Twilightzonemuseum.com is devoted to providing up-to-the-minute news regarding things having to do with the original TV series created by Rod Serling. The obvious question you might ask yourself is, 'What's going on with a TV series that is now over 50 years old?' The answer is, 'Plenty!' To quote a wise man, "The Twilight Zone will never die!"
The site is owned by me (Andrew Ramage) and was launched in September, 2002. It was operated in Corvallis, Oregon until December, 2003 when I moved to the Los Angeles area. In 2006, the site was re-designed by Frontenac Media, and under their management until 2009, at which point I assumed control of the site again. A number of people have contributed material and donations to the website over the years.
This website averages just over 120,000 hits per month as of 1 March, 2011. Thanks for stopping by.
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The main parts of this site consist of autographed Twilight Zone production and publicity photos, plus coverage of the first-ever Twilight Zone Convention, the “Stars of the Zone Convention,” held in Hollywood in August 2002, plus our sequel show, held in August 2004, and a third and fourth convention held in 2006 and 2007 hosted by Herman Darvick in New Jersey have been partially covered as well. The 2009 50th Anniversary events, sadly, we could not cover on here, but they've been given a passing nod and a mention.
We cordially invite you to submit scans of YOUR "Twilight Zone" memorabilia and photos. For more information about this, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The only requirements for photos are that the scans submitted be of a sufficiently high resolution (300 dpi or higher, preferably) and the photos submitted should be from Serling's original series that aired from 1959-1964 on CBS. We are also interested in old index cards, theater playbills, etc., signed by actors in the original series, NOT the series from the 1980s or the hideous 2002 revival on UPN. We know these items are rare! Most of the actors who did "Twilight Zone" episodes are now sadly deceased. Stellar talents such as Joseph Schildkraut, Claude Akins, Gig Young, Inger Stevens, Elizabeth Montgomery, David Wayne, and James Gregory did some of their most-remembered work on "The Twilight Zone". With this site, as well as DVD and VHS, they live on forever. Hopefully Twilightzonemuseum.com will also be used by autograph hounds and dealers to authenticate acquired autographs.
So, have a look around and enjoy! If you have questions, feel free to contact us!
About This Site - Detailed Description
The Twilight Zone Museum, this website, opened on 15 September, 2002, the month after the
first Stars of the Zone Convention, the first ever "Twilight Zone" Convention, hosted by myself and
Bill DeVoe in Hollywood, California. The website was opened because it was an attempt to complete the
circle of "Twilight Zone" websites online at that time. The Twilight Zone Archives was and is online,
and focused on the 'behind-the-scenes' aspect of the show (and now claims to be 'the #1 Twilight Zone website online, if for no other reason than its higher search engine listings.) As many of you remember, there was The Fifth Dimension, hosted by a fan from Texas. This was a wonderful site and for a long time was the most comprehensive one online. It was a treasure trove of information - coverage of each episode, and had numerous articles and information about virtually all of the things that sprang forth after Rod Serling created the show - movie connections, references
in popular culture and on other TV shows and in films. I'm sure that guy spent into the tens of thousands of hours building it. There was also a very good message board
there for a brief time in the late 1990s, [which still exists as The Twilight Zone Cafe, but only two or three folks from those early days remain active on the forum.] The site came online in 1996 and saw many transformations - including a name change from The Fifth Dimension to TheTZSite.com (after the band of the former name wanted the domain name for themselves.) There were also other assorted sites that filled in most of the gaps.
But the BIG gap had still not been filled.
