Marc Scott Zicree Returns!!
Ten years ago. I began my ginny into the twilight zone but in actuality the tree beginning of the show was probably a year or maybe to even before that changes of hosting changes of websites mean at the date. She senior pod catcher on the actual dates when the show began rather fittingly the beginning of the twilight zone. Podcast has been lost a time but in my mind it was probably two thousand nine two thousand and ten so when you consider that the first ever podcast is generally believed to been released in two thousand and four. This show coming out about five years later. Means that it really was coming out in a time when this format was just new and emerging nowadays hundreds of celebrities have their own podcast celebrities interview other celebrities celebrities even now do episode by episode breakdowns of the shows. They acted in which used to be. The two main of people like me doing a show like this so although the celebrity podcast in those days the landscape was very different. It was a format that fans could use to ensues about things in a way that they were never really allowed to do before. What radio station is ever going to green light an episode by episode breakdown of the twilight zone. It just wouldn't happen degrading about podcasting though is to borrow a quote from my guest tonight. You don't need to be green lit by a radio station. You can green light yourself but this young format had to prove itself. If you had a radio show people took notice but if you had to podcast not so much. So when i started this show just the fact that it existed didn't carry much weight at all and if i wanted some important guests to comment show. I needed some credibility. And i needed a guest to bring some attack credibility against who i could hold up toward the people and say look who came onto my show. Maybe you like to come onto. And i was absolutely thrilled all those years ago when the man who agreed to do that to take that first step and embrace this new format and to guest on this show was also the manual at the four sankt to see that these kind of fanned deep dives on an episode by episode level. Were what people wanted. His book fairs published in one thousand nine hundred eighty two one of the forerunners of this way of enjoying our media part reference par trivia and opinion. And while you might not always agree with them which as your find out in a moment he's absolutely fine with that. Disagreement breeds conversation and is now. Why would all here to kind of show that i'm doing now would not exist without the work of my guests. Tonight the media might be different but the law of of the material is the same so tonight submitted for your approval the author of the twilight zone companion. Mr marc scott zicree. I spoke to you almost ten years ago now. Mark and yeah. I know when i spoke to you then you had several things going on. You had the book with del toro. You know space commands always been a certain that your way on so you'd always very very busy man. Whenever i see on youtube and stuff. So how's the last year and a half been for you. Great i mean i. You know what my goal. Initially when the mckinney was to keep all of our people on salary and we have an editor full-time a you know like a film editor. We have someone running up physical production of our studio over physical studio et cetera. So i was able to keep all of our people on salary and I've raised over. I've raised over two and a half million dollars from space command. Since i've started being spacecom entirely my fans via kickstarter campaigns and seven investment shares of seventy five hundred bucks each and so so but the interesting thing was i realized that because everyone will stuck a moment going crazy gnarly because so many of my actors are so well known and so busy of. They're not available. It's very difficult to give them all together at one time but they were all sitting at home. You know just climbing walls because all the studios everything at shut down so i had. I came up with idea where elaine wrote a bonus to our episode space command that are actors pitching in their own homes with their own cameras so they could save but We shot the first three hours in space. Command recorded an audio prequel. But i but i had already worked out most of the for season. And i knew where all all this was going. And they're a bunch of characters. I hadn't yet introduced i. We would be so armee. Shimin christina moses in so many. Jj hurts so many actors that which is waiting and wings and now they were home so by by doing this. Two hour episode allowed me to introduce a lot of people like barbara bain. Space nineteen ninety nine is in spacemen. Now emeals grass tyson. It's an of riches. So why are episode and Our entire visual effects bag of tricks. For instance wait a scene between one of our characters who's based in atlanta. An actress meghan a castle access to play his daughter and she was in scotch one and we managed to put them together in the same living room. Even though they both starred in their own homes and were never actually politically together and so a very very fun and And then in the meantime i finished a new book called lighting yourself which is basically how people