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Carol Serling
June 23, 1998

Moderator: the room will go moderated in a moment

BladEtern: ok

* Baralu waves n stuff. :) *

tzoneman: We want Carol!

overko: yay !!!!!!

Moderator: in order to ask a question, you'll have to send it to me,

Moderator: as a private message.

Moderator: you can do this by double-clicking moderator in the list

Moderator: or by preceding your question with /msg Moderator


GalaxyMan: Carol! Carol! Carol!

* Baralu ponders 50 or so msg's. :) *

Moderator: We're going moderated, hang on...

Moderator: Ok, Carol, are you there?

CarolSerling: yes

Moderator: great!

Moderator: We'd like to welcome Carol Serling. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your very famous husband and the project you've just completed with the Sci-Fi Channel?

Moderator: (please submit your questions to me now)

CarolSerling: Well I've been involved with the television business for quite a while now, since my husband died.

CarolSerling: We've done quite a few shows, interestingly, teleplays that he wrote many years ago, that are now on the air, including this one.

CarolSerling: This program, Town Has Turned to Dust, will be on Saturday night at 9 o'clock.

Moderator: <PUCK> to <Moderator>: How did you get started?

CarolSerling: The producer, Nell Nugent, came to me with this particular script, and asked to produce it, and we took it to the SciFi network, and they were interested in doing it,

CarolSerling: but they wanted to change the locale and the time-frame.

CarolSerling: The time-frame is about 2,000 years in the future.

CarolSerling: When Rod originally wrote the script, the time frame was the 1950's. The story was inspired by the murder of a young black boy in the South.

CarolSerling: He was named Emmet Till . . .

Moderator: <Baralu> to <Moderator>: well, I've never done one of these before so I dunno the form, but, "Ms. Serling, what made you want to continue your late husband's work?"

CarolSerling: Well, it's uh <laugh> an interesting question.

CarolSerling: It seems that with these scripts that we've done, along with Town has Turned to Dust, that there's a timelessness, they still work today as they did 25 years ago, like the Twilight Zone stories.

Moderator: <SFWeekly> to <Moderator>: Carol, do you think Dust is an important movie in terms of the message it conveys about bigotry and racism?

CarolSerling: Absolutely.

CarolSerling: The evil effects of prejudice haven't changed. The story has _not_ dissipated by the transformation of the locale and the period.

CarolSerling: That prejudice, unfortunately, is still with us..

Moderator: <Nayei> to <Moderator>: Do you think that the changes made to this story will change or eliminate that Rod Serling feel that everything he did has had? Thanks.

CarolSerling: I don't think so.

CarolSerling: The script is as shot pretty true to the original that Rod wrote.

Moderator: <KILLER-HORSE> to <Moderator>: were was it filmed at ?

CarolSerling: In Provo, Utah.

CarolSerling: In a steel mill, an auto junkyard, it was all shot on location in Utah.

CarolSerling: Wonderful sets.

Moderator: <tzoneman> to <Moderator>: my collection of TZ contact sheets is close to 5,000 pictures. Is there an official archieve that I can eventually donate them too when I pass on many years from now? Thanks! Stewart

CarolSerling: Stewart! Are you saying you have 500 pictures?!

CarolSerling: ----5,000!

CarolSerling: There is an address, absolutely, that you could send those to:

CarolSerling: It's the Rod Serling Archives, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY 14850. That would be wonderful, if you've got these pictures!

Moderator: <tzoneman> to <Moderator>: No. Seriosly, 5,000. They are something that I would love for you to be able to have copies of or whatever.

CarolSerling: I would love to see them!

CarolSerling: I would be very interested in seeing them . . .please send them to the College, and I'll see them!

Moderator: <tzoneman> to <Moderator>: Of course I do. I also have a photo that in the upcoming NG book by Jim Benson. Are you interested in seeing any of them?

CarolSerling: I would love to see them, if you could xerox copies and stuff, that would be great!

Moderator: <Badbugg> to <Moderator>: Hello Mrs. Serling, I got hooked on Rod's work thru TZ but also seek out his dramatic plays like Patterns and The Comedian. Is there a source for finding out what still exists, where to get them or maybe finding them in book form. Thanks.

