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Twenty years ago, even ten (and zero in some places), science fiction was all about the twist ending. Aliens would seed a dead planet with life only for it to turn out...that planet was EARTH! Or folks might spend a story in a struggle to stay alive, only to find out THEY WERE ALREADY DEAD! And so on. Stories would usually end with a shock sentence, often with copious slammers (!!!)

But the genre matured. Characters, writing, and fully explored concepts appeared. These days, the "gimmick" often takes the back seat. facilitating rather than dominating the story.

The Twilight Zone, the science fiction/fantasy/horror anthology created by Rod Serling, is generally a cut above anything else on TV. This includes its pale competitors like One Step Beyond and Way Out. Unfortunately, several times in the first season, and more frequently in this, the second season, the show has aped the gimmick stories of print sf. The result is a run of predictable, sub-par episodes. There is light at the end of this tunnel, however – the most recent episodes have returned the focus to interesting characters and genuine drama.

First, we have to get there:



(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)

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