The Twilight Zone

My all time favorite television show

I thought it might be fun to discuss various episodes of The Twilight Zone from an atheistic vs Christian perspective

Are there any episodes that you feel are particularly attuned towards a Christian conceptualization of God, morality, meaning of life, etc?

Conversely, are there any episodes you can think of that support a worldview wherein man, and not God, is the measure of all things?

My top 5 favorite Twilight Zone episodes are:

Perchance to Dream {S1 / E9}
And When the Sky Was Opened {S1 / E11}
A Stop at Willoughby {S1 / E30}
A Piano in the House {S3 / E87}
Number 12 Looks Just Like You {S5 / E137}

Anyone remember any of these episodes and care to delve into the philosophical musings contained therein?
 
My favorite is Night of the Meek.
Yeah, that's a good one
{Well, they're ALL good...}

Art Carney as Santa
I think that's one of the handful of episodes that they shot on tape rather than film so it has a different look and feel

How come it's your favorite?
In a line or two, can you describe, thematically, what you think this episode is about?

Anyway, thanks for replying
I was beginning to think that there might not be any Twilight Zone fans around here
 

Bonnie

Active member
I just think the story line is so sweet. I love the speech Carney gave his boss, as to why he drinks--because he sees the misery and want around him, and longs to do something about it, but he too is just a poor shlub with no power to do anything...until he finds the sack...

The part I like the best is that when Carney gets the magic sack, he thinks only of gifting those around him. He wants only to bring joy to others with it. Doesn't even think about his own needs. I think that is the heart of Christianity, loving others as ourselves, which is the second greatest commandment according to Jesus.

One of the local stations shows the Twilight Zone 6 days a week and this episode will be on it tomorrow night.

You are right, it was one of the few taped episodes. I forget why, but it may have been to save money. You can look it up on Wikipedia. 😊

I remember some of those episodes, though not always what they are named. When I was little, I remember that the "Stopover in Quiet Town" gave me goose bumps. I also like the one where this guy who is happily married to a nice lady, planning a vacation with her, when things change, and it is just a TV show he stars in. In real life, he was married to a gold-digging shrew, was divorced from her, but she was trying to bleed him dry, with alimony. He is horrified and only wants to get back to his other life.

Most of the episodes were pretty good, but some were better than others. I think the show garnered a few Emmies, maybe for writing. I would need to look it up.
 
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I just think the story line is so sweet. I love the speech Carney gave his boss, as to why he drinks--because he sees the misery and want around him, and longs to do something about it, but he too is just a poor shlub with no power to do anything...until he finds the sack...

The part I like the best is that when Carney gets the magic sack, he thinks only of gifting those around him. He wants only to bring joy to others with it. Doesn't even think about his own needs. I think that is the heart of Christianity, loving others as ourselves, which is the second greatest commandment according to Jesus.

One of the local stations shows the Twilight Zone 6 days a week and this episode will be on it tomorrow night.

You are right, it was one of the few taped episodes. I forget why, but it may have been to save money. You can look it up on Wikipedia. 😊

I remember some of those episodes, though not always what they are named. When I was little, I remember that the "Stopover in Quiet Town" gave me goose bumps. I also like the one where this guy who is happily married to a nice lady, planning a vacation with her, when things change, and it is just a TV show he stars in. In real life, he was married to a gold-digging shrew, was divorced from her, but she was trying to bleed him dry, with alimony. He is horrified and only wants to get back to his other life.

Most of the episodes were pretty good, but some were better than others. I think the show garnered a few Emmies, maybe for writing. I would need to look it up.
Yeah, I saw that this episode is on MeTV tonight and was going to mention it, but evidently you watch that channel also!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts - nice synopsis that you have provided!

Question for you...so if you see this episode as really highlighting what you believe it means to be a Christian - i.e. to be "other directed" as opposed to thinking of one's self - is it the conscious and glad act of giving a gift from this sack or is it the sack, itself, from which the gifts are distributed, that is the true representation of Christianity?

I ask because you made it a point to mention that Art Carney was a powerless shlub prior to discovering the sack...

I guess what I am trying to get at is this, are you saying that Carney could not have put others ahead of himself and represented "true" Christianity had he not found the sack?

Does the spirit of giving come from inside Art Carney or from the sack?

Perhaps I'm not making myself clear, but what I am wondering is whether or not you believe that one can put others ahead of one's self and stand as a true representation of Christianity without "the sack" - i.e. without a conscious and purposeful acceptance of Jesus Christ?
 

Bonnie

Active member
Yeah, I saw that this episode is on MeTV tonight and was going to mention it, but evidently you watch that channel also!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts - nice synopsis that you have provided!

Question for you...so if you see this episode as really highlighting what you believe it means to be a Christian - i.e. to be "other directed" as opposed to thinking of one's self - is it the conscious and glad act of giving a gift from this sack or is it the sack, itself, from which the gifts are distributed, that is the true representation of Christianity?

I ask because you made it a point to mention that Art Carney was a powerless shlub prior to discovering the sack...

I guess what I am trying to get at is this, are you saying that Carney could not have put others ahead of himself and represented "true" Christianity had he not found the sack?

Does the spirit of giving come from inside Art Carney or from the sack?

Perhaps I'm not making myself clear, but what I am wondering is whether or not you believe that one can put others ahead of one's self and stand as a true representation of Christianity without "the sack" - i.e. without a conscious and purposeful acceptance of Jesus Christ?
It is just a TV show, treeplanter--I think you are over thinking it. The sack just gave him the ability to carry out his heart's desire to give unselfishly. He already had that desire before he found the sack. I do not think the sack represents any purposeful acceptance of Jesus Christ. The show was just a sweet, charming, gentle episode about the spirit of giving.

But it was sure weird seeing it on videotape!
 
It is just a TV show, treeplanter--I think you are over thinking it. The sack just gave him the ability to carry out his heart's desire to give unselfishly. He already had that desire before he found the sack. I do not think the sack represents any purposeful acceptance of Jesus Christ. The show was just a sweet, charming, gentle episode about the spirit of giving.

But it was sure weird seeing it on videotape!
Yeah, I know that it's just a TV show

You must realize, of course, that there are those who might say much the same thing about the bible - i.e. - it's just a book...

I don't see how I am reading any more into The TZ than others read regularly into scripture, I just thought it might prove an interesting and fun diversion to discuss various episodes from the different perspectives of CARM posters, that's all


Again, when you say that the sack "gave him the ability to carry out his heart's desire to give unselfishly", you seem to be implying that he was incapable of giving unselfishly prior to obtaining the sack

Surely, one is not required to have the wherewithal to provide to others such material possessions as baseball bats, smoking jackets, and bottles of brandy in order to give unselfishly of him / herself, right?


On a second note, what do you think Rod Serling was trying to say about Christianity, if anything, in this episode?

*From what I know of Serling's religious background / belief system / faith, he was born into a not particularly observant Jewish family and then, later, in college, he and his bride to be, a Protestant, joined the Unitarian / Universalist Church
 
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