don't have to rely on the studios or the networks even the publishing houses to make their dreams come true how the internet and having video cameras in our pockets and all of that allows everyone to sort of as i say light yourself so i just finished that book and sent it off my publisher and yeah we. We didn't slowdown during the pendency. Ramped up and we're busier than ever. It's elaine. And i just celebrated our forty fourth anniversary and we write direct produce together. And it's it's a dream come true. So i'm i have no complaints and our people are all very very well healthy. Sadly mira furlan. Who was one of our test in space men who i worked with on babylon five passed away from west nile virus all things not covert and that was really a great loss and she was amazing actress in your soul. And i'm glad that we got to have her in space command as much as we did because she was kim come true. I watched some of that before online. Some of that two hour special and that there are some names in and michelle nichols was in there. Yes yes i mean. It's insane the cast. You've assembled in pristina. Moses who's on a million little things on abc currently and she plays sues daughter in the star trek episode. i did with decay. And that was her first tv role ever and she's just phenomenal and she'll be continuing in space man and also in in magic time another one of my projects and So yeah yeah. And but the now we're ramping up to do the show runners network where i'm creating six series with the creators of Farscape and the expanse and defiance and on and on. And i'm ansa doing six shows including a rod sterling series really. It's an amazing time. Yeah yes we can we can talk about. All of these. Various things is that. Is that news out there. Mark of of i got a bit of an exclusive. Can we talk about that. Why negotiations with the states. What's not lockdown. But ninety i came up with a wild. Oh which was. It's called rod sterling sampler twilight and Basically rod as you. I'm sure you know dictated all of his. Everything's script sledders folks. Everything he lounge by his swimming pool in the backyard in the morning and he'd have a little recorder any would dictate everything into the recorder. Secretary would type it up. And he'd make him directions and it was up at all of these according were lost for decades and they just discovered a thousand hours of them. In a couple of archives podge archives and so my idea was to create a new show that would be narrated by rod sterling from that material plus is a number scripts that either never got made with throwing road or or written during the live. Tv era the no one has seen since then and this would be primarily fantasy science fiction horror at plus media scripts from the others violates on writers that were not made and scripts by a new generation of writers. You know people. Like neil gaiman jemison again. We haven't we haven't earned that. But that's my idea and joe dougherty who was executive producer. I'm pretty little liars and won an emmy for thirty. something is aboard on that project with me. So he's an old friend and so i've been in communication with the ruling stayed and with their representatives. And we'll see if we can make that happen but it's definitely project i want to do and So we'll see but that's right now. It's on the list. The thing is you know this. The jordan peele twilight zone came out. And i and i really enjoyed it. But it was quite divisive with fans i think. Sometimes people find it hard to accept a new twilight zone. Dante without rod serling is also difficult because rod. Sterling really was irreplaceable. There's only one of him. And and then the writing staff he got he got three of ray. Bradbury's proteges sign. Henry were friends and ray recommended charles. Beaumont richard matheson and george clayton. Johnson also came aboard to and they became the core of that amazing writing team. That created twilights. Earl ham also came aboard. He played on the waltons falcon crest but he was a very different kind of writer. He was much more rural and was matheson. Beaumont george clayton johnson which is tackler a science fiction fantasy writers and And so they just. I mean it was just a match made in heaven and so you know. I won't script for the twilight zone. Will they brought it back in the eighties. That was an amazing writing. Staff was harlan ellison allen george martin michael tacit and so forth astray strong writing staff but very hidden this you know and the scripted i wrote. We will week away from web. Doug hayes was directed. He direct is beholden howling man many great episodes and and sensors pull the plug on it because they felt it was too hard. Edged is called nine avail. So that's one of the strips. We're going to be shooting on if rod sterling after twilight Another ost by lights on script. That i'm i'm very proud of tv sack off. Wanted to do it a few years ago and so we'll see what we what we do with it. But it'll be fun. It'll be very fun. It sounds amazing. Because i think it will probably be a lot more palatable for those people who just can't accept a modern twilight zone. This is kind of somewhere in between isn't it. You know it's it's still got that rudd sailing stamp on it for lunch. Just going