Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion

Discussion of the man and his work.

Welcome to the Art Deco Dining Pavilion! Here's the deal. This is Harlan's little breakfast nook at Webderland. When he's not here, we chat about him and his work. When he is, we act like we're guests in his home. That's about all there is to it. (link to More specific rules) Oh, and since the nook doesn't exactly hold a crowd (and to prevent the less frequent voices from being drowned out), please limit yourself to one post a day unless Harlan asks you a direct question. The Pavilion Annex is available if you're the logorrheic type. Also, we have archives of old posts. RSS Feed

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Displaying board posts 26 through 50 - showing messages at a time.

Yet once more..
- Thursday, August 8 2019 12:30:6

The word should be modesty, obviously.
VERY obviously.

Jeff R. Again
- Thursday, August 8 2019 12:28:35

Serling's modedty3
In that respect, he was the opposite of Harlan, who, let's face it, would have you believe thst even his grocery lists were Masterpieces of World Litrtature for All Time.

Jeff R.
Philadelphia, - Thursday, August 8 2019 12:25:8

Sorry, Ezra
Serling never would have told anyone to kiss his posterior
For such a talented multi- award winner, he was almost pathologically modest and self- deprecating. Look up any interview with him, and you'll see what I mean.

- Tuesday, August 6 2019 18:30:29

Seconded Brian absolutely. Actually there's a new documentary about the life and work of Morrison going around the theaters right now destined I'm sure for streaming media.

Brian, I was born in Griffin about 20 miles southwest of you.

About Rod Serling I've always been partial to his script for John Frankenheimer's SEVEN DAYS IN MAY. Great dialogue performed by an amazing cast of mostly character actors. A little preachy at times but nothing like what Aaron Sorkin routinely pulled on the West Wing. The confrontation between Frederick March and Burt Lancaster is brilliantly written.

And since I know few of you will be able to sleep without this information, my favorite Twilight Zone episodes are, in no particular order -

The Purple Testament (Serling)
Shadow Play (Beaumont)
The Shelter (Serling)
Mirror Image (Serling)

What is distinctive about these episodes is that they're not just scary, they're disturbing. 'Mirror Image' especially fucks with your ontology. And 'The Shelter' was a remarkable piece to have gotten away with in the deepest darkest depths of the Cold War. These are not the most well known episodes of the series but they're the ones Serling lays out when you kvetch about how many mediocre shows he cranked out to keep the show going right before he tells you to kiss his ass.

Brian Phillips
McDonough, GA - Tuesday, August 6 2019 14:7:26

Toni Morrison R.I.P.
There is far less work to be acquired than Harlan Ellison’s, however, I have no less admiration for the work and the person. For those who haven’t read her yet, please do. “Song of Solomon” is just amazing.

- Brian Phillips

Jeff R.
- Tuesday, August 6 2019 13:47:25

A Marriage Made in Heaven
Bernard Herrmann music and a show about Jack the Ripper! Absolutely perfect!

Robert Nason <nightwriterblue82@gmail.com>
Whitestone, Ny - Tuesday, August 6 2019 12:16:49


That should have been CIMARRON Strip. Sorry about the typo.

I'm currently reading Harland's original teleplay (titled "Deeper than the Darkness" but changed to "Knife in the Darkness" by the producers), and I was amused that Harlan was dissatisfied with the way the director filmed the opening teaser. I laughed because while watching the episode a few days ago I noticed that when the young woman is being pursued at the beginning by the killer, she's running as fast as she can and she easily catches up with her even though he's slowly striding through the woods and town. I thought to myself, typical Hollywood bullshit, just like the Mummy movies where no matter how slowly the Mummy walks and how fast the woman runs, he always catches up with her. But it turns out that this is what Harlan disliked about the teaser. His teleplay makes the pursuit much more realistic, also filled with little touches of dialogue and business the director cut out. The killing itself is far more intense and evocative in the teleplay then in the final episode, which predictably eliminates anything that deviates from moving the plot along and homogenizes the general tone. No wonder Harlan eventually threw in the towel with network television. But I'm impressed that what a good Western he could write. It seems the man could produce quality work in virtually every genre and medium.

As a side note, I noted that the music in the episode was particularly haunting and effective. Therefore it didn't surprise me to learn as I read the end credits that the music was by none other than the great Bernard Herrmann. The music utilizes Hermann's characteristic use of two chords repeated over and over again, then slightly changing key and continuing the repetition. It worked beautifully in CITIZEN KANE and it works here too.

Robert Nason <nightwriterblue@gmail.com>
Whitestone, NY - Monday, August 5 2019 15:0:44

Jerry Seward --

Thank you for the heads up on the Ellison episode of CIMMARON STRIP that aired the other afternoon. If it weren't for you, I would have missed it. That would have been a pity, because I found it quite entertaining; it was yet another iteration of the Jack the Ripper theme in Harlan's oeuvre. Happily I also have volume 2 of BRAIN MOVIES which has Harlan's original teleplay, which I now look forward to reading and comparing to the filmed version.

