Rod Serling on the Twilight Zone: We failed frequently, but we created more than we imitated

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

A never-before-seen interview with Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling is hypnotic viewing, as he talks honestly about the show's successes and failures in that deep, reflective voice that narrated your childhood.

University of Kansas professor James Gunn interviewed Serling in 1970 for his Centron film series "Science Fiction in Literature," but the interview never appeared due to legal issues surrounding the right to show footage of Serling's work. But now it's turned up on Youtube, and it's embedded below. It's fascinating to hear Serling's insights into his own work, and the difficulties and joys of creating for television.

At one point, Serling says of the Twilight Zone:

I think it failed in terms of its consistency. It was very good some weeks, quite bad other weeks. But this, I think, is pretty much the track record of most television, by virtue of its desperate overexposure and the brevity of time allotted to us to produce something that is qualitative. But overall, I would say that it was a creative series. We did much more creating than we did imitating. I think we tried things — failed frequently, succeeded other times. But I think the mark of the show was the quite perceivable attempt at quality that went on in the show.


Part 1:

Part 2:

[via SF Signal]