The ‘Rigid’ Rules Every Twilight Zone Episode Was Supposed To Follow – SlashFilm


Still, straying from your show’s main rules only a handful of times over five seasons shows some good discipline. After all, “Black Mirror” (the so-called modern-day “Twilight Zone”) would start straying from its main premise after just 25 episodes. “Black Mirror” was supposed to be a technology-focused anthology series, a show that kept on a strict sci-fi (or at least sci-fi-adjacent) focus, but by season 6 it was already throwing in werewolves and smooth-talking demons. A lot of fans actually enjoyed this “Red Mirror” approach, but there is something a little depressing about just how quickly the show seems to have run out of tech-related stories. Serling’s series stayed mostly on topic for 150+ episodes, but Charlie Brooker’s show couldn’t make it to 25?

Then again, “The Twilight Zone” also arguably strayed a bit on one of its earlier rules — “get there quickly” — with its one-hour episodes in season 4. With all this extra run-time to explore its characters, the show was suddenly in less of a rush to jump straight into whatever its speculative premise was, leading to what’s widely considered the weakest string of episodes in the series’ whole run. The experiment wasn’t a total bust, however: season 4’s “The Miniature,” starring a young Robert Duvall, is one of the highlights of the show, a clear case of the extended runtime paying off.

So, although both “Black Mirror” and “The Twilight Zone” broke their own rigid rules over the years, it’s hard to get too upset with them. What’s the point of having rules anyway if you don’t break them every now and then? Both shows maintained their true focus on exploring the darker, ambiguous parts of human nature; as long as they kept that up, the writers were still doing their jobs.

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