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Madigan to Talk Twilight Zone


Dr. Tim Madigan, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Rod Serling Conference at Ithaca College on September 9 and 10. The Conference is in its 4th year, and was started in memory of Serling, creator of the popular television series The Twilight Zone.

Madigan will present "Toyland Terror in The Twilight Zone: The Philosophical Connections of 'Five Characters in Search of an Exit." He regularly uses episodes from the show in his class to illustrate philosophical themes, and his presentation will compare the show's storylines to the existential philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, who was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. The presentation will also compare the show to a more modern movie series: Toy Story I, II and III.

Serling wrote 92 of The Twilight Zone's 156 scripts, and hosted the series for its entire run. The show earned him two Emmys, in 1960 and 1961. He also won Emmys for shows such as Patterns (Kraft Television Theatre, ABC, 1955) and Requiem for a Heavyweight (Playhouse 90, CBS, 1956) and Playhouse 90's The Comedian, among others.

By the early 1970s, Serling was spending more time in the Finger Lakes area, teaching at Ithaca College. He died suddenly in 1975 at the age of 50, and his wife, Carol Serling, began donating examples of his work to Ithaca College. Over the years, those gifts have continued, making the Rod Serling Archives at Ithaca College the largest single collection of television scripts and screenplays by the writer.

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