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This article discusses how space and matter are treated in A Fifth Dimension: The Twilight Zone Wiki.

The Twilight Zone as a dimension

At A Fifth Dimension, we take the approach that the Twilight Zone is an actual spatial dimension that exists within the universe (or possibly multiverse). This can be taken to mean that the Twilight Zone is a place that we could visit if we knew where it was and how exactly to get there. More often, it comes to us—or at least our in-universe counterparts.

In this sense, the Twilight Zone is not the fifth dimension in a figurative sense, but a literal one. Its true nature seems fairly ambiguous and is never truly discussed in the series or stories. However, it is apparent that when this dimension comes in to contact with those we know, it produces uncommon and seemingly unpredictable effects in how both the spatial dimensions and temporal dimesion(s) operate. To this effect, we adhere to the theory of Brane cosmology as explained in the Wikipedia article on the topic:

The central idea is that the visible, four-dimensional universe is restricted to a brane inside a higher-dimensional space, called the "bulk". The additional dimensions are compact, in which case the observed universe contains the extra dimensions, and then no reference to the bulk is appropriate in this context. In the bulk model, other branes may be moving through this bulk. Interactions with the bulk, and possibly with other branes, can influence our brane and thus introduce effects not seen in more standard cosmological models.[1]

Parallels with reality

For the most part, contact with the Twilight Zone does not necessary have any effect on matter that is already present in the four lower dimensions. This can be seen in the fact that the planet Earth seems to exist in most stories, along with corresponding geographies and cosmologies that are familiar to us. New York City as portrayed in The Twilight Zone, for example, seems to be recognizable as the city of our reality. (TZ1: "The Jungle") This can even be true of an episode like "Mr. Dingle, the Strong", where the planet Mars is known to exist but with one noticeable exception: the planet is inhabited. This really can be considered less a deviation from the matter existing in our reality (i.e. that Mars is the Mars we know) but a deviation in the timeline, where at some point life developed on Mars in that divergent timeline whereas on our Mars it never did. (see Time in the Twilight Zone)

Basic laws of physics tend to apply in most cases as does chemical reactions. This means that planes and spaceships are able to take flight in the same way we might expect. (TZ1: "The Odyssey of Flight 33", "Third from the Sun") The planets and other objects in the solar system seem to move in the same ways. Similarly, dynamite and hydrogen bombs operate much the same. (TZ1: "The Jeopardy Room", "Time Enough at Last") Light waves, audio waves and sonar also generally behave in a familiar manner. (TZ1: "The Thirty-Fathom Grave")

Biologically, most organisms that are encountered appear to operate in the same manner as they do in our reality. Humans have two arms, two legs, two eyes, a mouth, and dogs have four legs, a tail, two eyes, a mouth, and so forth. It can be assumed that most organisms that are recognizable to us—meaning not those that are extra-terrestrial or legendary—are constructed and function in a recognizable way.

Effects of contact with the Twilight Zone

This relative reflection is not always the case, however. At times the fifth dimension has clear unusual effects of the state of matter.

Effect on objects

A clear instance of the Twilight Zone's interfrence in the state of matter is in the episode "Little Girl Lost", when the solid object of a bedroom wall becomes a permeable gateway through which other matter can pass—including little girls and dogs! Similarly, there have been occurences where living beings have passed into inanimate objects but retained animation and some sense of life. (TZ1: "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine", "Uncle Simon", "Miniature") Conversely, the animation of non-living objects has been demonstrated, in such TV episodes as "Living Doll", "You Drive", "A Thing About Machines", "The After Hours", "The New Exhibit" and "Caesar and Me".

Objects have also shown other anomalous changes. In addition to the dolls, cars and typewriters, the Twilight Zone has been witnessed to alter the functions of objects like phones, radios and televisions. (TZ1: "Long Distance Call", "Night Call", "Static", "What's in the Box") In the latter two instances, these devices were changed in a way to receive signals from the past and future while the former allowed for phone calls to be placed by the deceased. At other times, objects came to possess attributes that are in no way common to their intended function. For example, items taking on attributes that appear magical in nature, such as a piano that makes one tell the truth when played, watches that stop time or masks which can alter one's appearance. (TZ1: "A Piano in the House", "A King of a Stopwatch", "The Masks")

Effects on living beings

Sometimes these bizarre changes applied themselves to the way in which living beings function, enabling the recipients to make use of strange, supernatural qualities. A common instance of this seems to have been the enhancement of the human mind. Some acquired telekinetic skills, as demonstrated in the episodes "The Prime Mover" and "The Mind and the Matter", while others were gifted with telepathic powers, as in "A Penny for Your Thoughts" or "Mute". Still others were given the uncommon attributes of supreme intelligence, shapeshifting, age regression or immortality. "Mr. Dingle, the Strong"

The unreal made real

Stranger still are living beings that are shown to exist on Earth when the fifth dimension is present, often leading to encounters with entities and energies thought to exist only in conjecture. For instance, angels and demons are common, as are legendary creatures such as genies and gremlins`. (TZ1: "Cavender is Coming", "A Nice Place to Visit", "I Dream of Genie", "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet") The supernatural and paranormal also seem to be more natural in the presence of the Twilight Zone, allowing aforementioned paranormal abilities like telekinesis to appear frequently, as well as magic and occult powers to be manifested. (TZ1: "The Bard", "Still Valley") Perhaps these are not the result of the Twilight Zone's interference, however, but simply remain more elusive and unproven in our own reality despite the sometimes widespread belief in them. Either way, their presence in The Twilight Zone is certain. Thus it can be assumed that it is related—even if only augmented—to the fifth dimension.

The "real" universe

Similar to how time is treated in A Fifth Dimension: The Twilight Zone Wiki, the assumption is made that the Earth that we are familiar with is essentially the Earth that is in The Twilight Zone stories. There is little reason to not believe that the Europe that was mentioned in "The Howling Man" was not the familiar Europe or that the Scranton, Pennsylvania in "What You Need" is not identical to the one we can visit, nor is there a reason why the two couldn't exist on the same Earth.

Now, obviously, some stories will not fit into this "real" universe view, because of invented nations like the one in "The Mirror"—despite its leader bearing a striking resemblance to a familiar real world leader—or events that occur that change the landscape and thereby likely negate any possibility of other stories taking place there at some later point; "Time Enough at Last" for instance. These can better be explained by diversions in the "real timeline"—that is, major changes in the spatial dimensions are usually precepitated by major changes in the temporal dimension(s). Thus, the setting for the episode "Two", following a devestating nuclear war, is most likely the same Earth we know, but it has been altered by the Twilight Zone to follow a different path in time. When this is the case, the article should be flagged with the {{altworld}} template. (see Time in the Twilight Zone)

Notes and references


  1. Wikipedia contributors. "Brane cosmology." Wikipedia, the Free Enecyclopedia. Version: May 17, 2009. Retrieved: June 14, 2009.

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