The WAY OUT of the Twilight Zone!
I found the Way Out of the Twilight Zone!
It was a good life for the first few TZ marathons. Until I smelled the KOFY and woke up.
Scenes we had seen in the 60's were missing. It was as though they'd never existed.
Here's one example of a glaring continuity cut occuring in syndication prints:
"And When The Sky Was Opened", 3 astronauts vanish one by one.
Rod Taylor knocks but the bar is closed for the night. He smashes thru the glass door to gain entry.
Look at it on any commercial TV channel:
Taylor knocks on the closed door, and gets in without even breaking a sweat.
A casual viewer might not consciouslynotice the cut. Or one might dismiss it as typical low budget production.
But Serling didn't make those kind of slip-ups. When he first saw the show in reruns, Rod was appalled by the edits.
There was nothing he could do, having sold off his share of the series.
Nevertheless, the reruns stirred up memories and interest in other series from the Twilight Zone era.
We hadn't seen episodes of THRILLER in so long, some hed merged in our minds with TZ episodes.
Like the one where the guy deals with the devil, literally gets burned (off-camera), and smoke pours out from under the door.
I mixed that up with the TZ where Satan is locked in a room until a woman hears his howling and opens the door.
The smoke scene was from a THRILLER segment, "The Devil's Ticket".
I started tracking down copies of the series in 1986 to share with friends who had helped alert me to the best episodes.
The Thriller Club (not the Michael Jackson Thriller!) began giving weekly TV parties in 1988.
Underground artist Jim Osborne and power popster Cyril Jordan were among our special guests.
After blasting b-sides. we'd run a THRILLER people especially wanted to see, such as "Pigeons From Hell".
"Well of Doom" had Cyril J. roaring with contageous laughter.
"The Cheaters" tore us up when Dean played the final "meltdown" scene over and over, and over again.
"Dissolve, dissolve, dissolve!"
Eager for even more thrillers one step beyond the outer limits of the twilight zone, we unearthed episodes of WAY OUT.
Way Out's distinctive opening combined the electronic music of Robert (Dark Shadows) Cobert with a view of hands reaching up from a smoldering grave.
Roald Dahl, infinitely reflected in mirrors, calmly introduced the episodes with understated black humor.
Twilight Zone and Way Out aired back to back on Friday nights in 1961.
Way Out has grown in cult status in spite of never having been rerun.
Way Out fans currently share 5 circulating episodes:
William & Mary
I Heard You Calling Me
Dissolve to Black
can be seen in NYC at The Museum of Television & Radio.