The Key of Imagination

Started by Karl Henning, April 29, 2023, 12:36:41 PM

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Karl Henning

"Stranger in Possum Meadows" is mostly creepy and cruel. Season 3 strays more and more from the humane-ness of Serling's series. 
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Karl Henning

"Appointment on Route 17." A hard-nosed businessman receives a heart transplant and it alters his character. Not genuinely great, but I'm fond of it.
"Street of Shadows." I don't remember this at all. Pretty good, even allowing for its recycling the premise of a show from the first season (two men changing places, basically.) 
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Karl Henning

Some of my favorite experiences in revisiting an anthology series is when I recall the premise of a given show, but not where it goes. Thus, "Cat and Mouse," a good if not great story. Where in "Something in the Walls," I pretty much remembered the lot; interesting, but B-minus. "Room 2426" with Dean Stockwell" I did not remember at all. Stockwell is an imprisoned scientist in a dystopia refusing to reveal where he secreted his notebooks. One of the best shows in the series. I pretty much remembered all of "The Mind of Simon Foster," a Straczynski story. Very good, maybe just a hair shy of excellence.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Karl Henning

"Rendezvous in a Dark Place," another Straczynski story, should be better than it is. It feels a little "paint by numbers"-- so many interesting elements, but not enough there there. It tries hard to be a kind of Next-Gen "Nothing in the Dark" right up to casting Janet Leigh in the principal role. Part of me wonders if I'm coming down too hard, but not a large part.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

LKB

Quote from: Karl Henning on June 28, 2024, 04:47:33 PM"Rendezvous in a Dark Place," another Straczynski story, should be better than it is. It feels a little "paint by numbers"-- so many interesting elements, but not enough there there. It tries hard to be a kind of Next-Gen "Nothing in the Dark" right up to casting Janet Leigh in the principal role. Part of me wonders if I'm coming down too hard, but not a large part.

Interesting.

I've no experience at all with any iterations of The Twilight Zone save the original, so these posts are informative, thanks Karl.  8)
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Karl Henning

"I don't know all about you, just the bad things." Canadian folk singer Sneezy Waters plays a blind entertainer in a roadhouse where a truck driver means to blow away the guy who's going to meet up with his girl in "Love Is Blind." Quite a nice one. Years before The Truman Show there was "Special Service." I haven't seen the movie. In this story, the previously-unwitting star of the show accidentally finds out, and indignantly wants his privacy back. Or does he? "But, the money, the women...." in his moral defense, his "wife" is an actress hired for the role. Maybe not great, but genuinely cute, so I'll call it one of Straczynski's successes. Wonder if he earned any acknowledgement from The Truman Show
"Crazy As a Soup Sandwich" is the last Harlan Ellison story in the series. A small-time gambler who gets racing tips from an ancient demon owes a racketeer some serious money. The story winds up being a sort of ersatz Ghostbusters. It has been said that Serling's writing isn't how regular people speak. In this screenplay Ellison outdoes the degree of verbal artifice, but without Serling's poetical sensibility. I didn't remember being enamored of this 'un. Rather self-consciously avant-hip.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Karl Henning

To conclude: The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) thirteen favorite episodes (not an exhaustive list of eps I like)
In chronological order:

1. "Shatterday." Based on a story by Harlan Ellison, directed by Wes Craven, starring Bruce Willis.
2. "Nightcrawlers." Based on a story by Robt McCammon, directed by Wm Friedkin, starring Scott Paulin.
3. "A Message from Charity." Based on a story by Wm M. Lee, directed by Paul Lynch, starring Robt Duncan McNeill and Kerry Noonan.
4. "Paladin of the Lost Hour." Based on a story by Harlan Ellison, directed by Gilbert Cates, starring Danny Kaye and Glynn Turman.
5. "Her Pilgrim Soul." Screenplay by Alan Brennert, directed by Wes Craven, starring Kristoffer Tabori, Gary Cole and Anne Twomey.
6. "Quarantine." Screenplay by Philip DeGuere and Steven Bochco, directed by Martha Coolidge, starring Scott Wilson and Tess Harper.
7. "A Saucer of Loneliness." Based on a story by Theodore Sturgeon, directed by Jn Hancock, starring Shelley Duvall.
8. "The Storyteller." Screenplay by Rockne S. O'Bannon, directed by Paul Lynch, starring Glynnis O'Connor and David Faustino.
9. "The Road Less Traveled." Screenplay by George R. R. Martin, directed by Wes Craven, starring Cliff DeYoung.
10. "The Curious Case of Edgar Witherspoon." Story by Haskell Barkin and J. Michael Straczynski, directed by René Bonnière, starring Harry Morgan and Cedric Smith.
11. "Dream Me a Life." Story by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Allan King, starring Eddie Albert and Frances Hyland.
12. "There Was an Old Woman." Story by Tom J. Astle, directed by Otta Hanus, starring Colleen Dewhurst.
13. "Appointment on Route 17." Story by Haskell Barkin, directed by René Bonnière, starring Paul Le Mat.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

ando

Quote from: Karl Henning on June 29, 2024, 08:31:43 AMTo conclude: The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) thirteen favorite episodes (not an exhaustive list of eps I like)
In chronological order:

