In late 1959, beloved American television screenwriter and producer Rod Serling captivated audiences with his new show The Twilight Zone. The show is a series of independent 30-minute psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and horror stories shot in eerie black and white. The Twilight Zone lasted just under five years, with five seasons, and 156 episodes (October 2, 1959 — June 19, 1964).
During that time, Serling was often in headlines for opposing ’50s and ’60s television companies and sponsors. In 1959, Serling appeared on The Mike Wallace Interview where he bashed his previous employer The United States Steel Hour for changing the script for Serling’s story “Noon on Doomsday”. The story was intended to depict an act of racial violence on a 14-year-old African American boy, Emmett Till, but instead was given an all-white cast with very little of the original artistic vision that Serling desired. Later in the same interview, Serling took a stab at the audience itself stating, “On The Lassie Show Lassie was having puppies and I have two little girls who are very enamored with this little collie . . . And it was probably one of the most tasteful and delightful and warm things depicting what is this wonderful thing that is birth. But, the show received letters saying ‘If I wanted my children to watch sex shows, I would have taken them to Burlesque Shows.’”
Rod Serling became a legend for, not only creating one of the greatest television series of all time, but changing television entirely with his controversial commentary. And after a lengthy yet worthy introduction, Rod Serling’s legacy lives on: his hometown of Binghamton, NY, is opening a museum exhibit in the Bundy Museum of History by curator Mike Pipher (as per The Press & Sun Bulletin).
In an interview with Associated Press, Pipher says that he’s been collecting Twilight Zone props for more than 40 years, including autographed memorabilia, scripts, and Gold Key comic books that will be available for fans to touch and look through. “We are a hands-on museum.” says Pipher. “If they want to [see] the Twilight Zone board game, a $600 rare piece, we’ll pull it out and let them play the game. If they want to handle props from the Twilight Zone they can hold the cobra phone.”
The Press & Sun Bulletin reports that the museum’s address is 129 Main St., Binghamton, NY. It is currently open to check out if you are in the area.