In the first half of the program, George Noory was joined by television writer Marc Zicree for a discussion on sci-fi programs and the state of sci-fi today. Zicree, who has over 100 dramatic television credits to his name, recalled the shows he watched as a child and how they helped inform his take on screenwriting. "When I grew up with Twilight Zone and Outer Limits and Star Trek... there was a hopeful tone to them," he explained. Zicree criticized recent sci-fi movies, such as Oblivion, Elysium and After Earth, for offering dark hopeless visions of the future. "I strongly oppose that view," he said, noting that writers Gene Rodenberry and Rod Serling presented a more optimistic view of the world even when their stories had darker themes.
Zicree talked about his Kickstarter-financed project, Space Command, an original franchise he created which evokes the optimism of sci-fi's past. The ambitious 9-film project stars some of sci-fi's most beloved actors, including Doug Jones (Pan from Pan's Labyrinth), Robert Picardo (The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager) and Bill Mumy (Will Robinson from Lost in Space). Zicree expressed his excitement about the project and how his team is able to sidestep the studio system with fan-funding, digital cameras, desktop editing software and web distribution. "We don't need the studios and networks to make these films anymore and that's a lovely sense of freedom," he revealed. Zicree also commented on the upcoming Twilight Zone movie by Joseph Kosinski as well as other sci-fi projects coming down the pike. "I think people are getting the message that you can inspire people again," he said.
The second half of the show was devoted to Open Lines. Doug in Naples, Florida, remembered watching a particularly memorable episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery when he was then years old. In the short four-minute segment, title "Phantom of What Opera?," the masked phantom gets a shock of his own when he accidentally unmasks his victim. Doug said the twist ending caused him to laugh so hard his sister could hear it from the house across the street.
Amir from Maine suggested that paranormal activity can be explained by the existence of demons, who exist in other dimensions and have their own leaders and religion. A full grown demon has the mind of a ten year old, Amir continued, noting how this explains why they throw tantrums during an exorcism. According to Amir, shooting stars are demons being shot by an angels. Amir also claimed his father uncovered a dwarf-sized demon, perhaps a leprechaun, that touched his uncle and killed him.
Several callers told George about their local television horror hosts and favorite candy bars from the past as well.
News segment guests: Peter Breggin / Peter Davenport