From childhood, I’ve loved The Twilight Zone, the sci-fi TV show (1959-64). Most episodes were only 24 minutes long, but with a different premise and characters in each, like the short stories in science fiction magazines of the time. Some of the stories were adapted for the show.
Richard Matheson was a prolific author whose writing included sci-fi short stories, but I first heard of him when I watched every Twilight Zone episode on Netflix, one per day.
Matheson wrote sixteen episodes of The Twilight Zone, including the classic “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” in which William Shatner sees a gremlin on the wing of the aircraft. This is sometimes spoofed, maybe because the creature looks like a man in a hairy costume, but the frustration felt by William Shatner’s character is what makes this a classic: what if you saw impending doom, and nobody believed you?
You can watch Richard Matheson’s Twilight Zone episodes for free by clicking here. They are easy to view — no signing up for anything. They have modern commercials.
Later, Matheson wrote the novel and screenplay for “Somewhere in Time,” a wonderful time-travel romance. Blending science fiction and a powerful romantic love, the film is beautiful, as are its stars, Jane Seymour and the late Christopher Reeve (heart-breakingly beautiful to me because of his tragic real life). Click here to see the trailer. It was filmed on location at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan.