Rod Serling was born to an amateur inventor and a humble homemaker in the 20s, went on to fight in World War II, and then enrolled in a physical education program at an oddball liberal arts college in small-town Ohio. He seemed ready for a long life of quiet mediocrity. But while at college, Serling got interested in radio. He wrote scripts for radio shows and then television, eventually pitching his own science fiction drama, The Twilight Zone. While other shows featured saccharine domestic plots, Serlings creation was a creepy and cerebral collection of tales filled with aliens, monsters, and moral gray areas. The half-hour episodes were always more about the human quandaries they displayed than their production value, making them a natural choice for stage adaptation. The Twilight Zone Live: Season VII presents select episodes in play form. Tonights offerings include adaptations of Living Doll, in which an adorable talking toy terrorizes a reluctant stepfather; and Cavender Is Coming, featuring an overzealous guardian angel who grants a few too many wishes. Serling narrated and introduced Twilight episodes, and each weekend Twilight Zone Live promises a new "Serling" and live commercials. The production should prove to be both smarter and more engaging than that other Twilight franchise.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: May 21. Continues through June 12, 2010