For the past 12 years, I have ushered in the new year with the Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy channel. All day and night New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, nerds like me enjoy nonstop airing with the most popular and well-loved ones—such as “Time Enough at Last” (my all-time favorite along with “The Obsolete Man”), “Eye of the Beholder”, “The Masks”, “Midnight Sun”, “It’s a Good Life”, “A Stop at Willoughby”, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (along with William Shatner’s other overacted appearance in “Nick of Time”), “Five Characters in Search of an Exit”, “Will the Real Martian Stand Up?”, “Living Doll”, “The Howling Man”, “Number 12 Looks Just Like You”, “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street” (I could go on and on, but I will spare you, dear readers)—airing during primetime.
I needn’t have to tell you that I have, in fact, seen every episode, and can actually narrate many of them. I also shouldn’t tell you that I have Mark Scott Zicree’s wonderfully researched and informative book The Twilight Zone Companion, albeit rather dog-eared from years of use, from which I follow along, rereading tantalizing tidbits of trivia with each episode.
This year, I planned to watch my marathon especially since I was sick in bed with a bad head cold (courtesy of my boyfriend, thanks dear), and he was coming over to ring in the new year with me. No sooner did he walk in the door when he uttered, “I hate the Twilight Zone.” Hey, buddy, them’s fightin’ words, you know. “I was forced to watch it as a kid.” Forced? What is wrong with you? This is the absolute best science fiction series ever to have appeared on television, and Rod Serling was a genius. On a side note, don’tcha think Serling would have been the best dad to read bedtime stories every night? Sans cigarette, of course. But I digress.
I informed him that there was also a Doctor Who marathon on BBC America that I was watching during Twilight Zone episodes I didn’t really care for (I will spare you the list), to which he made his, “What are you talking about?” face. I told him we could watch either and that he can choose.
He replied as always, “Whatever you want.”
“You unlock this door with the key of imagination…”
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.'” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson