An archive of the work of television writer-producer Daniel Knauf


Meet Private RODMAN (ROD) EDWARD SERLING, a scrappy, idealistic Jewish kid just shy of his twentieth birthday, 5’4” tall, 110 pounds soaking wet, and possibly the U.S. Army’s unlikeliest hero. On a nameless Pacific atoll under bombardment by a Japanese destroyer, a shell-burst has literally blown Private Sterling out of this temporal reality into a great nowhere, beyond life, just shy of death, a purgatory known euphemistically among his comrades as The Zone.

SERLING's premise is that, as a young soldier, Rod Serling sustained a protracted near-death experience after being hit by a shell-burst. He was thrown into a wasteland between life and death--a place of moral challenges and tests.

SERLING the series is to THE TWILIGHT ZONE what Hemingway’s experiences as an ambulance driver in the Spanish Civil War was to FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS—the raw, unformed alloy that was later molded and hammered in the storyteller’s forge.

Stories are informed by Serling's true-life past and are set in the same prosaic milieus presented in his body of work offering Easter eggs such as key props and devices that, decades later, informed his art.

They focus on the themes that inspired Serling: alienation, societal injustice, bigotry, redemption, the plight of the outcast, the too often cruel and ruthless abandonment of the weak, the poor, the elderly; the inexorable struggle for dignity in an age in which human devastation is merely abstract collateral damage in the ruthless quest for profit; a courageous, unblinking exploration of the human condition.

Most of all, SERLING is a speculative excavation of one artist’s story-well; an attempt to answer the unanswerable question: Where does the artist get ideas?