to say one thing. I've been mentioning to jody sterling in the rap and so forth at the state. Is that the twilight zone reboots. They they basically Take the name and so forth. The rod was one of the great writers television. he was sort of like the arthur miller of television. That's what he wanted to be. And censorship forced him into science fiction fantasy horror. He never intended to be a science fiction writer but but his writing to large has been lost into degree. That there's a lot of writing. He did that. No one has ever seen or no one has seen him Seventy years and so. I think we want to bring it back to put rods sort of centerstage as new really man and brilliant writer. He was because that. I think that's gotten a little bit lost in the shuffle and you know and also just that wonderful voice to hear him because the thing about rod was that whether he was writing a letter or making a speech or or writing twilight zone episode. They all have that same irreplaceable Voice poetry yes and so So i i. I hope this wishing i think it will and will know soon but again i'm just following my enthusiasms mean the sharm feeding was rocky o'bannon Rock is a friend of mine. We bound the twilight zone the twilight zone. Ladies that's matt and rock sportsman's due to create farscape alien nation defines seaquest called. You know he's now executive producer on evil and we were looking for a project to do together so why did was. I sat down my generated. Two hundred ideas just off the top of my head and i said okay sparks few. Let's start working up and there was one that we both liked That i called sweet haven and ironically this before the pandemic but the basic idea is that an engineered disease and engineered bio weapon against loosening. Kills everyone in the world under sixty was the people in above have to figure out how to save humanity when they can't reproduce and i really wanted lied about older people because i think are often stereotyped in the media as the funny grandparents. More kind of dallas dimansur coming down with cancer. And the people i know in their sixties in older are extremely vital in extremely isn't like a dividing walls all of sudden. You're you know obsolete and you just can't sit there staring off into space and So the cast is astonishing. It's michael barney's warranty is the new black and book ronald cartwright's in alien and birds and invasion body snatchers. Bob cardo is in it. Barbara bain again. gosh marta. Kristen from the original lost in space Eastern phillips star trek voyager. I mean of end James pong from blade runner although china's so i mean it's just gonna be superfund we've done to end gates mcfadden from star trek next generation. So we've So the script is written. We've done table reads via zoom and will be very shortly as well. I remember speaking to way back. When and you you produce the dvd's and blue raise for the twilight zone you've done a ton of commentaries on and off for all of them even then you are planning on doing what we're going to be talking about tonight like i said you've got so much on the pandemic give you the chance to kinda. Does that often say okay. Now's the time to do all the reason for it. Well first of all did fifty two commentaries on the blu ray with all the people who worked on those shows so they got commentary with george commentaries with george clayton johnson. Neural hamlin's richard donner before we lost them in their gone on the record is phenomenal. And that's still left over a hundred. But i hadn't yet done and so i always had an serving the back of my mind. Do them at some point. Because literally i have all this i get one hundred people worked on the show. I've got this encyclopedia of twilight zone in my head and some book. Some of violence companion. In fact i just a new addition that hundred more pages because there was so much more to tell But i thought before. I'm you know a memory a To share all of those stories and all of those things. These people told me plus there. Many many people who are the great creators of science fiction shows now and other shows that are huge sterling fans and they were inspired by surly to create the disney golden age of television people like Vince gilligan. on you better call saul breaking bad and david chase on the sopranos one more of the bs. G galactica and from mankind. And on and on. I mean brandon bragging. You name it. And so so. I'll be so my idea and also but also there's this thing called money and you can use it. You can buy stuff with which is very helpful and support so my idea was. My wife is a number of strips that we wanna get made am. I thought well i could. I could do the rest of the commentaries and raised like maybe one hundred thousand or more For work which. I very much like do since she writes. Wrexham produces with me and she's been doing space command with me. That seems only fair to return the favor in in sweat equity in cash and so I came up with us ideas so you now have a site called spy lights own. Commentaries dot com. Where people can put in their contact info and then watch kickstarter campaign and they be informed when that is up and the idea will be that. Every week i'll be doing a live commentary on two episodes of the twilight zone free