Charles Beaumont: Twilight Zone’s Magic Man – Jason & Sunni Brock Interview

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The makers of the documentary Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man join Tom Elliot to share their recollections about making the documentary. Check out our review of the documentary and then visit JaSunni.com to purchase. 

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2 thoughts on “Charles Beaumont: Twilight Zone’s Magic Man – Jason & Sunni Brock Interview

  1. stan evans

    Love the podcast. But I have to take exception with the male director's downplaying of Ray Bradbury's impact. As he just had his 90th birthday, I think it's a good time to make a defense. In literary terms, Bradbury's vastly more influential than Rod Serling (who I'm a big fan of). "Fahrenheit 451" was in Time magazine's list of the great 100 novels of last century. Literary merit outweighs TV. It just does. Bradbury's impact on a generation of sci-fi writers is immeasurable ("The Martian Chronicles" alone spawned a cottage industry of martian tales; you see them in the old EC "Weird Science" comics for one example). Once upon a time, creators of pop culture used to read books and Ray definitely influenced them as they in turn influenced pop culture. Yes, Rod Serling's image is well known. But Ray Bradbury's humanist, sentimental (in a good way) approach to scifi/fantasy writing continues to impact readers (as it did Rod Serling who copped that sentimental approach to many of his tales). So bravo to Bradbury, a true giant!

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  2. Jason V Brock

    Stan:

    While I understand what you are stating here, I must respectfully disagree. I never met Serling, but did know Bradbury for about ten years. I know all of the facts you mentioned, and mostly agree. That said, however, Serling was more than just a figurehead on TZ, and he was CERTAINLY not guilty of copping "that sentimental approach to many of his tales" from Ray. Bradbury didn't own childhood. Also, a lot of RB's later output was weak because of this overt sentimentality.

    Additionally, I'd like to correct this misstatement: I never "downplayed" Bradbury. I think he was likely in the top five most important literary writers of the 20th Century. In fact, I think you are doing a disservice to his memory by saying "Bradbury's impact on a generation of sci-fi writers is immeasurable ("The Martian Chronicles" alone spawned a cottage industry of martian tales; you see them in the old EC "Weird Science" comics for one example). Once upon a time, creators of pop culture used to read books and Ray definitely influenced them as they in turn influenced pop culture." Tut, tut: Bradbury was FAR MORE important than that. His impact went well beyond S/F (which he never claimed to write anyway).

    HOWEVER, the dominant mode of communication of the entire last half of that century was the medium of television, and Serling was the king of it during that era. He also was an OUTSTANDING writer. They were both "giants." Unfortunately, TV is more important (culturally) than books. Therefore, Serling won the contest of influence: That's just the way it is.

    Take care.

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