Short Stories That Would've Made Great Twilight Zone Episodes

Guttersnipe

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So many TOS' episodes are based on short stories, some from magazines, especially those written by Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson. If you were able to revive The Twilight Zone but could only use stories pre-1970 (let's say, even though it ended earlier) which stories would you think would fit the mold? Twisty speculative tales? Here are my offerings:

"That Hell-Bound Train" and "The Movie People" by Robert Bloch
"The Vanishing American", "Free Dirt", and "Gentlemen, Be Seated" by Charles Beaumont
"Shipshape Home" and "Deadline" by Richard Matheson
"Miracle of the Lily" by Clare Winger Harris
"Human Is" and "Beyond the Door" by Philip K. Dick
"Shottle Bop" by Theodore Sturgeon
"The Veldt" and "The Crowd" by Ray Bradbury
 

BAYLOR

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All the Way Back by Michal Shaara
Lord of a Thousand Suns By Poul Anderson
Upon the Dull Earth By Philip K Dick
Resurrection by A E Van Vogt
The Sombrus Tower by Tanith Lee
Down There by Ramsey Campbell
The City of the Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith
Fishhead by Irving Cobb
The Marching Morons by C M Kornbluth
Men Without Bones by Gerld Kersh
 

Extollager

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There was a challenge a couple of years ago (at a blog called I Saw Lightning Fall) to write a ghostly story in exactly 100 words. This is what I came up with. Perhaps some version of it could've made a TZ teleplay.


DUST by Dale Nelson

“Mommy, come see what the funny old lady wrote.”

“Where, Katie?”

“Here in the dust on the windowsill.”

“Can’t right now. What’s it say?”

“….Never mind – the wind is blowing it away.”

Katie was nine. Her mother worked from home.

Each day, Katie found a new message, such as:

“What’s your name?”

(Katie secretly wrote it.)

She never saw the old lady writing, but she saw her peeking and smiling behind the lace curtains across the way.

“Are you happy?”

(No.)

“Come to my house when everyone’s asleep.”

(OK.)

Katie entered the uninhabited house and she’s been gone ever since.

[end]
 

Don

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Speaking of Kornbluth, "Two Dooms," works as a TZ episode.

It's a shame story's are limited to pre-1970, otherwise I'd mention "Bubba Pritchert and the Space Aliens" by Webster.
 

BAYLOR

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Speaking of Kornbluth, "Two Dooms," works as a TZ episode.

It's a shame story's are limited to pre-1970, otherwise I'd mention "Bubba Pritchert and the Space Aliens" by Webster.

How about Kornbluth's story The Mind Worm? That would be interesting episode. He was a such a great writer.:) He died way too young. :confused:
 

BigBadBob141

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REF: Extollager.
That reminds me of a story/joke I once heard, so, said the smiling stranger in the railway carrage sitting opposite the hero, you don't believe in ghosts, hmmm that's a pity, then he vanishes into thin air!
 

Randy M.

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I expect you could find more than a dozen each in the collected stories of Fredric Brown and C. M. Kornbluth. Kornbluth in particular would have been on a similar wavelength to Serling as far as political skepticism, though possibly from opposite sides of the political spectrum.

And then there were the short stories of Kuttner and Moore; a decent adaptation of "Vintage Season" could even be a TZ hour long special. (There was a season of hour long episodes, after all.) Heck, dig through the contents of Unknown magazine and pick a Sturgeon from here, a Leiber from there, and a Boucher from over yonder, then scour the pages again. And as long as you're about it, check out the short work of Shirley Jackson -- to me her work feels somewhat related to Matheson's and Beaumont's.

Randy M.
 

BAYLOR

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I expect you could find more than a dozen each in the collected stories of Fredric Brown and C. M. Kornbluth. Kornbluth in particular would have been on a similar wavelength to Serling as far as political skepticism, though possibly from opposite sides of the political spectrum.

And then there were the short stories of Kuttner and Moore; a decent adaptation of "Vintage Season" could even be a TZ hour long special. (There was a season of hour long episodes, after all.) Heck, dig through the contents of Unknown magazine and pick a Sturgeon from here, a Leiber from there, and a Boucher from over yonder, then scour the pages again. And as long as you're about it, check out the short work of Shirley Jackson -- to me her work feels somewhat related to Matheson's and Beaumont's.

Randy M.

Brown , very definitely

I think that had Cm Kornbluth lived longer then he did , Serling probably would hired him to write for the Twilight Zone . Years later he did do an adaptation of his story Little Black Bag for his show Night Gallery.
 

Guttersnipe

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Any fantasy? I feel like fantasy was slightly more common than sci-fi in TOS. I'm glad Unknown was mentioned. Fredric Brown would've been the perfect contributor.


Here are some more:
"But Who Can Replace a Man?" by Brian Aldiss
"The Fertility of Dalrymple Todd"
"The Geezenstacks" by Fredric Brown
"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
"The Ultimate Wish" by E. Mayne Hull
"Dearest" by H. Beam Piper
"Rain, Rain, Go Away" by Isaac Asimov
"The Ruum" by Arthur Porges
"Jizzle" and "Close Behind Him" by John Wyndham
 
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BAYLOR

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Any fantasy? I feel like fantasy was slightly more common than sci-fi in TOS. I'm glad Unknown was mentioned. Fredric Brown would've been the perfect contributor.


Here are some more:
"But Who Can Replace a Man?" by Brian Aldiss
"The Fertility of Dalrymple Todd"
"The Geezenstacks" by Fredric Brown
"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
"The Ultimate Wish" by E. Mayne Hull
"Dearest" by H. Beam Piper
"Rain, Rain, Go Away" by Isaac Asimov
"The Ruum" by Arthur Porges
"Jizzle" and "Close Behind Him" by John Wyndham

The Geezenstacks was adapted for the anthology series Tales From the Darkside.
 

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