John Pickett <johnp51157@live.com>
Tom Petty's hometown, Fl - Monday, August 5 2019 3:46:14

PBS is cool!
I have DVR-ed the latest episode of American Masters. The subject was author Ursula K. Le Guin. I'm sure it may be repeated but I know it's available On Demand on DirecTV.

Jerry Seward <thinman@journalist.com>
Saginaw, Michigan - Sunday, August 4 2019 8:55:22

"Knife in the Darkness"
DVR ALERT! The H&I network is showing Harlan's episode of CIMARRON STRIP, "Knife in the Darkness," today (SUNDAY, AUGUST 4) at 4:00 PM EST.

Jeff R.
- Saturday, August 3 2019 18:24:43

Dear WTF
I thought that your contribution was fine, and I thank you for it! Uh oh! Two posts in the same day! Do you think the world will come to an end???

Chuck Messer
- Saturday, August 3 2019 18:20:43

Kenneth: Those people are called hermaphrodites, and they do exist. Doctors used to "fix" hermaphrodites surgically, making them female, whether they genetically were or not. That practice has fallen out of favor. I'm sure you're aware of all that, as well as the story ALL YOU ZOMBIES. Helluva read, isn't it?


- Saturday, August 3 2019 17:24:26

JR -- And so you did (get a discussion going). I was just trying to "contribute" to it.

KS -- I just thought there *might* be a story of some kind there. But not *that* kind.

Jeff R.
- Saturday, August 3 2019 16:55:4

The One Post Per Day Rule
Perhaps it should be forgotten, now that no one seems to be moderating the board anymore. I never really understood the necessity for it anyway.

Kenneth Stevens <stevens.kenneth@gmail.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee - Saturday, August 3 2019 15:35:11

"But one does wonder how that would lead to population growth...."

O ye of little faith. We are reliably informed by no less august a source than Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky that some men do in fact have a uterus. As is well known, anything that is written eleven times in a row cannot be other than true.


Speaking for others...
- Saturday, August 3 2019 9:36:10


One post per day is quite enough.

Jeff R.
Philadelphia, - Friday, August 2 2019 22:28:30

Dear WTF
The question of whether or not Serling was a good SF writer could be argued about endlessly, no matter how many Hugos and other awards he won for THE TWILIGHT ZONE, since it's a matter of opinion, not hard fact. I just wanted to get a discussion going.

- Friday, August 2 2019 19:49:33

Thanks to all for the answers. I guess getting however many Hugos settles it -- NOT! Do the Nebulas have a drama category? (Not that that would settle it either, of course.)

And "if I am very much mistaken", Harlan himself did a variation on the Adam and Steve gag in one of his quickies. I'm sure others have, perhaps with more oomph. But one does wonder how that would lead to population growth....

Jeff R.
Philadelphia, - Friday, August 2 2019 6:17:52

Keeping Up with the Times
By now, has anyone ever done an Adam and Eve story where the Eve charcter said, "My name is Steve"?

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Thursday, August 1 2019 22:10:10

If I understand those Hugo listings correctly, Serling would have received the awards because TZ was his baby. But it was the series that won them, and not solely Serling's work as a writer.

In my view, Serling's work outside the genre was stronger than his sf work. Watching the shows again I can't help but think Serling's work for TZ was sometimes too sentimental or too preachy -- but dear God in heaven, 156 episodes of TZ and Serling scripted 92 of them. It's amazing that he could even get that amount of work done. Some clinkers? Sure (one 5th season show even committed an Adam-and-Eve story). But even when he wasn't cookin' he wasn't dull, and when he was cookin' he was terrific.

As Le said, Serling wrote "Walking Distance."

We all have our favorite TZ episodes, and if we go through our favorites we'll probably find a preponderance of Matheson and Beaumont, but I'll bet we all find a respectable number of Serling episodes in there too; I know I do.

Bests to all,

Robert Nason <nightwriterblue82@gmail.com>
Whitestone, NU - Thursday, August 1 2019 21:22:36

The official website of the Hugo Awards states that the Best Dramatic Presentation for 1960, 1961, and 1962 went to THE TWILIGHT ZONE, by Rod Serling." Sterling and the show were nominated in 1964 but didn't win that year. But 3 Hugos in a row ain't bad.


Jeff R.
- Thursday, August 1 2019 19:58:3

Depends Who You Believe
One article said he won one, for TZ. Another said he won three, for TZ. At the moment, I feel too ill, tired and old to look it up. Going to sleep now. Perhaps someone else could do the research?

- Thursday, August 1 2019 19:8:56

Jeff R,

...But you asked if Serling was considered a good "SF" writer. Did he ever win a Hugo?

Jeff R.
- Thursday, August 1 2019 18:58:43

The Numbers
I think Rod Serling was nominated for writing Emmies nine times, and won seven out of nine. He has also won a Writers Guild Laurel Award, and many, many others. Harlan, wherever you may be, that ain't chopped liver!

Beautiful Northridge, CA - Thursday, August 1 2019 16:12:59

Rod Serling wrote "Walking Distance."

Nuff said.

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