George R.R. Martin Co-Wrote A Forgotten Twilight Zone Episode About Elvis – SlashFilm


While Martin doesn’t mention “The Once and Future King” by name here, in another blog post he says that the late author and screenwriter Harlan Ellison proposed he work on rewrites for the episode. Martin penned five scripts over the course of a season and a half of the series, starting with the episode before the Elvis one: the season finale “The Last Defender of Camelot.” 

His input extended beyond the words on the page. “I was deeply involved in every aspect of every one of them,” Martin explained. “I did not just write my script, turn it in, and go away. I sat in on the casting sessions. I worked with the directors. I was present at the table reads.” He also noted that he got to sit in on stunt rehearsals, watch dailies footage, and catch some of the editing process. It was a holistic approach to making TV that he argues is rarer today due to the “mini room” writing trend.

With decades of retrospect, opinions on “The Once and Future King” — and the ’80s “Twilight Zone” reboot as a whole — remain mixed. There are several Reddit threads and forum posts that call the episode one of the best of the reboot series, but it isn’t actually ranked as one of the highest-rated among fans on IMDb. The entire series isn’t available on streaming, making it tough for new fans to decide whether or not the episode is worth the watch. But having seen it, I can attest that it’s an inadvertently silly slice of high-concept storytelling featuring two great performances by Yagher.

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