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'Twilight Zone' writer Richard Matheson passes away

One of the most prolific and influential voices in science fiction has passed away.

Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson, author of numerous modern classics adapted for film and television, died in his home at the age of 87. "For having such a fantastic imagination, he passed very peacefully," son Richard Matheson Jr. said. "He was not only a monumental talent, he was also every bit a father, friend, and husband."

Matheson was one of the key players in the classic run of Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone" who, along with Charles Beaumont and Serling himself, penned some of the series' most memorable episodes, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," "Third From The Sun," and "Little Girl Lost." He also lent his talents to the original "Star Trek" series, writing "The Enemy Within." Among the honors received over his six decade career are the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement, a Hugo Award, and he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010.

"I think we're yearning for something beyond the every day," Matheson once said of the science fiction genre. "And I will tell you I don't believe in the supernatural, I believe in the supernormal. To me there is nothing that goes against nature. If it seems incomprehensible, it's only because we haven't been able to understand it yet."


Details
Show:
- The Twilight Zone
- The Twilight Zone (1985)
Person:
- Richard Matheson
- Rod Serling
Network:
- CBS

Written by: kyleiam
Jun 24th, 2013, 11:58 pm

Anonymous

Message Posted On Jun 28th, 2013, 3:07 pm
Too bad, but at least he went peacefully. He was the entire reason I started reading books again as an adult. Such a shame none of the movies based off them has done them any justice or helped given him the recognition he truly deserves.
fierras

Level 6 (36%)
Points: 76.1
Mood: enraged
Since: 26/Oct/05
Message Posted On Jun 26th, 2013, 6:34 pm

Sadly, Eventually all of the greats will be lost.

Gadfly
(Site Moderator)

Level 94 (49%)
Points: 156269.6
Mood: frustrated
Since: 13/Dec/05
Message Posted On Jun 25th, 2013, 6:31 am

And I probably wouldn't be a recap writer without him. Nothing directly from him influenced me, and I didn't know the man. But without shows like TZ and Kolchak, wouldn't probably have started writing.

 

In honor of his work...

 

http://www.tvrage.com/The_Twilight_Zone/episodes/212825

 

http://www.tvrage.com/The_Twilight_Zone/episodes/212777

 

http://www.tvrage.com/The_Twilight_Zone/episodes/212745

 

http://www.tvrage.com/The_Twilight_Zone_1985/episodes/212940 (ruthlessly massacred in the recent movie)

 

http://www.tvrage.com/shows/id-1168/episodes/275674

 

http://www.tvrage.com/Star_Trek/episodes/162312

Gadfly
(Site Moderator)

Level 94 (49%)
Points: 156269.6
Mood: frustrated
Since: 13/Dec/05
Message Posted On Jun 25th, 2013, 2:42 am

He will be missed.

As Mark Scott Zecree (sic) noted, Matheson was basically the opposite of Serling on TZ. Serling was the fantasist, but Matheson was the guy who would latch onto a concept and poke, prod, and explore the ramifications of whatever scenario he had set up. Little Girl Lost is probably the example: it's a "hard" science fiction concept that Serling would never have done. Last Flight is another one. But Matheson could also bring the horror: And When the Sky Was Opened is one of the creepiest episodes of the series. And "World of His Own" is one of the funniest TZ episodes, if not the funniest.

And of course, he worked with Shatner twice, on "Nick of Time" (one of the great  "is it or isn't it supernatural" episodes), and the classic Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.

Matheson was also one of the four men who created Carl Kolchak, along with Jeff Rice, Dan Curtis, and Darren McGavin. Without Matheson writing the screenplay for the TV movies, Kolchak as we knew him would be a much different person.

Even when writing stuff like Lawman, Matheson was a class act. He did one of the first "real" time episodes of a TV series (Thirty Minutes), and his other stories like Cornered and Samson the Great were also excellent.

And he also adapted Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, which given what he had to work with and what he had to produce for network TV, probably worked out about as well as could be expected.

msd85
(Crazed Contributor)

Level 39 (90%)
Points: 17873.7
Since: 07/Jul/10
Message Posted On Jun 25th, 2013, 12:19 am

Damn. We've lost another of the greats.

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