Hi there TZ radio fans,
Well, this week is "The Walk-Abouts" a brand new story by writer Steve Nubie. As you may know, we've been producing this series since 2002 and we started with radio adaptations of the original 156 TV episodes. Because we've nearly adapted all of the 156 originals, CBS Enterprises (the owners of the Twilight Zone) is allowing us to write and produce brand new stories never seen or heard before. "The Walk-Abouts" is one of them. It's the story of a writer of conspiracy books who claims to have concrete evidence that UFO’s and Aliens really do exist. His goal is to write a best seller blowing the lid off the topic – but in doing so, he may make an enemy or two. I think you're going to love this episode -- it has some great twists and turns. My pal Mike Starr plays the lead and the supporting cast includes David Pasquesi (recently seen co-starring with Tom Hanks in "Angels & Demons"), JoBe Cerny, Richard Henzel, Linda Kimbrough and Tim Dadabo.
The first week of February you'll hear "The Invaders" starring Kathy Garver in the role of an elderly woman fending for herself against alien invaders while living in shack in the middle of nowhere. The role was played by the great Agnes Moorehead in the original TV version and she had no dialog at all. Producing a radio version of a story with no dialog for the lead posed challenges so we gave her a blind husband, played by Chicago actor Tony Mockus. Because he can't see, she describes what is happening to him and thus the listener can follow along. I think you're going to really like what we did with this classic story by the great Richard Matheson. Once again we called on Barry Richert to adapted it for radio.
Then the week of February 22nd, you're in for another treat. We'll be presenting a radio adaptation of the classic story "Once Upon a Time" which was originally seen December 15th, 1961. The TV episode was written by Richard Matheson and featured silent film star Buster Keaton as Woodrow Mulligan, a grumpy janitor in 1890, dissatisfied with his time and place: A backwater town called "Harmony" with seventeen-cent cuts of meat, two-dollar hats, livestock freely roaming the streets, and penny-farthing bicycles that frequently knock him down while going the speed limit. He works for Professor Gilbert, who has just invented a time helmet. Seizing the opportunity, Mulligan uses the helmet to transport himself to the future of 1960, which of course turns out to be a surprise with even higher prices and more noise and chaos. He meets Rollo, a scientist and authority on the 1890s, who helps him to repair the broken helmet in the hopes of returning to the past. But Rollo double crosses Mulligan and tries to go back alone, but Mulligan will have none of it and jumps on Rollo and they are transported back together. The 1890s turn out to be not entirely what Rollo expected and he's very unhappy. Mulligan, however, is relieved, and when he hears Rollo griping, Mulligan sets the helmet for 1960, puts it on Rollo's head, sending him back to his own time.
"Once Upon a Time" was one of the Twilight Zone's comedy episodes. The portions of the episode set in the 1890s have no sound and include silent film intertitle cards (except, of course, for Rod Serling) with music provided by a saloon piano. Much is made of the fact that Mulligan shows up in the 1960s with no pants due to his getting run over by a "high speed" bicycle. A running gag involves a frustrated Mulligan being chased by a policeman in both the past and the present.
Buster Keaton was one of the biggest stars of the silent era, starring in and devising elaborate stunts and gags for such classic comedies as "The General" and "Steamboat Bill, Jr." His career unfortunately hit the skids with the advent of sound films, and he spent decades struggling in Hollywood. A big fan of Keaton, Serling intended this episode to be an homage to Keaton's early work.
In our radio version of "Once Upon a Time" adapted by Matthew Elliott, the brilliant actor John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings / Raiders of the Lost Ark) stars as Woodrow Mulligan with Mike Starr as Rollo. John completely nails the role of Mulligan and I can't wait for you to hear it. John is a great friend -- he portrayed "Saul" to perfection in my Word of Promise audio Bible. He will also be heard starring in "The Time of Your Life" a brand new TZ radio drama also written by Matthew Elliott. That one is scheduled for August 2010 so don't miss it!
Well, that's all for now, I hope you'll join me next time for MORE NEWS FROM THE ZONE!