25 March 2011

To serve man

I’ve avoided discussing this little detail of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, known to some of you as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, for a number of years now. Not because it is tasteless, but mostly because it seems so easy to draw a conclusion from. However, we will push forward and hopefully give you some new insight or tidbit you may not have gleamed from beyond the deepest, darkest corner of the imagination.This small volume appears in the library area of the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Not many among us could interpret the language of the Kanamit people. Thankfully, we have been spared the frustration of making sense from the book’s glyphs, as an index card translating the book’s title has been laid atop the cover. TO SERVE MAN

Beyond the text’s title, To Serve Man is also the title of The Twilight Zone episode in which it appeared during the third season of The Twilight Zone in 1962. The episode relates the tale of an alien race known as Kananits that have come to earth with the appearance of wanting to help humankind advance in all aspects of life, from power sources to horticulture. A group of cryptographers, previously tied up with Cold War deciphering, are tasked with translating the book left behind by one of the Kananits during an interview session. The benevolent intent of the Kananits is assumed when this title is decoded by the cryptographers, including the episode’s narrator Michael Chambers, portrayed by Lloyd Bochner.

As the people of Earth flourish, the Kananits begin offering trips aboard their spacecraft to their homeworld. The congenial atmosphere of The Twilight Zone episode comes to a crashing halt when the other shoe drops with only moments to spare. Another decoder named Patty, depicted by Susan Cummings, who works with Chambers pleads with him not to board one of the Kananit ships, while he is being herded aboard by the Kananits.

Her words to Michael are the words I will leave you with here, least you become too comfortable in the plush accommodations of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, “It’s a cookbook!”


Gator Chris said...

Great detail, and a somewhat gutsy homage by WED!

Did you ever see the Simpson's parody of the same Twilight Zone ep?

- Chris

Ryan P. Wilson said...

Chris, the Simpson episode is a fantastic homage to The Twilight Zone!