CarolSerling: There are a few short story books of the TZ stories . . I think they're out of print but I think we're going to publish them again.

CarolSerling: The Museum of Broadcasting (in NY or Los Angeles, there are 2 museums) did a very good brochure of all the work Rod did. So you could probably write to them.

Moderator: <FrankG> to <Moderator>: There's a rumor of a Night Gallery remake and something about digitizing footage of Rod's Introductions and using them in the remake series. What are your feelings about such an attempt?

CarolSerling: Doesn't make much difference what I feel!

CarolSerling: Universal has the right to do what they want with Night Gallery.

CarolSerling: I had heard rumors that they might be wanting to do new ones, but, I don't know, using the old introductions, I can't imagine how they could do that.

CarolSerling: CBS just did an "Early Edition" had a digital Rod on their show a couple weeks ago -- did you see that?

Moderator: <SFWeekly> to <Moderator>: Carol, I've heard you have a number of Rod's other scripts in development. Can you tell ust what those might be, and when we can expect to see them? (And where!)

CarolSerling: Umm, there are several under option.

CarolSerling: I haven't actually finalized the deals. One of them is called the Velvet Alley.

CarolSerling: The other two I really can't talk about . . . .

Moderator: <Nayei> to <Moderator>: With the spate of movies like Lost In Space and Godzilla, might there be a new Twilight Zone movie? Also I enjoyed the Twilight Zone Magazine while it lasted, any chance of bringing it back as a magazine or a web site. Thanks.

CarolSerling: I enjoyed the Twilight Zone magazine, too. I loved it!

CarolSerling: But it probably won't come back.

CarolSerling: As far as the movie goes, the material would have to be pretty damn good. I'd like to see that happen.

Moderator: <Taurus1> to <Moderator>: First let her know that I am 42 grew up in watching the old TZ and to this day I can still remember the mannequin when the elavator door opens up. He was ahead of his time, and how do you compare tv today as to compare to the good old days?

CarolSerling: Thank you very much!!!!

CarolSerling: I don't compare the two! Don't ask for a comment, please!!!

Moderator: <GalaxyMan> to <Moderator>: "Has Carol been in any of the shows?"

CarolSerling: I assume you mean as an actress . . . .

CarolSerling: Just the Twilight Zone movie.

CarolSerling: But I worked behind the camera, behind the scenes, on the script.

Moderator: <Flash> to <Moderator>: Did Rod like THE OUTER LIMITS?

CarolSerling: Ehhhyes, I guess. Always intrigued by stories like his own, like that and like Alfred Hitchcock. All those kind of stories.

Moderator: <WookieAddict> to <Moderator>: Hey Carol, did you have any influence on Rod's story ideas for The Twilight Zone?

CarolSerling: I always read the scripts, gave him my opinion.

CarolSerling: That isn't to say that he always _listened_.

Moderator: <tzoneman> to <Moderator>: The Night Gallery is FINALLY available from Columbia House. Do you know if these versions are unedited and in the original format? Thanks.

CarolSerling: I don't. I should try to find out , but I don't know.

CarolSerling: Columbia House versions of TZ were unedited, for the most part, I think.

Moderator: <Nayei> to <Moderator>: Do you feel that the Vic Morrow accident during the filming of Twilight Zone the movie hurt the movie at the box office? Might there be another Twilight Zone in the movies or on pay cable?

Moderator: (Please send your questions as private messages to me - /msg Moderator.)

CarolSerling: Uh . . . absolutely, the tragedy, it almost shut the whole picture down. Steve Spielberg lost interest, though he later finished his segment of it.

CarolSerling: If there's another TZ Television, that would be up to CBS to make that decision. And they did try, of course. It wasn't bad! But it didn't last.

Moderator: <SFWeekly> to <Moderator>: Carol, I thought Ron Perlman was chilling as the villain. What did you think of the casting for the film?

CarolSerling: I thought it was wonderful!! How did you see it?

CarolSerling: Steven Lang is wonderful and so are the Indians, and Judy Collins is a delight!!!

