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C&L's Sat Nite Chiller Theater: Rod Serling's 'Patterns'

A classic from 1956...

"Writing is a demanding profession and a selfish one. And because it is selfish and demanding, because it is compulsive and exacting, I didn't embrace it. I succumbed to it." -- Rod Serling

Before he piloted The Twilight Zone into television history, Rod Serling wrote screenplays for television. Lots of them. If one network didn't buy one, he'd repackage it and ship it off to the next while continuing to work on whatever he was working on. The 72nd script to come out of Serling's prodigious typewriter was "Patterns", the story of a ruthless power struggle at the top of a major American corporation and the toll that struggle takes on those who are snared in that system.

To Serling, it was just another script. A good one to be sure, but a job he had finished. He went back to the typewriter and missed "Patterns" first live broadcast.

To The New York Times critic Jack Gould it was "one of the high points in the TV medium's evolution" and said, "[f]or sheer power of narrative, forcefulness of characterization and brilliant climax, Mr. Serling's work is a creative triumph."

"Patterns" -- script #72 -- changed Serlings' life forever.


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