year. I'm going to the that year The people by putting like forty nine bucks. They'll get all hundred plus audio commentaries. They can just watch episodes in this to the full commentary. And that and this other perks were through a little more money than like an archive of my entire file of the twilight zone. Companion everything in my file cabinets. When i did the twilight zone comply get us or another another perky as they they can ask questions and i'll answer them in the commentary on their specific episode or they can have an episode dedicated to them or and this is a higher ticket item. They can act commentary with me. You zoom and again you know. It's just kind of something. I'll do like once a week for year and that'll cover the hundred hundred and four episodes and and it'll be great fun because you know again. There's so much discover still in. There's so much to do. I mean the fact that i'm not working with. Ron cartwright on sweet haven she started. I sing the body electric. Which is the only episode of twilight zone by ray bradbury and There were two other strips that wrote the show but to sit down with her. And just say okay. Let's talk about this episode. You know because it's it has a very very stormy production history where they test one actress to play the robot grandmother and it didn't work and then months later they hired another director and came back and shot leaving actress so they there will be. She's on that some months later. And so it'd be very interesting to sit down and talk with rhonda about that and that was the with fans so You know and then of course. I have my might mr sci-fi youtube channel where you know. I'm closed all the time and people can watch space command. They can listen to my opinions about any number of things and and it's just it's just super fun. Yes that's going to be quite an interesting journey because it's all five seasons the twilight zone. It includes things like the pilot. I never did a comedy on. Where is everybody on and on. I mean some of the great episodes and so be be super fun. I'm kind of fascinated by your archive. Because imagine you. You probably had to put some stuff out of the companion or otherwise it would have been like so yeah hundred hours of audio interviews with the people that i mean. Everyone from burgess meredith to and francis to all the producers of twilight zone Interviews with richard matheson and george clayton johnson and earl hamster. I mean it just goes on. And on william windham name it. I mean george clements. The the dp i mean. Yeah there's i'd say ninety percent of the stuff that i got from the interviews in for my researchers aren't in the book from rod sterling has subscribed to clipping file From around nineteen fifties theban nineteen fifty six fifty seven until his death so every article was ever written about him was in these big leather scraps in chronological order was like the encyclopedia rod sterling and up in his attic in his house in pacific. Palisades and you know i would. I would take these volumes home and make notes and so all you know. So my notes turned in the files. And i will transcribe the interviews and type up this tons of stuff and photographs. I over two hundred photographs from the twilight zone with. Maybe three hundred will not publish so You know you name it. I mean it's it's very fun and Again i was twenty one or twenty two when i started working on the book and and so everyone is still around. With the exception of rod sterling who died two years earlier and charles beaumont you know it premature much everyone else was still alive so it was phenomenal and You know and again. It's it's it's funny because it's really an oral history of the twilight zone and because one thing to have an academic have opinions but in a way that's almost in my opinion worthless because some deicing well you know if you look at twilight zone admits metaphorically to bad mouth academics. Heaven forbid but but there's something about say. Yeah i was on the set. And you're shooting death alley big thing in chocolate milk. I pass game. Refrain it's like it's like that's a very different kind of story. Then someone's opinion you know it's it's recollection isauro on I love talking on those people. It was it was terrific. It's interesting that you you mentioned. You know you're in your early twenties when you wrote this one of the things about the twilight zone. Is you know i. I've reviewed episodes on this. Podcast may be eight years ago or something. And as i get older i will revisit those episodes and i think you know what i've grown into that episode. Now i think completely different about it. I mean you ever been flicking through the twilight zone companion and think you know what. Maybe i was hard on that episode. But i actually. I'm an older man now and i. I've got a new perspective on has happened. Yes it has. A for instance bigwigs who which and pool Wish i had problems with because you may data from skill mockingbird starred in and they had to loop voice in about of june for ray doing sort of her voice. it's it's really odd doesn't really work but But someone wrote me a letter. When i came out saying that i didn't like the episode and they said when i was a kid appearance divorcing and there was