

Today I was thumbing through the June 2012 #123 edition of Rue Morgue magazine and an item caught my eye. In honor of a new Twilight Zone collection coming to Blu-ray, the magazine interviewed George Clayton Johnson who discussed his contribution to that classic series. Johnson is the writer of several episodes of the series, and when asked about the legacy of The Twilight Zone, Johnson made the interesting remark that in response to the culture of the 1960s the counterculture gave us marijuana, LSD, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Twilight Zone. I find it fascinating to lump these elements together, which at first glance might seen incompatible. However, countercultural ideas can be found in each of these examples which challenged the status quo, and in some senses tapped into expansion of the imagination, whether through drugs, music, or televised narrative. Johnson’s comment is insightful, and an example of the continuing cultural significance of The Twilight Zone.

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There are 2 Comments to "George Clayton Johnson and the Legacy of The Twilight Zone"

  • Absitively posolutely! I quoted from George Clayton Johnson when i wrote the NYC Paley Center for Media’s website honoring the Twilight Zone’s 50th Anniversary in ’09 (http://www.paleycenter.org/the-twilight-zone-forever/): “The Twilight Zone played just as much a part in the renaissance transformation of The Sixties as bright-colored clothing, rock music, and marijuana did. It helped to jack people up to a higher level.”

  • To further the Twilight Zone/’60s analogy, I wrote: “Serling’s surrealistic concept of alternate realities—the “what if…?” quality of The Twilight Zone—paved the way for, and influenced the turbulent 1960s to come, by implicitly (and often explicitly) stating that things don’t have to be the way they are, that authority and the status quo must always be challenged and questioned—and bettered. “A whole generation is able to associate the Serling program with the budding of The Sixties,” acknowledged King in Danse Macabre, “at least, as The Sixties are remembered.”

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