"I Sing The Body Electric" is the 35th episode of the third season of The Twilight Zone, and was first broadcast in May of 1962. It starred Josephine Hutchinson as "Grandmother". It was written by Ray Bradbury, the only episode of the Twilight Zone filmed from one of his scripts. The short story was based on the script for this episode, which I did not know while viewing it: I thought that this was the filmed interpretation of an already famous story.
The Twilight Zone is one of the most critically acclaimed television series for its experimentation and ability to work in different genres. Ray Bradbury was the writer who was most responsible for infusing science-fiction with impressionism and other literary techniques. What happens when we put them together, in a story that deals with topics such as loss, identity, technology, and memory? What type of surreal and strange story will come about? This seemingly simple one: a family with a father and three children has lost their mother, and so they go and order a new one. The year is not specified, but this seemingly revolutionary technology exists in a small town that seems like the perfect early 20th century small town that Rad Bradbury and Rod Serling grew up in. This isn't a science fiction story as much as it is a fantasy, wish fulfillment about a perfectly wise, kind and perfect mother figure that will never leave. But since this is Rod Serling and Ray Bradbury, the masters of the twist and the lurking mystery, there has to be a twist, right? Something wicked is going to come, and the book is a cookbook, right? Wrong. This story twists the twist by giving the viewers a happy story about fulfilled promises with no threats or fears.
The viewer might wonder why this story came across so optimistically and seemingly light. Which is not out of character, after all, "Light" is in the program's name. When I first watched this episode, I thought that the happy course of the story was due to The Twilight Zone filming what was an already critically acclaimed and popular story, and keeping its mood because of that. But since this story was presented here first, there must be some other reason for it. One possible reason is that nostalgia, as a subject, is something that seems to be a personally important topic for both Serling and Bradbury. In addition, this episode links, in various ways, to other stories told in The Twilight Zone. The answer presented in this episode, that sometimes gifts are given freely and fulfill their promise, is one possible answer, even if it is a rare occurrence.