no one getting a divorce on television all happy families and i saw that twilight zone episode about these kids whose parents divorcing and and i knew i wasn't alone and and validated how he was feeling and i said well. That's that's really that's really valid. I mean i can't. I can't of be negative about that. So when i wrote the new entry in the new twilight zone companion. I included that and i said no i see how that has value and Sh you know so. Yes sometimes my end. Sometimes my opinion changes. I mean one thing that really does stand out with twilight zone. It's just the astonishing artistry of it. I mean the us cinematography. The grates or is by jerry. Goldsmith and france. Waxman bernard room in on you know and and it just keeps going. I mean just in every category in that chain from surly because the writing was such high quality than everyone else in go. I don't wanna be loved the week. Lincoln this chain so So it's it's really something and Yes so it's But but like so yes. Sometimes i will change my opinion and even the bad episodes are. There's this stuff of value in them. I mean even some that like we're rod talks about Advertisements he was so tired in writing so much he felt like it was too rod sterling talking to each other getting seen because he had such a distinctive way of talking. And that's a very demonstrative that is the fear with hazel court in mark richmond. Where it's like. Yeah it sounds like two hundred to two servings talking each other but but even a lot of fun. It's a lotta fun in so yeah so but i and again you know one. That's things about one of the ideas. I have my the twilight zone companion. Was i'll have the information about egypt's so that will be unbiased. That won't have an opinion for or against. And then i'll have my opinion. But i be the information and so so in other words i have never ever minded someone having a different opinion because if someone says to me well you know my favorite episodes shelley berman. Okay about that. Or the one with carol burnett which she is the only one with a laugh track and then they took the laugh track at out the iran. It's like you're just a saline and then they wait for no particular reason they say the next line because they were timing for laugh track. So it's a it's a strange episode with or without the laugh track but have you ever been tempted to kinds of. I mean you ought to. Because i've got your new twilight zone companion the updated one in. It's great that extra material but have you ever looked one and saw you know why i'm so such a different man now. Such different person that. I like to completely rewrite my opinion on Let me think to the challenges that there's so many great twilight zone episodes that i i watch them. What was really astonishing to me was For many years after. I wrote the twilight zone companion. I didn't watch by light zone. 'cause i'd spent five years working on the book. And then they were going to do a documentary on rod sterling american masters and pbs. Contacted me and they said well. We're going to in black white and one interview you on film and i was very nervous about. His flattened talked about violence on really even thought about it much for like a decade or two so brought the book with me just in case i needed to consult it and they interviewed on camera for two and a half hours and i never once opened the book because it was hard. That's what i knew was into my head so so yeah yeah. I mean maybe the encounter is one. I've changed my opinion about that. One i i was down on and now i will like it. I think george novel branch terrific You know there's there might be a few but again. I you know i think pilots batting average just in terms of great episodes is so high. You know it's like when you look at you know when you think about okay. Rod strumming spends week and he does the the lonely and in the next week. It's walking distance and then the next week so it's stop. Whenever the next week it's time enough at last night all each how these are all great is classier and even with the our ones which were very problematical. You've got an amazing episode on thursday. Believe for home. I don't know any other piece of writing. The deals with someone who's a hero in can't let go of power and stress himself is writing and james whitmore spectacular or desktop lately. Great mathis nap so I just. I just got the space from that episode. So she's hanging hanging over there l. about fourteen spaces or so because because we being space. Command sewn backgrounds Buying in space. The one behind me is from outland by the way. So it's so it's safe to say then that if people listen to these commentaries of probably going to hear things that they've never had before a absolutely hundred percent yes and because because again there's so much bow these episodes that aren't isn't in book. I mean you know it's it's just it's just one of the reasons. I do the updated while his companions because asked rice finished writing the book and it came out. People kept telling me amazing. Stories like for instance. Douglas gays who became a very dear friend of mine he had been director on. Many of the great episodes told me that i am the beholder. He realized that they were gonna run. Short and rod was