Writing for the Twilight Zone caused this writer to really get into the zone.
Developing Twilight Zone Radio Dramas is no easy task, but for many of the writers adapting scripts from the original series one script stood out.
"The Invaders." Amari said from his Falcon Picture Group offices. "It was one of the most popular episodes ever produced and it starred Agnes Moorehead as a mute woman living in a remote farmhouse. A UFO lands in her attic and throughout the show she is attacked by two miniature spacemen. It was a remarkable performance by Agnes and what made it truly brilliant was the simple fact that she didn't have a single line of dialog throughout the episode."
The original TV script was written by Richard Matheson and is recognized as a classic to this day. "People were stunned by the surprise ending." Amari said. "The ironic twist at the end of the story is a signature of the Twilight Zone, but what made this particular episode challenging and unique was the total lack of dialog."
To date, Amari and his team of producers, writers and directors have produced more than 160 Twilight Zone Radio Dramas from both the original series and new scripts created in the Twilight Zone style. "The greatest strength of a radio drama, or any audio performance is the "Theater of the Mind" that takes place in our heads when we hear dialog, sound design and music. What's key is the dialog and that's what had us stumped." Amari said.
According to Barry Richert, the writer who adapted "The Invaders" to radio, he was stumped for a while as well. "I've written a lot for the Twilight Zone Radio Dramas and am aware of most of the classic scripts including 'The Invaders.' I remember actually thinking to myself, 'I pity the poor sucker who has to write that one.' Imagine my surprise when Carl called me and gave me the assignment."
"Barry has been a tremendous writer for us with 3 original scripts, and now 2 adaptions. I knew he could do it."
"It was a bit of a collaboration."
"Barry didn't just add another character." Amari said. "He developed an interesting relationship between the two characters that made the script work in a new way that was true to the original concept."
"It's a man and woman." Barry added. "The man is your typical alpha male, but he has recently gone blind so he needs to depend on her in many ways. She's hard of hearing so she has to rely on him. The resulting dialog conveys their concern for each other, and also serves to inform the audience what's going on in the story."
The Twilight Zone Radio dramas can be heard on nationally syndicated radio, XM (163) and Sirius (117), and every episode from the entire portfolio can be downloaded from twilightzoneradio.com. "The Invaders is running this month." Amari said. "It's also available via downloads in our online store and I couldn't be happier. This script was a challenge and it's great to see how it worked out."
Richert, an English major who has been writing professionally for 30 years was happy and a bit relieved as well. "I liked the challenge because I thought it would be a good stretch for me as a writer. It didn't disappoint although Carl and director Jobe Cerny get some credit for a little surprise at the end. They brought in some descriptions of the characters that surprised me at first, but as I thought about it was the right move."
Neither Richert nor Amari would be more specific. "If you remember the original show you know the ending. And now there's a new texture that brings in a new surprise for everyone." Amari said.
Richert is pleased with the production and is looking forward to doing more with The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas. "I really appreciate Carl's passion for staying true to the original series."
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About The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas.
Downloads of more than 160 Twilight Zone episodes can be found at www.twilightzoneradio.com. and 3 free downloads are offered to any visitor to the site.
The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas can be heard on XM and Sirius Satellite Radio and on more than 200 radio stations nationwide.
For more information go to http://www.twilightzoneradio.com