Moderator: <default> to <Moderator>: I have an interview with you and others on a Rhino home video of "Requiem," where you talked about how Rod sometimes used a tape recorder when writing, playing some of the characters himself. How often did he write this way during the Twilight Zone years, and how do you think this may have helped his writing?

CarolSerling: I assume you mean by playing the characters himself . . .

CarolSerling: I think he very often did this as he was dictating.

CarolSerling: And yes, I'm sure he did during theTZ years too.

Moderator: <SFWeekly> to <Moderator>: I saw the screening last night in New York.

CarolSerling: It's hard to say how it helped his writing. It was just his method, because instead of typing, he was dictating.

CarolSerling: SFWeekly -- was Emmet Till's mother there?

Moderator: <Taurus1> to <Moderator>: What was your favorite TZ classic episoide?

CarolSerling: That's tough! <laugh>

CarolSerling: Walking Distance, Stop at Willoughby, Eye of the Beholder, and lots more!

Moderator: <SFWeekly> to <Moderator>: Carol, yes she was. She spoke after the film and was a delight.

CarolSerling: SFWeekly -- I'm so happy, that's great! Sorry I couldn't be there.

Moderator: <WookieAddict> to <Moderator>: Were any of Rod's ideas for the show deemed to controversial by the network?

CarolSerling: OH YES, oh yes, lots of times.

CarolSerling: In fact, this particular program, Town has Turned to Dust was pushed to the side many months, and finally, when it _was_ on the air, Rod had been forced to change the locale, to change the time frame.

CarolSerling: So the original program that was on Playhouse 90, instead of being the south, 1950, was the southwest, 1870.

CarolSerling: He was forced to change other things in the script too, names of places, coke bottles on the table , the main character committing suicide, . . . .

CarolSerling: Prudential was sponsoring the program and they didn't want a suicide.

CarolSerling: Various changes like that.

Moderator: <Flash> to <Moderator>: If ROD were alive today would he write with a computer or a typewriter?

CarolSerling: Well, he wasn't mechanically minded!

CarolSerling: I think he would have _had_ to learn use the computer.

CarolSerling: Since he dictated his work to his secretary, he'd probably still be doing that.

Moderator: <Janomaly> to <Moderator>: The episode about the earwig in Night Gallery scared the wits out of me when I was a kid...what was his inspiration for that creepy ending?

Moderator: (there's an audio file of this ending at

CarolSerling: That _was_ a scary one, I agree!

CarolSerling: However, it was not an original story of Rod's, it was an adaptation.

CarolSerling: I'm not sure about the ending.

Moderator: <mbuck> to <Moderator>: I am eager to see the upcoming release of Night Gallery episodes on tape in their original form. Did you have a favorite among the Night Gallery episodes?

CarolSerling: Yeah, the Messiah on Mott Street, and They're Tearing down Tim Reilly's Bar, those are the two that come to mind right now.

Moderator: <bellboy> to <Moderator>: I would like to ask Mrs. Serling if she might visit my site to check my Rod Serling bio for accuracy.

CarolSerling: Well, at the moment, I'm about to leave town. But if you'll print it out and send it to the college at the address listed above, I'll take a look at it.

Moderator: <MazingerZ> to <Moderator>: Do you think the use of black & white photography lent itself to the style of the TZ of the '60's, or would it have been as powerful in color?

CarolSerling: I think not.

CarolSerling: Every once in a while they talk about colorizing it.

CarolSerling: But the photography was so marvellous!

CarolSerling: I think it was an integral part of the the show. I'd hate to see it colorized!

Moderator: <default> to <Moderator>: I live in WI, and I am told that some of Rod's material was donated to the WI State Historical Society. Is this true, and, if so, how did this come about?

CarolSerling: There are papers and scripts at the University of Wisconsin.

CarolSerling: I'm not sure if it's at the Historical Society, but it is at the University of WI in Madison.

CarolSerling: But, most of the material is at Ithaca College.

Moderator: <Randy> to <Moderator>: How did the Twilight Zone attraction at Walt Disney World come about?

CarolSerling: OH boy, the Tower of Terror, I assume is what you're talking about. The Imagineers at Disney just dreamed it up!

