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April 17, 2018:

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR TELEVISION SET

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, there is nothing wrong with your television set. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, there is nothing wrong with your television set.  With those immortal words, The Outer Limits made its television debut in 1963.  Now, I was a die hard Twilight Zone fan, having watched every single episode in first run from the very first show.  So even hearing about The Outer Limits kind of annoyed me, as I thought it was being a copycat show.  And so, even though my friends in high school were all raving about it, I stayed away (and besides, it aired on the night our choir rehearsed).  I’d hear about this episode or that episode, how cool it was, but I stayed loyal and true to the Twilight Zone, even though that show had long since passed its glory days, except for occasional episodes.

I don’t think I actually watched a single episode during its two-season run.  So I came to the show very late, in either reruns in the 70s or 80s, but for sure on home video.  I thought the first few episodes, while effective and interesting, were ultimately on the preachy side.  The effects were fun and boy did they get good actors and directors.  But as the episodes went on they got increasingly stranger, and that’s when I really began taking to the show, especially the episodes directed by Gerd Oswald, Byron Haskin, and Leonard J. Horn.  Some of them got so bizarre it boggled my mind. Also, the photography of Conrad Hall was incredible.  I bought the two-volume DVD set when it came out and was determined to actually sit through every episode, but in the end I only watched the seven or eight I knew and liked.  I recently got the new Blu-ray and this time I will watch them all.  I began with the premiere episode, The Galaxy Being, which, despite its final preachy stuff, I’ve always enjoyed.  It really helps having Cliff Robertson in the lead, the effects are quite effective and it moves along at a steady clip.  The second episode, The Hundred Days of the Dragon, is politically very intriguing and interesting in lieu of what’s going on these days.  Sidney Blackmer turns in a fantastic performance as the president – or is he? The quality of the two transfers is pretty much breathtaking – they’ve never looked so good.  I’ll talk about more episodes as I watch them.

Yesterday was a day that happened.  I got eight hours of sleep, answered e-mails, had some telephonic calls, worked at the piano, made lots of notes about the songs I’m working on – mostly notes as to how the script needs to adjust for them, I came up with an idea for a new song, and then I buckled down, Winsocki and wrote the second set of liner notes.  Whether I’m going to not announce one of them depends on some information I get today. I may have to move it – if I do I have another one I can announce in its place.

Then I went and picked up a package and no interesting mail, listened to one of the new masters (the one that may end up getting pushed – I’m hoping not, though), did some work on the computer, did more work at the piano, had more telephonic conversations, made a very small portion of Wacky Noodles, and then finally sat on my couch like so much wacky fish and watched the two episodes of The Outer Limits.

After that, I took a hot shower, listened to music, and relaxed.

Today will be more of the same.  I’ll try to finish the three numbers I’ve been working on – two of them are very far along, and the third shouldn’t be too hard to wrap up. That will give me seven completed numbers, and there’ll be another five to seven to do, although I’ve already sketched out the title song, which will be our finale.  And there will be one or two songs I won’t do until Doug has inserted all the songs into the script and rewritten the stuff we’ve talked about. That way, I’ll be able to see exactly where something might be needed and what it might be and what function it will serve.  Have I mentioned what it is we’re writing?  I’ll eat a little something or other, and I’ve been invited out for a dessert conversation at seven.  Otherwise, I’m hoping for the second master to approve – if I get that we’ll announce on Wednesday either both releases or just the one, unless I can write the liner notes for the other possibility.  Then I’ll relax and watch some more Outer Limits episodes.

The rest of the week is more of the same – writing, making a show order, a lunch meeting on Thursday although that may get pushed if there’s a Kay Cole run-through here at the house, and I’m seeing a couple of shows, including, of course, Kay’s on Sunday.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, write, do a show order, eat, hopefully pick up packages, work at the piano, hopefully listen to the second master, hopefully get the word I’m hoping for re the other release, have a dessert conversation, and then relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite episodes of The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to know that there is nothing wrong with my television set.

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