December 30, 2015

The man who wrote the first episode of "Star Trek" and the "Nothing In The Dark" episode of "Twilight Zone"...

... George Clayton Johnson, has died at the age of 86.

Johnson also wrote the original "Ocean's 11" and the book (made into a movie) "Logan's Run." "Logan's Run" is the story about a wonderful, entertaining society that executes its citizens when they turn 30.

"Nothing In The Dark" is the "Twilight Zone" in which the unknown young actor named Robert Redford played Death and got inside the house of an old woman who'd been determined to keep Death from entering. Here, somebody compressed the episode into a 2-minute version:

17 comments:

navillus said...

Clearly, the old lady should've gone to a shooting range or a coal-fired power plant to avoid Death- Robert Redford would never go in those places. Know your enemy.
RIP

RNB said...

In the book (not the movie) of 'Logan's Run,' people are terminated at age 21, not 30. Hence, Ballard, a renegade who has survived to age 42, is described as having lived 'a double life.'

Rae said...

In the book "Logan's Run", people were executed at 22. That was deemed too controversial for film, and the book was very toned down. Overall, it was a good imagining of what would happen in a society run by youth. Although I was unclear how they educated wilding 7 year olds enough that became useful additions to society at 14.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveBrooklineMA said...

I prefer the TZ episodes "Kick the Can" and "A Game of Pool," which he also wrote.

Jan R. said...

Having never seen the Twilight Zone episode, I surmise that the idea of "Nothing in the Dark" is actually based on Ray Bradbury's strangely beautiful "Death and the Maiden".

William said...

I just watched "A Walk In The Woods". It was pretty good. There was a strong Butch Cassidy vibe in the badinage between Nick Nolte and Redford, and no preaching about global warming.......There's something reassuring about Redford in his old age. He's got a lot of wrinkles, but he still looks trim and fit and handsome. He's deep into the mortality zone, but he wears his mortality lightly........I'm no fan of his politics, but there's no gainsaying the fact that he's led a successful life. It's good to see that someone with good looks, lots of money, a glamorous career, and excellent health can have a happy life. There are so many contrary examples in Hollywood.

Unknown said...

Technically "The Man Trap" (also called "Charlie X") was the first "regular" episode of Star Trek and the first time a TV audience had been introduced to the cast and concept. The first pilot had introduced many of the concepts (albeit with a different cast) and the second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before" *created* the classic cast and concept, but was actually broadcast third when the series started..

It's interesting that "The Man Trap" and other early episodes refer to "Earth" outposts and colonies. "The Federation" was invented during the series run..

Johnson certainly knew Bradbury. They worked together on an animated version of the Bradbury story "Icarus Montgolfier Wright", which is available on youtube at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm5kylavY3Y

TWW said...

Is that Fred Thompson?

Deb said...

I thought it was uncanny how much Brad Pitt reminded me of a young Robert Redford in A River Runs Through It, a movie I will never watch again because it was so heartbreaking.

JAORE said...

The euthanasia movement would be further along if a young RR was the delivery system. Of course it would work best (in most cases) on women.

JAORE said...

Not Fred Thompson

JAORE said...

Ooops hit enter too soon. The construction guy was R G Armstrong, a character actor with many, many credits and little fame.

mikee said...

And people wonder why we old folk disdain the PC rollercoaster, which ends at the same place it started, of modern sci-fi.

James Lileks said...

"Technically 'The Man Trap' (also called 'Charlie '") was the first "regular" episode of Star Trek and the first time a TV audience had been introduced to the cast and concept"'

Correct re: the first regular ep. Otherwise: "Man Trap" was about a salt-eating vampire monster named Nancy. "Charlie X" was about a super-powerful teen who had to learn Manly Lessons from Kirk to keep from killing people or wiping off their faces because he was hormonal. He was played by Robert Walker Jr., son of the villain in "Strangers on a Train," and looked a lot like his dad.

Paul Snively said...

Watch Redford in "Sneakers" and "Spy Game." Say what you want about his politics (I'm not a fan either), but this is an intelligent man who has chosen at least a couple of projects with smart, important ethical things to say about technology, cryptography, the intelligence community, and politics—all well before Assange and Snowden.

Ann Althouse said...

Hi, James. Thanks for the great summaries! I can't remember either of these episodes.