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George Clayton Johnson describes the reality of the ‘Twilight Zone’

Poster by postersdepeliculas at Amazon

Poster by postersdepeliculas at Amazon

Fans of both The Twilight Zone and the realm of philosophical, spiritual, religious, and psychological inquiry represented by the likes of books such as Daimonic Reality and Exploring the Edge Realms of Consciousness — the latter featuring contributions from Teeming Brain teem members David Metcalfe and Ryan Hurd — will find much of interest in comments made by science fiction legend George Clayton Johnson in a 2003 interview conducted for the Archive of American Television. (A special thanks to Teeming Brain contributor Richard Gavin for bringing this interview, and this particular portion of it, to my attention.)

At one point during the five-hour (!) interview, Johnson speaks at length about the actual psychological, spiritual, and ontological reality of the liminal zone epitomized by the very idea and title of “the Twilight Zone.” What’s more, he asserts that the series itself can serve as a “tool” and a “consciousness expander” for helping people — especially children — to wake up to realities existing beyond the pale of the mundane world. Read the rest of this entry

‘The Twilight Zone’ for teachers: ‘Changing of the Guard’

In 1962 The Twilight Zone ran an episode titled “The Changing of the Guard.” It starred Donald Pleasence (in his first American television appearance) as an elderly literature professor who is forced into retirement and decides to kill himself on Christmas Eve when he’s overcome by the sense that his entire life and career have been futile because, as he sees it, nothing he has done or taught has meant anything, since (as he sees it) his teaching, which spans three generations of students, has never had a real, lasting impact on anyone. At the last minute, however, a collective supernatural visitation reveals that he’s wrong about this.

The episode feels — in a very good way — like a hybrid of A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life and Dead Poets Society. The CBS Video Library describes it like this:

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