There was no real website that kept people informed of the current happenings related to the "The Twilight Zone." A convention had just been done, and like the show itself, had broken new ground and eventually spawned 4 more TZ conventions. Coverage of those events needed to be shared with the Twilight Zone public, especially those who could not attend. The actors - the people who really 'made' the show what it was, has been largely forgotten - they needed to be spotlighted again - and we found a good way to do it. They would be spotlighted in the form of their autographs. And luckily over the past decade, a very few of us got them to sign "Twilight Zone" production stills. Sure, they appeared in the episodes - but a personal signature on a piece of memorabilia makes it that much more valid. Not to mention, it makes for nice viewing, especially for those who know TZ really well. After all, "Twilight Zone" had some of the best casting in the history of television. And, those who recently departed Earth would be given a mini obituary. A decent, non-critical episode guide with an acceptable presentation was also in order. And if you look at the menu bar, you will see other things that are not to be found elsewhere, and we continue to add new stuff all the time. I suppose you could say that the Twilight Zone Museum attempts to provide what can't be found elsewhere. Material upcoming includes a page on Automobiles in the Twilight Zone, and TZ Studs n' Babes. The possibilities are endless!!
TheTZSite.com eventually closed after being ordered to cease and desist; the website overstepped its bounds as far as copyright. Numerous audio files of dialogue and screen captures from each episode were included, as well as articles reprinted without permission, and CBS issued the webmaster with a cease and desist notice in mid 2004. Most of the sundry TZ websites have since fallen away too, but a few still remain. There were plans for a physical Twilight Zone Museum in Binghamton, NY, but they fell through for reasons unknown. I'm not exactly sure what they would have displayed, though. Not much still exists from the original show, and what does exist is in the hands of collectors and CBS, Inc.
So, there you have it. And this site will be online as long as humanly possible. We've been Serving Man for over seven years now! Figuratively. If you want literal, you'll need to talk to the Kanamits about it. They have the recipes.
A Corporation, Manhattan NY (company name withheld) (2006-2012)
B Corporation, Cicero IL (company name withheld) (2011)
E. Johnson, Atlanta (2010)
John Sobey, New York (2005)
Andy Polak/Rod Serling Memorial Foundation, New York (2003)
David Quillen, California (2004)
Kazuhito Maeda, Japan (2004)
Joyful Union Congregation of Bellflower, California (Mavis Leonard, Charitable Gifts Coordinator) (2003-onwards)
Anonymous (2 donors, 2002)
For more information on how to donate, send email to email@example.com. WE DO NOT SOLICIT DONATIONS! Those who choose to contribute, contribute. And those who wish to advertise here, advertise. That's it. Nothing more.
Twilight Zone thoughts and ramblings
I'm not one to put myself on a pedestal, but I can profess that I have been associated with "The Twilight Zone" TV series much more than the average person on planet Earth. Here are some questions that I sometimes get from people in person or through email:
1. What are the TZ actors like as people? Do you know all the ones listed on your website?
A: On the whole, they're a great group of people. I know only the ones who attended the conventions, plus a handful of others who didn't attend. There are some whom I've come to know very, very well and I can unabashedly say that they are the most unselfish, wonderful people I have ever met. Gloria Pall, George Clayton Johnson, Anne Francis, Camille Franklin, H.M. Wynant, and some others. There are some VERY talented, intelligent people who worked on The Twilight Zone as actors. As George Clayton Johnson has said, "The actors built the temple." TZ has gotten such a reputation for being an actor's show-and that's exactly what it was. Many episodes are textbooks on acting - like "The After Hours" starring Anne Francis, or "In His Image" starring George Grizzard and Gail Kobe.
In case you are interested, I will confess to knowing ONE person who worked on TZ (whose name I will never disclose, so don't ask!) who is among the few worst people I've ever met in my life. This was someone whom I had to get to know very well before I realized their shortcomings, and why this particular person didn't really stay employed in Hollywood very long, despite a fine background in acting. Oh well, we all have our faults.
2. Have you gotten money from TZ activities, or is it all non-profit?
A. Mmmmmm … if I'd had no other employment, I could maybe have lived for about 8-9 months in Los Angeles without sweating over anything more than the heat outside. Or maybe for a few years comfortably in a tent camp in Montana. In this day and age, there are certain things that simply can't be done for free. Money is always nice, but let me tell you, most of the TZ activities out there, except for the DVDs produced by Image Entertainment, Inc., have been break-even or loss situations. For all its popularity and universal acclaim, TZ is not a big generator of revenue.
