Helen Foley, an English/Drama/Literature teacher from the childhood of "The Twilight Zone" creator Rod Serling, passed away from cancer at the age of 90 on December 28, 2002. Among the many other students that she taught and mentored was "Twilight Zone" contributor Richard Deacon. Binghamton will miss her greatly.
Helen Foley was the name of a teacher in the "Twilight Zone" episode "Nightmare as a Child," and, strange to say, also the name of the teacher in "Something Wicked This Way Comes," which was published in 1962, before the notable "bad blood" arose between Serling and Bradbury.
Dandelion: Try clicking on this one:
What was the "bad blood" that arose between Bradbury and Serling? I know that Serling uses references to Bradbury in several classic twilight zone episodes that he scripted, the most obvious "Would the real martian please stand up" and "Walking Distance"(one of serling's best) in which he reflects on ideas similiar to "Dandelion Wine"."Walking Distance" was broadcast in 59'. Not sure about wtrmsu.
Supposedly the reason only one Bradbury story appeared on "The Twilight Zone" was that Bradbury felt Serling borrowed too heavily from ideas of his. I've been unable to ascertain exactly which episodes were the ones in question and why.
Dandelion: Is writing @ 4:46am an indication that you are able to enter and depart from the TZ at will?
I am intensely allergic to such early hours, though for the past countless years have needed to (professionally) be up and at it before 6am. Barely functioning I might add, let alone writing a coherent sentence.
Electric Grandmother(?)- was that the RB that made it to TZ? It was a "really" early episode, as I remember. Others!
[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 02-12-2003).]
Bradbury references in TZ (cribbed from Marc Scott Zicree's THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION):
In "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up"
one character refers to the strange situation as a "regular Ray Bradbury!"
In "Walking Distance" one character makes mention of "Dr. Bradbury"
In "A Stop at Willoughby" a character mentions "the Bradbury account".
Obviously, Rod was paying homage to Ray.
As far as "I Sing the Body Electric" goes...it apparently underwent several reshoots and various rewrites--Zicree doesn't specify if Bradbury did the rewrites on his own script or not. It was apparently a difficult shoot.
Two more Bradbury scripts were subsequently passed over ("Here There Be Tygers" and "A Miracle of Rare Device"). Buck Houghton felt the scripts would have been logistical nightmares.
Serling apparently found that Ray's writing didn't translate well to the screen. In a 1975 interview he said of Ray's writing "That which reads so beutifully on the printed page doesn't fit in the mouth...and you find characters saying the things that Bradbury's saying and you you say, 'Wait a minute, people don't say that.'"
Again, all this info is in Zicree's TZ Companion.
I can only deduce that between being rewritten, being passed over, and being told your writing doesn't cut it for the small screen, you would lose interest in being involved with TZ.
Of course, Ray got the last laugh with RAY BRADBURY THEATER.
[This message has been edited by WritingReptile (edited 02-12-2003).]
"The Lateness of the Hour" (okay, that's a "Twilight Zone" episode, and one which doesn't have much to do with Bradbury except for the device of humanlike robots used many times by many writers) has not to do with me being in the Twilight Zone, but with the board being on east coast time while I am on west coast time. I know about the references and do believe them to be intended as homage. I'm still trying to view every episode of "The Twilight Zone," which runs from midnight-1:00 am on SciFi (a reason I'm online so late!) to see if I note any significant resemblance to any story of Ray's. Haven't seen anything worth mentioning so far.
Some stuff about 'The Twilight Zone' ....
Charles Beaumont, writer for 'The Twilight Zone', met Ray Bradbury while working as a mimeograph operator at Universal Studios. Charles Beaumont complained to friends, including Bill Nolan, that Serling had stolen his stories, adapting them for 'The Twlight Zone' without acknowledging the source story or offering payment. When Beaumont complained face to face, he soon received a letter from Serling, offering ..."grief-stricken apologies."
Bill Nolan, who was there and read the letter, remembers Serling explaining that "...he read so much science fiction and came under so much pressure to turn out scripts that he rarely questioned where an idea came from when it popped into his head, and even if he did question, he could never trace it to the original ...through the devasting clutter in his mind."
Interesting to note that Charles Beaumont, at age 34, developed Alzheimer's disease and died 4 years later.....
[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 02-12-2003).]
Yeah, I have a letter from Donn Albright saying Serling was a great producer but a lousy fantasist, he stole from everybody. I DO sympathize/identify with Serling as the writer he most wanted to be was Bradbury--AND DON'T WE ALL? I wonder if Beaumont ever did get paid; he did some wonderful work, including a number of episodes for "The Twilight Zone." Someone posted here awhile ago saying "The Twilight Zone" was successfully sued for plaigiarism only three times (but probably accused many more times than that.)
I know we developed an involved TZ discourse several months ago. But, the site below may help some new visitors get some info that is helpful and interesting.