CarolSerling: Have you been on it?

CarolSerling: I've been on it!

CarolSerling: It's wonderful . . . Disney does things so well . . . it's the tallest thing in the park. Quite fabulous,

CarolSerling: _and_ scary.

Moderator: <Spacemonkey> to <Moderator>: what was it like being married to one of the best SciFi writers of all time?

CarolSerling: GREAT.

CarolSerling: It was great!

Moderator: <overko> to <Moderator>: Carol: I'm 15 and a very big fan of The Twilight Zone !!!!! Did you ever produce or help Rod produce any scrpits for The Twilight Zone or Night Gallery ?

CarolSerling: No, I didn't.

CarolSerling: We had a wonderful production crew, particularly on Twilight Zone.

CarolSerling: Rod had creative control on Twilight Zone, not on Night Gallery.

CarolSerling: There were some _real_ dogs on Night Gallery.

Moderator: <tzoneman> to <Moderator>: I just recently bought a Twilight Zone pinball machine. Did you have any input on the design or anything else ?

CarolSerling: HA HA Ha THa

CarolSerling: That

CarolSerling: That's wonderful! I didn't realize they were still out there for sale! I have one too.

CarolSerling: I worked with the people on the art part of it, and of course, a lot of the Twilight Zone memorabilia.

Moderator: <darwin> to <Moderator>: How do you feel about current shows like X-Files...since they are no doubt inspired by TZ ?

CarolSerling: I have to admit I haven't seen the X-Files, I haven't seen the movie which just came out either . . .

CarolSerling: So, I bet it's different, because it has running characters, and you have to keep up with the story, which is totally different from the anthology idea.

Moderator: <MazingerZ> to <Moderator>: Are there any TZ episodes that contain uncredited but significant contribution by you--something we can look for?

CarolSerling: I don't think so, mm mm. Rod had a wonderful production crew with Twilight Zone, but I wasn't on it.

Moderator: <Chris> to <Moderator>: I'm sure you are aware of the resurgence of interest in TTZ, particularly as a vehicle for live stage presentations. Have you seen any of these productions, and if so, what do you think about the way they have treated the material?

CarolSerling: No, I haven't seen any of the live stage, though I would like to.

CarolSerling: Having not seen it, I can't really comment on it.

Moderator: <WookieAddict> to <Moderator>: Do you have any props, or anything used in the Twilight Zone? If you do, which is the coolest thing you have?

CarolSerling: No o o , those things have all been given to archives. I have some pictures, of course, and the scripts.

CarolSerling: What I would love to have are the paintings from Night Gallery. They seem to have _totally_ disappeared.

Moderator: There's a Night Gallery restaurant in New York City - but I think their paintings are reproductions...

CarolSerling: That's interesting. . .

Moderator: <Norm> to <Moderator>: was Rod happy with the Planet of he Apes movie?

CarolSerling: Ah, I think so.

CarolSerling: A pretty good movie . . . he collaborated with other writers and did not think much of the serials that came off it later.

CarolSerling: But, a pretty good movie.

Moderator: <Norm> to <Moderator>: did Rod want to do more movies

CarolSerling: Mmmm, no I don't think so.

CarolSerling: As a rule a writer who does movie scripts has no control over the material.

CarolSerling: I think he _very_ much wanted to do a Broadway play.

Moderator: <default> to <Moderator>: Do you think Rod ever was tempted to direct?

CarolSerling: And he started several books, novels.

CarolSerling: People used to ask him, and he always said no. I'm not sure why. But I don't think he had the patience for it.

Moderator: <default> to <Moderator>: How much influence did Rod's time in WWII have on his writing or passion for writing?

CarolSerling: I would say a great deal.

CarolSerling: The first stories he ever wrote were war stories.

CarolSerling: It was a kind of therapy for him.

CarolSerling: And of course several Twilight Zones were war stories.

Moderator: Regarding live performances of TZ:

Moderator: <FrankG> to <Moderator>: There's a group in Seattle, Theater Schmeater who do a TWILIGHT ZONE LIVE and they performed on live stage two scripts: "22" and "Chaser." I was there and it was brilliant. The guy they had playing Rod was stupendous. Go to for more info! (I'm reading from a flyer!)

