Rod Serling's Lost Classics

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Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics was a 1994 telefilm consisting of two Rod Serling stories. The film was co-produced by Serling's widow Carol Serling. Reportedly, she found the two pieces in a trunk in the family's garage.

The first and shorter segment, entitled The Theatre, was expanded and scripted by Richard Matheson from a Serling outline. It starred Gary Cole and Amy Irving.

The longer segment, Where The Dead Are, was a complete script Serling penned in 1968. Patrick Bergin and Jack Palance starred. (As it was written four years after the end of the original series, this was not originally a Twilight Zone story.)

James Earl Jones hosted and narrated the special. He previously worked with Serling on the 1972 film The Man.

Introduction[edit]

Good evening, and welcome to a very special two hours of television. Tonight we will see, for the first time, two original dramas, created by, perhaps, television's greatest storyteller, six-time Emmy Award-winner Rod Serling, beginning with a short film about a contemporary young woman, whose life unfolds in a most unusual way. We then travel to post-Civil War Massachusetts, where Rod Serling's last unproduced screenplay comes to life. So, please sit back and join me as we journey into a wonderous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop...The Twilight Zone!

The Theatre[edit]

Opening narration[edit]

Melissa Sanders is having difficulty completing her Singhal Commission sculpture. Her behavior has characteristics: she delays, she defers, she refuses to commit to decisions in both her personal and professional life. She thinks she has all the time in the world, but she does not, because that world will change forever when Melissa Sanders walks through the door of a certain movie theatre into the Twilight Zone.

Synopsis[edit]

A young woman, Melissa Sanders (Amy Irving), goes to the theatre to see the classic film His Girl Friday. Suddenly, she begins to see scenes of her own life as they happened earlier involving her fiancé James (Gary Cole). No one else can see them except herself. At first Melissa thinks it's a practical joke plotted by James, but when she returns to the theatre, she sees scenes of her future, in which she dies getting run over by a bus on March 20. When she tells James about it, he assures her it will never happen. Unfortunately, it does happen, and afterwards, James begins to see his own life in the theatre just like his recently deceased fiancée.

Closing narration[edit]

There are films in the minds of every human being: films that replay the past, and on rare occasions, films that reveal the future, warning us in no uncertain terms that every minute is precious and we must live our lives to the fullest. Of course, these films would only be seen if they are developed and projected from the Twilight Zone.

Where the Dead Are[edit]

Opening narration[edit]

Dr. Benjamin Ramsey is a man on a mission. Said mission involving a declaration of war on an enemy that has never been defeated. The enemy is death and Dr. Ramsey will soon discover that trying to overcome it may not be the most prudent of courses, especially when the battle is waged in the Twilight Zone.

Synopsis[edit]

Four years after the Civil War, a university professor, Dr. Benjamin Ramsey (Patrick Bergin), performs an appendectomy on a patient named O'Neill, who dies seconds later. At that moment, Ramsey notices a severe skull fracture O'Neill had endured twelve years earlier. Since no one could survive such an injury, Ramsey travels to a mysterious island to seek answers from Dr. Jeremy Wheaton (Jack Palance), who used to experiment with tissue regeneration, which might explain how O'Neill survived his skull fracture. As soon as the two doctors meet, they discuss O'Neill and how Wheaton decided to play God when he revived the dead people who now roam the island. Ironically, later that night, Jeremy Wheaton, the man who brought the dead back to life, dies himself. Instinctly aware of this, the living dead arrive and attack Ramsey, for whom they blame the death of Wheaton since on the island, nobody dies. The next morning, it's revealed that Ramsey managed to survive the ambush, just as the boat that brought him to the island arrives to take him home. Before leaving, however, he finds a note from Wheaton's niece, who reveals that she was dead, too, until her uncle revived her. With this shocking truth, Ramsey decides not tell his colleagues in the university what happened, knowing that no matter how hard people try to live forever, they must die.

Closing narration[edit]

Quotation from the Bible, the Book of Ecclesiastes: "To everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under Heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die." (Ecclesiastes, 3:1-2) To which Dr. Ramsey might add, "And death will come, despite the misguided efforts of man to delay or prevent it, even in the Twilight Zone."