Rob Lenihan is a blogger. Mostly, his Luna Park Gazette describes daily doings in his native Brooklyn — think “11224,” not “06880” — but recently he veered into the Twilight Zone.
Lenihan wrote about a pair of old “Twilight Zone” shows he’d seen. One was about a man stranded in a deserted town. He has no memory of who he is or how he got there. It turns out he’s an astronaut training for a mission; the Air Force has found the only way it can to simulate complete isolation.
The 2nd show was about a harried advertising executive who returns to his hometown. He goes back in time to meet the childhood version of himself — with typical you-can’t-go-home-again results.
Lenihan praises the shows’ creator/writer, Rod Serling, and their director, Robert Stevens (who later won an Emmy for his work with Alfred Hitchcock).
Most “Twilight Zone” fans zero in on Serling’s superb writing, but Lenihan focuses on Stevens’ “extraordinary use of confined spaces and angled shots.”
Intrigued, Lenihan researched Stevens. He learned he directed “Playhouse 90” and “GE True Theater,” as well as “Change of Mind,” a 1969 movie about a white man whose brain is transplanted into a black man’s body.
Lenihan learned more about Stevens. He wrote:
I was shocked to see that he died from cardiac arrest in 1989 after being robbed and beaten at a rented home in Westport, CT. I couldn’t believe that such a talented man died in such a terrible, violent way.
I’ve been trying to find out more details about this incident, but I haven’t come up with much. So I just want to pay my respects to a TV pioneer who helped navigate us through The Twilight Zone.
And now for the “Twilight Zone” twist: Rod Serling wrote both of those episodes — while living in Westport.
DEE-DEE dee-dee DEE-DEE dee-dee…