Friday, December 14, 2007

The Twlight Zone (Yes, all of it)

The Twilight Zone
1960, 1961, and 1962 Hugo Winner for Best Dramatic Presentation

Here's another example of those early Hugo voters finding their feet. For three years in a row they voted an entire television series as the best dramatic presentation. Not that there's really anything wrong with that; I can only think of a handful of other shows that might deserve the same honor and they would only earn it for one or two seasons of the program. But that does make it very hard to review.

I mean, I could say something about how overwhelmingly influential the show is, how fifty years later it is still a great piece of entertainment, how many important people contributed to its success, and how it blazed the way for science fiction beyond children's programming on television.

But you know all that. You're visiting a blog called "Das Übernerd". While you might not be completely familiar with some things this is the Twilight Zone. A cornerstone of popular culture. If you aren't able to recite Rod Serling's opening narration then it's very likely that you are either (a) some kind of creature from a parallel universe, or (b) from a country where you never saw the Twilight Zone (there is some difficulty in telling the two of these apart).

I could run down my favorite episodes but everyone could make a completely different list of ten and they'd all be perfectly good (The Shelter is my personal favorite but everyone is going to have at least one that speaks to them) . I could give you a list of striking images but you know them (I don't think anyone will forget the ending of Time Enough At Last; people who have never seen the show are familiar with that one).

The fact of a set of Hugo awards handed out to almost an entire series (around one hundred episodes are covered by the three seasons that won) just makes it hard to say any more. This was the only time that such a thing happened with the dramatic presentation Hugo. Star Trek in any incarnation didn't manage this. Babylon 5 didn't manage it. The new Dr. Who series hasn't done it yet (though they've now tied Star Trek and Babylon 5 for getting two awards for episodes). The Twlight Zone stands apart, as it should be.