3. Are you still doing TZ stuff?
A. I am retired from the big projects. I could come out of retirement - but for now, I am only doing this website. I started posting on a message board on www.thefifthdimension.com back in March, 1998 (later www.thetzsite.com, which is now gone but the message board is still surviving) and that started it all. Just after 9/11, I started organizing the two conventions and everything else. It was a helluva ride!
4. Why did you do all this stuff for TZ? And why did you choose TZ?
A. Let me first say that I did not grow up on TV. I didn't see The Twilight Zone for the first time until age 1994 at age 18. I was hooked instantly. The series began a resurgence on TV in the mid 90's, right around that time, and it re-entered the large TV-viewing demographic's consciousness. But I felt it needed to be promoted in other ways. Why TZ? It's probably the greatest thing ever to happen on television. No series has ever penetrated the souls of so many, so deeply. It was, and is, a very intelligent show.
5. What do you do for a living?
A. I work for a software company in Los Angeles. I probably wouldn't have gotten the job if I hadn't had the kind of association with TZ that I have/had. I worked for three years (1999-2002) as an analytical chemist after earning a BS in from Oregon State University's Chemistry Department. This is the same university (and department) that Linus Pauling, the guy who did all the ingenious stuff with DNA and proteins, attended in the 1920s. As much as I loved doing chemistry, I was forced to make a career change. I also work as some-time documentary producer. I was born, raised, and educated entirely in Oregon. I got sick of the clean air and green grass and moved to Los Angeles in 2003 after dropping out of Pharmacy school (I didn't want to pay their $10,000 per year any more, and I was sick of school by that point.) I will also say this much - if it weren't for The Twilight Zone, I would not be at the same place in life and on Earth right now. I don't want to get into specifics because it is a very personal story, but let's just say that TZ has saved my life more than once.
6. What important things has TZ brought you?
A. A lot. A few good friendships, namely. Recognition. Respect from people whose respect I value. Cash. Self-esteem over upholding tradition and preserving the lifeblood of classic television. Knowledge of how to do business. Knowledge of how to deal with actors, who are used to people not giving them any money for jobs.
7. Any juicy controversial stuff happen along the way?
A. A few lost friendships, and a few difficulties with the actors has taught me a lot - and that you have to set boundaries with difficult people. They'll hate you for it, but you'll have kept your self esteem and self-respect. I was only 25 when I started working on TZ projects back in 2001. That's a young age; nearly all the other people involved were senior citizens. Just about everyone I was working with (except for actor Wright King ["Shadow Play" and "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville"], who also lived in Portland, Oregon, where I resided at the time) was out of town and I'm sure they realized I was young, but not just how young. I dealt with a few people along the way who tried to use my age as a reason to try to gain the upper hand and capitalize/get credit or compensation off the projects. The "Definitive Edition DVD" project had a LOT of inside dirt and I can't say I am happy with it today. There were many more celebrities who could have done the audio/on-camera commentaries but their agents didn't let them because of money issues or the actors refused because the paycheck wasn't big enough. Such is Hollywood. But so much of the TZ work these past four years was so wonderfully fun and about 90% is nothing but great memories. After the first convention in 2002, I had a caffeine-like buzz for about three weeks. It was just hard to fathom that it even happened at all. It was something that had been dreamt of for many, many years before and yet no one ever dared do it. I have saved dozens upon dozens of phone and email messages and letters from James Gregory, Suzanne Lloyd, Beverly Garland, Bill Erwin, Howard Morris, and many others. A true joy to look back on them.
8. Are you going to do any more TZ stuff?
A. Probably nothing big. This website will always be here, though. More TZ conventions? No. More books on TZ? There were plans for a 50th Anniversary TZ coffee table book that I was to co-author.
Sadly, that never came to pass and it would've been GREAT. The reason it fell through is because there was
another 50th Anniversary book released in early 2009. Nobody likes this book. Anyhow, hopefully for the 60th or 65th, the coffee table book will happen...my publisher still has it.