CarolSerling: In Seattle? "22" and "Chaser"? I will turn that info over to CBS who owns the theatrical stage rights, unfortunately . . . .

CarolSerling: Unfortunately, Rod sold out almost all his rights in Twilight Zone. Too bad. Big mistake.

Moderator: <mbuck> to <Moderator>: In retrospect, how do you now see the CBS TV series "The Twilight Zone" from 1985-1986? Are you glad it was done? Was it true to Rod's original conception for the series?

CarolSerling: Yeah, I'm glad they tried it. I think they did a pretty good job. Only problem was, Rod wasn't there to do it.

CarolSerling: I think the stories, by and large, were pretty interesting.

Moderator: <Nayei> to <Moderator>: Might there ever be A Twilight Zone game on cd roms or Twilight Zone episodes on dvd disks?

CarolSerling: Again, that would be, uh, up to CBS.

CarolSerling: Once upon a time, long ago, there was a game.

CarolSerling: I think it was Milton-Bradley.

Moderator: Two related questions:

Moderator: <MazingerZ> to <Moderator>: Are there any TZ scripts that weren't produced, due to censor intervention, that you could produce today?

Moderator: <SFWeekly> to <Moderator>: Are there any "lost" TV shows that Rod was working on that we might see?

CarolSerling: One of the projects that I'm working on was a concept that he did not film . . The only one, and I'm hoping we can work it out.

CarolSerling: He had other ideas, but no finished scripts that weren't done on Twilight Zone.

CarolSerling: Actually there was one called The Theater, and one called Where the Dead Are, and those were produced about 10 years ago on tv.

CarolSerling: I don't think there's anything "lost".

Moderator: <default> to <Moderator>: Generally, during the Twilight Zone years, how long would it take Rod to write an entire episode?

Moderator: (please send your final questions in now)

CarolSerling: He wrote VERY quickly.

CarolSerling: The Twilight Zone scripts in the beginning were a labor of love, and easy for him to do.

CarolSerling: Some of his dramatic programs on Playhouse 90, he would agonize over for months . . . but not Twilight Zone.

Moderator: <tzoneman> to <Moderator>: Was Rod disapointed with having to do commercials? Thanks Carol, I'll make sure you get my TZ contact sheet photos. Stewart

CarolSerling: Thank you, Stewart!

CarolSerling: He wasn't crazy about the commercials, but he _did_ laugh all the way to the bank!

CarolSerling: I was the one that really hated them!

Moderator: <jamesbnd007> to <Moderator>: so did you ever think rod was, ya know, a bit on the weird side, i'm not making fun of him i love his writing and the twilight zone, but i'm just curious

CarolSerling: No, he wasn't weird. He was just as scared walking by a cemetery at night as the average person.

CarolSerling: He wanted to believe in aliens from outer space, ESP, but I don't think he really did.

Moderator: <default> to <Moderator>: Did Rod become less passionate about Twilight Zone near the end of the series, or was he happy that it came to an end?

CarolSerling: Yes, he was happy that it was over, I think , because he kept meeting himself coming around the corner.

CarolSerling: The stories were getting old. . . . but the first 2 - 3 years, he was _very_ enthusiastic.

CarolSerling: But his wonderful producer quit, and I believe lost interest somewhat.

Moderator: <overko> to <Moderator>: Carol: Is there a Rod Serling or TZ fan club ? If so, what's the address ?

Moderator: (or an e-mail address?)

CarolSerling: Umm, not really . . . there's a Binghamton Memorial Society (Binghamton is Rod's home town), but no fan club as such.

Moderator: Can fans write to you care of Ithica?

CarolSerling: Yes!

Moderator: (the address will be in the transcript)

CarolSerling: But it's summertime -- let's hope that things get through!

Moderator: Thanks for all your time tonight!

CarolSerling: Thank you!

Moderator: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Everyone can find out more about A TOWN HAS TURNED TO DUST by visiting

Moderator: Our next chat is Thursday at 9pm Eastern, with Walter Koenig of Star Trek and Babylon 5.

Moderator: We will now go unmoderated.