Classic Science Fiction Theater: Playhouse 90’s Presentation of Forbidden Area

Play House 90’s very first episode, written by Rod Serling, based on a Pat Frank novel and starring Charlton Heston, Diana Lynn, Tab Hunter and Vincent Price

The very first episode of Playhouse 90, which was intended to be a showcase of what television could do with drama, was based on Pat Frank’s novel of the same name, based on a script written by Rod Serling and starring none-other than Vincent Price (lots of genre), Charlton Heston, (lots of high profile genre) Diana Lynn (interestingly, a lead in Bedtime for Bonzo) and Tab Hunter (Battler Cry, Damn Yankees).

Pat Frank also wrote the famous post apocalyptic tale Alas, Babylon and Mr. Adam, all three dealing to one degree or another with the effects and consequences of nuclear war.

This episode of Playhouse 90 is filled with 1950s Cold War iconography, much of which contributes visual metaphor to the show, which was, unusually for anthology shows of the day, 90 minutes long rather than 60 minutes (and hence its title, Playhouse 90).

One other interesting note:  Someone on the production staff of Schwarzenegger & Curtis’ True Lies knew their television history and replicated Heston’s character for that film:

Of course, they did flip the eye patch from one side to the other, so a failure to recognize this connection is understandable.


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