9. Which books on TZ are the best?
A. The script books are great. The "Unlocking the Door" book by Martin Grams is great. "Visions from The Twilight Zone" by Arlen Schumer is great. Most of the other books are disappointing.
10. Where did you get all those photos?
A. From memorabilia dealers (on and off eBay, but mostly off) who had them before I did. Some were taken from photographers' proof sheets. Mind you, I don't have many, considering that 156 episodes of TZ were made. Some of them came directly from CBS' archives, although I did not acquire them from there. I don't have any contact with the Rod Serling family or anyone who was directly employed by Cayuga Productions (other than the actors and a couple directors/story editors).
11. Is sci-fi/fantasy the genre you know best?
A. No. But TZ wasn't a sci-fi show. It was almost pure fantasy/the extraordinary with fantastic twists thrown in. But my first love is comedy. I got my start in all this television business by building a website on a comedy TV show. Lucille Ball and Don Knotts are, in my opinion, the greatest comedians ever to live. No one else can even approach their level of genius although Sean Hayes of "Will and Grace" can give Don a run for his money.
12. What's your favorite episode?
A. Remember those old Entenmann's Baked Goods commercials where they ask celebrities, "What's your favorite Entenmann's?" Well, let's just say that I consider ALL of the TZ episodes to be kind of like equally tantilizing desserts, when all is said and done. If I had the option of watching two television shows at any one moment in time, one being TZ and the other not, I'd definitely choose TZ. But, if I had to list my top five, they would be: "In His Image", "Mirror Image", "The Trouble With Templeton", "The After Hours." Maybe also "Death Ship" and "Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room", "The Last Flight", and "A Stop at Willoughby." These episodes, to me, are absolute jewels, but many others don't fall far behind.
13. Favorite TZ memory?
A. The day I went for lunch with Edson Stroll and he introduced me to the waitress at The Cheesecake Factory as "Andrew, Producer of The Twilight Zone."
A close second would be Shelley Berman's playfully accosting me at a hot microphone, at the dinner celebration at the first convention. I don't take much of the credit for the conventions, though. I just kinda made sure the first two conventions happened...striking the match and lighting the torch, in the same way that producer Buck Houghton guided the series into greatness for its first three years on TV. Like George says about Twilight Zone, "The writers made the plans, the director poured the foundation, the actors built the temple." I can't agree more. I'm just grateful that I was able to have a bit part in the legacy. Thanks for having me, Rod Serling.
14. Twilight Zone's fanbase?
A. I don't like the word "fan" because it is short for "fanatic", and that is too strong a word. Most people out there aren't fanatical about TZ in the way that millions are fanatical about Lord of the Rings, Star Trek or Star Wars. Or any number of other TV shows/movies. There are a lot of armchair actors, writers, and directors out there. Twilight Zone seems to be criticized more than most series' … the message boards out there have long been the subject of episode ridicule. A very long time ago, around 1997-98, there was a lot of very intelligent discussion about the show online. Before the days of the internet, there was none of that, obviously. Most people just took Marc Zicree's "Companion" as the last word, including myself, for awhile. The art of good conversation is long gone...I've had some good verbal discussion about the series/the episodes with a handful of people. At the conventions, there were certainly a number of good and loyal followers. It was so great to meet them in person. Basically, if a person doesn't like TZ, they shouldn't bother criticizing it in public or online. Nothing is accomplished by saying that "Cavender is Coming" or "Come Wander With Me" suck. Would you rather have those, or "Charles in Charge"?!!
15. The future of Twilight Zone?
A. "The Twilight Zone will never die. It may not continue to be remade, but it will never stop being watched."—George Clayton Johnson. As far as other projects related to it … who knows. Maybe someone will attempt another television series based upon it. There will always be motion pictures with TZ-style undercurrents. Books, memorabilia, trading cards, and so forth...well, they've run their course by this time. DVDs … sure. I'm sure the DVD companies will be eager to make more money off of the series by that time. And of course, there's always the reruns and the marathons. And the websites. :-)