Does The Twilight Zone mirror reality?

Reality mirrors The Twilight Zone, The Twilight Zone mirrors Reality: Recent articles mention the legendary series from the Sixties and its creator Rod Serling. Under the impression of global lockdowns, everyday life resembles some of the episodes of the twilight zone.

This is because The Twilight Zone is often about slightly altered reality. For example, an astronaut returns to Planet Earth. As he enters his ordinary life he finds things are not normal. There is a white fence where no such thing was before among other disturbing alterations.

However, the Twilight Zone is not about man-made changes or natural disasters. It centers often around an alternative dimension. Even it does not explore scientific insights if or not higher and alternative dimensions are possible, it takes the premise very serious. It is a premise which allows the writer to build stories. Some of these stories are mind-boggling. Some are tragic. Often there is a moral in the end.

It is interesting that it is not so much about true stories and real cases. It is also not about folklore stories. As far as we know Rod Serling was concerned with good storytelling and not so much about what we should belief or should not belief. In this sense, The Twilight Zone is rooted in the realm of science-fiction and not so much into the supernatural thriller area.

The first episode of The Twilight Zone aired 1958. This was the post-WWII period and the time of the Cold War paranoia. Traumata from WWII were pretty much alive. Stephen King described the 50ties paranoia in his book Danse Macabre. There was the shock of the Sputnik. There were fears about the communists. There was the beginning era of the A-Bomb and the threat of a Nuclear War. All in all, it was a climate of uncertainty beneath a clean and happy world on the surface. Thus the original Twilight Zone is related to disruption, contradictory feelings and kind of dissociation. Perhaps its the feeling of dissociation people experience in our days again.

In a The Forest Dark and The Forest Dark Feature Film project the alternate dimensions are the really existing other worlds. It is about the real unknown. Many films and show today rely upon the premise of an existing other-world alongside our own.

Is the premise of today’s multiverse or the other world a different concept as The Twilight Zone?

Not necessarily. There is no proof but it seems that more sci-fi related premises and ideas grounded in the supernatural coming closer together. The mystery genre today does encompass both. However, even more important, some ideas about the other world which belonged to superstition in former days are now appearing in scientific research. If we look into research about quantum physics or the science of black holes this kind of Twilight Zone is more real as in the days of Rod Serling.

There is always a big question if the stories we hear from the witnesses of visionary experiences, sightings or mysterious disappearances are inspired by shows like The Twilight Zone, which has become a milestone of modern culture (even people who have never seen The Twilight Zone are familiar with modern descendants as The X-Files). Did culture form the experience as it did in more religious times when Ufos were interpreted as Holy Mary appearances? Or is it the other way around? Even if Rod Serling and his writers weren’t concerned so much about the existing folklore, Roswell and visionary experiences of Shamans they were somehow rooted in a tradition of storytelling. We don’t know.

The web brings much more stories of strange encounters, cases of high strangeness, Fortean phenomena into the light of the public. We gather more and more data, hear more and more stories, there is a much wider discussion going on the public. We learn more and more about that real existing Twilight Zone along with our own. The Twilight Zone stories which are written by a writer or storyteller and the real world coming closer together in a couple of ways.




In a sense Rod Serling might have seen things in the same way or even envisioned his Twilight Zone in s broader sense as the stories of the TV Show suggest. There is this unforgettable introduction at the beginning of the first season episodes:

“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone“.— Rod Serling

Rod Serling was a true visionary. He was somebody who understands that reality is not what it seems. The Twilight Zone is the deeper reality we live in. It is what doesn’t want to be revealed. It’s what’s behind the curtain but which could enter any time our limited everyday world. We live in The Twilight Zone but only be aware of it in certain moments and certain times.

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