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Gerald Allan Sohl Sr. (December 2, 1913 - November 4, 2002) was an American scriptwriter for The Twilight Zone (as a ghostwriter for Charles Beaumont), Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Outer Limits, Star Trek: The Original Series (once using the pseudonym "Nathan Butler"), and other shows. He also wrote novels, feature film scripts, and the nonfiction works Underhanded Chess and Underhanded Bridge in 1973.

Selected novels[edit]

New York Times reviewer Villiers Gerson described his 1953 novel The Transcendent Man as "contain[ing] enough twists to afford the reader a few hours' entertainment" despite being "oversimplified in motivation."[1] P. Schuyler Miller found the plot unconvincing.[2] Gerson later panned Sohl's The Altered Ego, saying "This wordy book lacks characterization, emotion, suspense, and interest."[3]

His 1955 Point Ultimate is a piece of Cold War invasion literature: in 1999, a faraway future history at the time of writing, the US lies under a cruel Soviet occupation, reinforced by a deadly artificial disease which makes conquered Americans dependent on the conquerors for the injections which keep them alive. But a dashing Illinois farm boy breaks out in revolt, killing a degenerate soviet governor and his "Commie" American collaborators. Eventually, he becomes a leading member of a very formidable resistance organization which is capable of breaking at will into the occupiers' security headquarters and springing prisoners out, and which had already established a clandestine space program under the Soviets' noses and established a sizable colony on Mars.

In the far more low-key The Time Dissolver (1957), Sohl tells the story of a man and a woman who wake up one morning to find that they had inexplicably lost all memory of the past eleven years including any memory of how they ever came to meet and become married to each other, and who embark on a quest to find what happened and to trace back these eleven lost years. Aside from the science fiction aspects, the book captures the atmosphere of late 1950s America.

Ghostwriting for Charles Beaumont[edit]

As Beaumont became increasingly ill from Alzheimer's and Pick's disease, and unable to write, Sohl ghostwrote three episodes of The Twilight Zone for him. These were The New Exhibit, Queen of the Nile and Living Doll. Beaumont insisted on splitting the fees for each episode.[4]


  1. ^ "Spacemen's Realm", The New York Times, May 24, 1953.
  2. ^ "The Reference Library," Astounding Science Fiction, March 1954, pp.153
  3. ^ "Spaceman's Realm", The New York Times Book Review, July 18, 1954, p.20.
  4. ^ "Gary Westfahl's Bio-Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Film: Jerry Sohl". sfsite.com. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Sohl — Please support Wikipedia.
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43 news items

A.V. Club Denver/Boulder

A.V. Club Denver/Boulder
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 10:33:33 -0700

“Queen Of The Nile” isn't dreadful, and the script (Charles Beaumont's last credited work on the show, although it was written by Jerry Sohl) is competent. It's just, there's no real spark here, no surprises or deep feeling. The whole thing is like ...

A.V. Club Denver/Boulder

A.V. Club Denver/Boulder
Sat, 21 Jun 2014 10:03:04 -0700

Jerry Sohl wrote the script (though credit went to Charles Beaumont), and it's a well-constructed piece of writing: events play out over the course of a day and an evening, and that immediacy makes Erich's situation all the more unsettling. There's no ...


Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:44:45 -0800

Written by Serling, or exceptional writers such as Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, Jerry Sohl, and -- once -- Ray Bradbury, the episodes contained political messages and moral lessons while also scaring you. And even though they, at times, look a ...


Mon, 27 Jan 2014 22:57:00 -0800

The script by Jerry Sohl (Frankenstein Conquers the World) is silly and hits every cliché in the book. Loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft's The Colour Out of Space, the film shares many similarities to Edgar Allan Poe's Fall of the House of Usher; from ...


Fri, 24 Jan 2014 01:02:32 -0800

Clearly writer Jerry Sohl and director Daniel Haller had watched the sister films or, at least, had the Cliff's Notes of the original stories handy for this film's creation. Fortunately, although the similarities are undeniable to the power of Xerox ...


Fri, 28 Jun 2013 13:56:13 -0700

Fear lives forever. If as kids we are scared witless by some moment in a story, movie or TV show, it goes into a bank of memories we can tap and withdraw, with a shudder or a smile, for the rest of our lives. In popular culture of the past 60 years ...

A.V. Club

A.V. Club
Tue, 12 Feb 2013 22:06:05 -0800

Among those memorably scary—and funny—season-five episodes is “Living Doll,” written by Beaumont and Jerry Sohl, and starring Telly Savalas as a crank who resents the money his wife spends on toys for his stepdaughter. When one of those toys—a ...
Locus Online
Fri, 24 Aug 2012 17:41:44 -0700

And the stratified sociopolitical hierarchy that all good men must rebel against can be found in a dozen books of the period, from James Gunn to Jerry Sohl. But sheer pastiche, however entertaining and glossy, is not Roberts sole ambition. He also ...

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