Body Electric, the only original reference in Serling's episodes.
A Search showed the New TZ had these RB's -
Burning Man & The Elevator.
RB Theater episodes are so accurate to the stories it is uncanny (word for word at times)i.e., Usher II! I am using several of the Martian shows to supplement teaching MC. They play very well on the tv scene. So, I would have to disagree with Serling's concern for wording and interpretation. Many of the other Theater screen versions are also "right on!"
Also, The MC tv mini-series really missed the mark!
I was looking through some books to find where charles beaumont had been critical of serling and couldn't find any. I found quite the opposite in introductions from books like "Charles Beaumont:Selected Stories"(great book),Richard Matheson's "The Twilight Zone Scripts" and "California Sorcery:A Group Celebration".They all describe a good relationship between beaumont and serling. Beaumont is credited with 22 twlight zone episodes, the most by anyone other than serling.However, I did find a reference to the "bad blood" between bradbury and serling in the introduction to "California Sorcery:A Group Celebration" published by Cemetery Dance(another great anthology).
From the intro of "California Sorcery" by Christopher Conlon
"despite the fact that at the onset of the Twilight Zone Bradbury was listed as being a major contributor, he had only one teleplay produced for the series.Other scripts were rejected, and soon Bradbury was criticizing Serling and the series for ostensibly plagiarizing his work as well as that of other science fiction writers."Bradbury got so angry about this kind of thing,"Nolan says,"that he broke off his friendship with Rod."Serling had his defenders,however, who wondered if Bradbury's irritation might not have been fueled by professional jealousy."
I guess I answered my own question. Regardless of the differences that Bradbury and Serling had with each other,both writers have my respect and admiration.
Thanks for that info, unknown88.
Personally, though, I think the idea of Ray succumbing to professional jealousy is laughable.
I also find the idea of Serling intentionally plagiarizing ideas hard to swallow. He had a couple of good writers working with him and he bought the rights to plenty of stories outright. Of course, there's plagiarism, and then there's CLICHE -- how many adam/eve sci-fi stories were there?
I also found it interesting that Ray took a kind and even humorous approach to plagiarism with EC Comics, as documented in Illustrated Life. Hard to see how he would get so hot under the collar when it came to Serling.
Regarding Serling's assessment of Bradbury's suitability for the screen...probably an unfair generalization, but there WAS some atrocious dialogue in Something Wicked This Way Comes (and some of the poor acting didn't help) -- Ray's dialogue does tend to be somewhat stylized.
Of course, Serling was just as guilty of this sort of thing--there was a scene in REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT (an otherwise stupendous movie!) where the lead female character lectures Anthony Quinn and it sounded just like Rod talking.
One other almost-related note--Twilight Zone seems to have a tradition of alienating fine fantasy writers...I believe Harlan Ellison left the "New" version under less than happy circumstances.
more TZ trivia:::::::
In September, 1962, Bradbury went over to the offices of Los Angeles magazine, and gave them a scorching off -the- record display of his views of Rod Serling... It' s recent issue had written highly of Serling, in no uncertain glowing terms. The writer, Constance Olmstead, once worked as Serling's secretary. She, either overhearing or being right smack in the middle of the event of Ray's wrath, phoned Serling and told him all the details. A letter immediately came forth from Serling, calling for a face to face confrontation with Ray.
Ray easily figured out who tipped off Serling about the uproar at the magazine offices...................
(I've come to believe everything in the world of business and art, and politics too, and probably every other category....is the same. Only the locale and actors are different...nk)
For those interested in current fans' views of Rod Serling, go to www.thetzsite.com to "Fanstuff," where you can access The Fifth Dimension message board. I posted favorably under the thread "Rod's Vision." I admire the man and his work and feel no reason not to unless someone presents me with proof to the contrary. Interesting information, though! Someone posted here awhile ago about "The Twilight Zone" having been successfully sued for plaigiarism three times--none of those by Ray. Still without seeing the original correspondence, I now wonder if the "it's happened four times now" could refer not to four stories of Ray's, but to one of his and perhaps three by other writers Ray felt were ripped off. It can probably be safely assumed that scripts attributed to writers besides Serling were not stolen or at least were not stolen by Rod himself. I'll make a point of concentrating more closely on those by Rod Serling, but since I have not read EVERYTHING by ALL these other writers, no matter how well-versed I am on Ray's work, there may be something I still fail to spot! In the meanwhile I'm open to input on this. Just please try to post it in such a way that it either doesn't contain "spoilers" for people who have not read the particular story or seen the particular episode, or when spoilers do prove necessary, give ample warning. Ray's reaction is especially interesting because, badly as he and his friends were treated on numerous occasions, rarely does Ray seem to actually hate anyone. I never even got the impression that he hated John Huston, who was a very mean man indeed. At least he got revenge on Huston in fiction--can anyone name a psuedo-Serling in Bradbury's work?
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