1. "Shatterday." Based on a story by Harlan Ellison, directed by Wes Craven, starring Bruce Willis.
2. "Nightcrawlers." Based on a story by Robt McCammon, directed by Wm Friedkin, starring Scott Paulin.
3. "A Message from Charity." Based on a story by Wm M. Lee, directed by Paul Lynch, starring Robt Duncan McNeill and Kerry Noonan.
4. "Paladin of the Lost Hour." Based on a story by Harlan Ellison, directed by Gilbert Cates, starring Danny Kaye and Glynn Turman.
5. "Her Pilgrim Soul." Screenplay by Alan Brennert, directed by Wes Craven, starring Kristoffer Tabori, Gary Cole and Anne Twomey.
6. "Quarantine." Screenplay by Philip DeGuere and Steven Bochco, directed by Martha Coolidge, starring Scott Wilson and Tess Harper.
7. "A Saucer of Loneliness." Based on a story by Theodore Sturgeon, directed by Jn Hancock, starring Shelley Duvall.
8. "The Storyteller." Screenplay by Rockne S. O'Bannon, directed by Paul Lynch, starring Glynnis O'Connor and David Faustino.
9. "The Road Less Traveled." Screenplay by George R. R. Martin, directed by Wes Craven, starring Cliff DeYoung.
10. "The Curious Case of Edgar Witherspoon." Story by Haskell Barkin and J. Michael Straczynski, directed by René Bonnière, starring Harry Morgan and Cedric Smith.
11. "Dream Me a Life." Story by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Allan King, starring Eddie Albert and Frances Hyland.
12. "There Was an Old Woman." Story by Tom J. Astle, directed by Otta Hanus, starring Colleen Dewhurst.
13. "Appointment on Route 17." Story by Haskell Barkin, directed by René Bonnière, starring Paul Le Mat.

Good guide to a subsequent Zone series I've avoided til now. Thanks.

I was up thinking about an episode from Season 2 of the original series that bugged me. It's The Howling Man, which certainly has plenty of ghoulish atmosphere, as a traveler through the European countryside gets lost and stumbles upon a cloister of monks who have the devil locked up. Trouble is, there's very little context to the meaning of the devil in the life of the traveler, supposedly a scholar, before and after he encounters, frees and later, imprisons the howler. Who is this traveler and how has freeing the devil impacted his life? There's no context to his journey, nor to that of the monks, for that matter, except of course, that the devil was taken in the midst of a sexual tryst with a young girl. It's the only real-world detail we get from the wild man with great biceps. Of course, the creepiest aspect of the episode is not in the reveal of the devil but the stoicism of the monastery. In fact, their severity is the whole show. I obviously expected a bit more of an actual allegory. This one is E.A. Poe at Sunday school.  8)

Karl Henning

Quote from: ando on July 03, 2024, 10:32:53 PMGood guide to a subsequent Zone series I've avoided til now. Thanks.

I was up thinking about an episode from Season 2 of the original series that bugged me. It's The Howling Man, which certainly has plenty of ghoulish atmosphere, as a traveler through the European countryside gets lost and stumbles upon a cloister of monks who have the devil locked up. Trouble is, there's very little context to the meaning of the devil in the life of the traveler, supposedly a scholar, before and after he encounters, frees and later, imprisons the howler. Who is this traveler and how has freeing the devil impacted his life? There's no context to his journey, nor to that of the monks, for that matter, except of course, that the devil was taken in the midst of a sexual tryst with a young girl. It's the only real-world detail we get from the wild man with great biceps. Of course, the creepiest aspect of the episode is not in the reveal of the devil but the stoicism of the monastery. In fact, their severity is the whole show. I obviously expected a bit more of an actual allegory. This one is E.A. Poe at Sunday school.  8)
Yes, a Charles Beaumont script, when his mind was still sharp. Your well-considered exceptions underscore both that the mission of the show was to engage the viewer's imagination, and that they didn't necessarily tie up all the loose ends.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

ando

Quote from: Karl Henning on July 04, 2024, 06:39:27 AMYes, a Charles Beaumont script, when his mind was still sharp. Your well-considered exceptions underscore both that the mission of the show was to engage the viewer's imagination, and that they didn't necessarily tie up all the loose ends.
Should what you imagine be more interesting than what's actually there? Never thought of tv that way. New one on me!  ;D