Vintage | Celebrity | Television | Movies

They Just Announced A New Twilight Zone Movie, So Here Are 7 Strange But True Facts About The Classic Series

Sci-fi fans aren't exactly starved for big budget movies and TV shows like they were in the 1960s, but fans of the spooky, strange and otherworldly will still be happy to know that The Twilight Zone is making a comeback.

The show, which originally ran from 1959-1964, was a smash hit that went on to run in syndication for decades. The series has been revived twice, and had a big-budget film adaptation in 1983 - which is sadly most famous for the awful on-set accident.

Now, a new movie is in the works with Christine Lavaf, one of the writers behind the TV show Fringe, attached to write the script. Leonardo DiCaprio is also attached to the film as a producer. To celebrate this good news, we've journeyed to the fifth dimension to bring back these 7 shocking facts about the original show.

1. Rod Serling was a very hard worker

The show's creator - who you'll recognize from his famously trippy opening monologues - was also the showrunner and lead writer during Twilight Zone's early seasons. He wrote a staggering 94 episodes, at a pace so fast he had to dictate his scripts to a tape recorder so his secretary could write them up.

Maybe it's not surprising that the stress (and smoking) caught up with Serling, who died when he was just 50.

2. The show re-used actors...a lot

If you watched the show obsessively, you would notice a few familiar faces. Actors Jack Klugman and Burgess Meredith (the original Penguin on Batman) each played 4 different characters. In total, 5 actors managed to appear in every season of the original show, so keep your eyes peeled the next time you tune in.

Meredith in the classic episode "Time Enough at Last."Dispophobia / IndieGogo

3. Look out for a few stars

Along with actors like Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds making early appearances, multiple cast members from Star Trek appeared on the show. Of course William Shatner was in the classic "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," but Leonard Nimoy (who played Spock) also made an appearance.

George Takei, who played Sulu, was one of the stars of "The Encounter," Twilight Zone's infamous banned episode.

Keep reading to learn more about the banned episode!

4. There's one episode you won't see in reruns

Twilight Zone tackled lots of controversial subject matter, but none attracted as much controversy as "The Encounter." George Takei starred as an Asian-American man possessed by a samurai sword that a World War 2 vet had stolen.

Needlessly to say this wasn't the most tactful episode, and it's only been run a handful of times since it originally aired in 1964.

5. The show accepted submissions from fans

To lighten his enormous workload, Serling invited the public to submit their own stories for the show. Since everyone has at least one Twilight Zone-style story in their imagination, it's no surprise that CBS was swamped with scripts.

Serling, on the set of the show.MeTV

Of the 14,000 stories submitted, Serling only bothered to read around 500, and said that just 2 were actually any good (none of the scripts were ever used).

6. There were a few nasty pranks

While filming the fan-favorite episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," the cast had a little fun with director Richard Donner (who went on to direct the Superman movies). While taping the climactic fight on the wing of the plane, the actors threw William Shatner off the set, dropping him 30 feet to the ground.

The Gremlin from "Nightmare..."Skillshare

Of course, it was only a dummy dressed like the actor, but until he learned the truth Donner was stunned. He says his biggest worry at the time was about filming re-shoots, not whether Shatner had survived.

7. One of the best episodes had a sequel

Of all the scary stories told on Twilight Zone, the most terrifying of all was "It's a Good Life," about a 10-year old boy with supernatural powers. When the Twilight Zone was revived in the 2000s, the show's writers actually made a sequel to the episode.

The original actors who played the boy and his mother, Bill Mumy and Chloris Leachman, played the same roles they had in the original episode 40 years earlier.

Share this list if you loved watching the Twilight Zone!

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories.