JMS on Usenet


Subject: Re: ATTN: JMS - Short Stories
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 22:38:31 +0000 (UTC)

Jan wrote:
> JMS's writing book is "The Complete Book of Scriptwriting"
> and doesn't touch on other forms.  He did, however, write a bit about how he
> came to write each of the episodes of Twilight Zone in his anthology.
> Essentially, he took those scripts and made them into short stories.  I highly
> recommend it.
> Now that the DVDs are out, it's interesting to watch the episodes and read the
> book.  JMS, if you're still reading, was there a reason why "What Are Frends
> For" didn't make it into the anthology>

Yeah...basically, I wrote that episode as a freelancer for the CBS
iteration, and I'd written it in the Zone tradition of a morality
fable, so that we learn, by the end, that the father is doing to his
son what his own dad did to him...that is the whole POINT of the

Well, when I turned it in, they said that they didn't want to do
morality tales, that that was the OLD zone and this was the NEW zone
and they didn't DO that.  Which seemed to me rather a violation of the
whole premise of what the Twilight Zone is.  So they took out that
aspect...and of course the script no longer worked.  It's like taking
the whale out of Moby Dick, the whole thing collapses of its own

They passed it from hand to hand, they mucked it up, then finally
reverted to my draft again...but still took out the whole point of the
thing, and produced it.  So that story that aired isn't the story I
wanted to tell...which is why it wasn't in the anthology.