out of town and unreachable. This is before the internet of course and so doug road seen inroads style and shot it and ever see the so seen whether in the in the break room the doctor and the nurse smoking a cigarette and he says i've looked under those bandages. It's a human face that was written by doug hayes not rod sterling and then released put it together and screened in for rod. Doug was you know in the back of the screening room sweating bullets. He had to write a scene of installing style and then at the at the end of it when they when finished running. Rogers look back at At doug said good. Seen how i wanna do a revised version of influ bat or or there when rodney was teaching up in africa One year there. Everyone in the town knew him of small town and there was a young young boy whose mom owned a shoe store and one day he inside. The shoe store is full length mirror and rox mutual mirror and with end. Still looking at himself. He says the kid. Do you think i'm tight ass and and the kid says well you know. Yeah mister sterling. You can't talk through your teeth and ryder Unless you start great. There's another story. One of his students toll was he. There was one student who subsequently became a rider was like very others like six three or something and he came up to rod with a question in hold on a minute. We walked him over to the staircase and he hadn't go down a few steps until they were level. Because rod was like five five and said okay now now now you can talk a giant gary fun very fun style grace grace. Before i let you go mark. I i understand. You're going to be at sailing fast. This year and binghamton. Yes i and they reached out to me and i'll be happy to go and it'll be great to see everybody and yeah so if anyone's in upstate new york area on it's an interesting fact is that although i've been Into a guy had never been to binghamton. So i'm looking forward to that it's I know a lot about it. But i never made my way there. And they of course since i wrote fights companion They've really put up a lot. They're dedicated route. They've you know they've decorated the the carousel appropriately. Saarland's works and terrific. I mean i. I think rod would be very surprised that all these decades later twilight zone is held in great esteem greater even than what was on the air One of the sad things died at fifty not knowing he had left anything of merit into that last interview. We gave said My work has been momentarily. adequate Is just a very sad thing. Because he was it was his harshest critic and on but he created he not only created possibly the greatest television show ever made but he also inspired so many people to to tame higher and to do better. And you wouldn't have star trek without rod or the sopranos or so many shows that have come since we all were children of sterling. That's that's we consider ourselves that all of them create tv shows. I went to sailing festival years ago for for the sixtieth anniversary. I don't think i'm going to make it this year because of the travel ban unfortunately put 'em does real magic about being surrounded by so many twilight zone and sailing funds. So i'm sure you'll get a a super warm welcome added. I wish i could be located. Where are you based. I'm live approval in england. Our production companies based in both here in l. a. and and in london. Also we saw when it's not a pandemic we've we actually go back and forth quite a bit. I stand hams on there and so maybe on the delivered at some point and we can you know break bread. That'd be funny. That would be amazing. That would be amazing So before you go and just reminds us where. Where can people go to get information about the commentaries good twilight so commentaries dot com to put in their contact information. So that when we when people can buy the comedy be informed. There's no requirement that they don't you. Don't spend the money down. And if they want to watch everything we've been talking about and more Go to mr sci-fi hyphen f. Mr sci-fi on youtube. That's my channel one posting all the time great content about everything. We all love mauka. Like i said they elliott. You know you're on the podcast almost ten years ago now on on a wanted to thank you for that because you know i was just landed in the ropes in those days and i knew i wanted to interview people you know someone had to confessed and you graciously agreed to come onto the show for an interview and you became the first peirce and and by doing their you gave the podcast some legitimacy because then i could say the author of the twilight zone companion has been on this show and it opens so many doors for me so i wanna thank you for being so gracious and kind and do in there and it's great to speak to you again. Always a pleasure pleasure damaged pleasure do it. Now you're you haven't changed the best and internally useful and But i think i think for all of us were who love good work It's so important that we share that with the world you know. I think that podcasts allow us to do something very important. And i applaud you for for the decade of of good service to Something that's worth worth paying attention to. So so i'm happy to come on whenever you'd like walk. Thank you so much. We'll talk soon and stay. Well