The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: CBS - 1960-61, 1961-62
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Feature running time: 749 minutes, 950 minutes
Genre: TV Sci-Fi
Disc Format: BD-50 (4 Disk Set Season 2) (5 Disk Set Season 3)
Encoding: VC-1 (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.33:1
Audio Format(s): English Uncompressed PCM Mono
Starring: Rod Serling, William Shatner, Burgess Meredith, Art Carney, Bill Mumy, Don Rickles, Agnes Moorehead, Buddy Ebsen, Dick York, Sydney Pollack, Carol Burnett, Cliff Robertson, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Redford, Charles Bronson, Elizabeth Montgomery, Dean Stockwell
Directed by: Don Medford, Douglas Heyes, Richard L. Bare
Music by: Van Cleave, Bernard Herrmann, Fred Steiner, Jerry Goldsmith
Written by: Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 15, 2011 (Season 3) November 16, 2010 (Season 2)
"This is the dimension of imagination..."
All 29 episodes of the second season and all 37 episodes of the third season of Rod Serling’s classic, groundbreaking series, now presented in pristine high-definition for the first time ever, along with hours of new and exclusive bonus features not available anywhere else!
I reviewed The Twilight Zone Season 1 Blu-ray back in September. My feelings and review are still fitting for Seasons 2 & 3, also released by Image Entertainment. What I found was as each new season played out, so did the well of ideas, sometimes coming up flat, but still reaching for greatness and achieving it much more than any other show in its time. Season 2 was not as strong as Season 1 and it kept that trend up going into season 3. I noticed that The Twilight Zone kept a main thread throughout...loneliness, being stranded or ending up somewhere unfamiliar. These themes are universal and no matter how it happens or where the setting is, we can all relate to the fear and paranoia of loneliness and confusion.
Some highlights of season 2 were episodes The Invaders, A Hundred Yards Over the Rim, William Shatner in Nick of Time and my favorite of all three seasons so far, The Eye of the Beholder. The Eye of the Beholder is about a disfigured woman who undergoes plastic surgery to look more like everyone else. We slowly learn the woman is living in a totalitarian state where looking like everyone else is necessary. This leads to a perfect and powerful Twilight Zone ending. Season 3 had less moments that really grabbed me. It's A Good Life and Kick the Can were among the best. They were both remade for 1983s infamous "Twilight Zone: The Movie", but were much better here. I also enjoyed The Midnight Sun, which is a foreshadowing to global warming, as Earth's orbit changes and it is getting closer and closer to the sun. I loved watching these episodes and cannot wait until Season 4 is released in May.
Below is my review for Season 1
You know that saying, "They just don't make em' like they used to", well The Twilight Zone is the perfect example. Can you believe this aired on TV over 50 years ago??--Without the aid of 100 million dollar budgets, Megan Fox in a thong and 100 computer whiz's CGI-ing anything imaginable; almost every episode in this set (OK they were a few stinkers) blows most of todays films/TV series out of the water. Even though they are Black and White, have limited rudimentary special effects and sets, and are under 30 minutes in length, they have what is missing from most of the generic slop we are force fed today, amazing plots and great acting. PS M. Night... Serling owned the big twist ending 40 years before you!
These bizarre tales of science fiction, suspense and horror by creator Rod Serling and his band of master storytellers connect to the viewer because they understood and utilized the most basic foundation a story needs, a connection to the human condition. Whether it is the avid, almost addicted reader who ends up having all the time in the world to read after being the only survivor of a nuclear war; Or the man who ends up visiting his childhood home after 20 years, finds himself to be back in time and meeting a child version of himself. These episodes seemed to connect somewhere in our psyche and through the bizarre fifth dimension we found a bit of humanity lurking around every Monster, Martian or out of this world event.
I was born in the mid 70's, over ten years past then last season of The Twilight Zone so, when I was old enough to see a few episodes I was 20 years late. It seemed cheesy and old to me...and cmon now, it was Black and White...bhech! (I don't think that now! I was 9 in '83) I never gave The Twilight Zone a fair chance. I saw 1983's Twilight Zone: The Movie and thought it was OK but it never resonated with me as a little kid.
My older brother became a fan of The Twilight Zone in the early 2k's, collecting all the series on DVD. He told me how great it was but I never bothered to reinvest my time. When I found out this was coming for review, I told him about it and made sure he would come over when I threw it in. We chose his 6 favorite episodes of Season 1 and gave it a spin. I went into this set figuring I would just watch those and have feel enough for the show. Guess what?? I kept going, and in 4 days I watched the whole first season. I cant recommended this first season of The Twilight Zone enough. Just be warned it is a bit dated... but is great storytelling ever 'dated'?
Not Rated. Some Mild Violence and Adult Themes
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
'The Twilight Zone: Seasons 2 & 3' comes to Blu-ray Disc from Image Entertainment & CBS featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18.2 mbps and uncompressed PCM mono sound that has an constant bitrate of 1.53 mbps
My thoughts of Season 1's AV presentation really do mirror what I saw when watching Image Entertainment's newly mastered Seasons 2 & 3. The Blu-rays are from a new 1080p transfer using original film negatives and soundtrack. The black level and shadow details are surprisingly strong and detailed. There is something about the black and white that helps give this naturally grainy, slightly noisy and at times imperfect 35mm source a nice pop off the screen. Don't get me wrong, the grain and small amount of random pops and scratches are in the source and this new transfer squeezes every bit of detail out of what was available. I can't see this looking any better, though it can never reach reference quality. The uncompressed mono audio is the same way. The dynamics can get a bit off as the relationship between dialogue/effects/score are not completely fluid. Not that they are bad or even stick-out as a sore thumb, they actually sound fitting to the time periods sound design. Surprisingly I never had an issue making out dialogue or any part of the mix. The audio sure is clear and tonally acceptable, though never having deep low end or the refinement we are so spoiled with these days. I found it more enjoyable and a bit more clear then the original mastered audio which as also included. I bet 'The Twilight Zone' has never sounded or looked better. Fans will be very happy with this A/V presentation.
The scoring system used weighs things like color, LFE, surround sound and flesh-tones. These are obvious things a Black and White source that has a mono mix wont have. In all fairness, it would be wrong for that to give this a super low score, so I balanced out where I think this should be rated by padding those categories.
Season 2 Episodes:
- King Nine Will Not Return, The Man in the Bottle, Nervous Man in a Four-Dollar Room, A Thing About Machines, The Howling Man, Eye of the Beholder, Nick of Time, The Lateness of the Hour, The Trouble with Templeton, A Most Unusual Camera, The Night of the Meek, Dust, Back There, The Whole Truth, The Invaders, A Penny for Your Thoughts, Twenty-Two, The Odyssey of Flight 33, Mr. Dingle, the Strong, Static, The Prime Mover, Long Distance Call, A Hundred Yards over the Rim, The Rip Van Winkle Caper, The Silence, Shadow Play, The Mind and the Matter, Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?, The Obsolete Man
Season 3 Episodes:
- Two, The Arrival , The Shelter, The Passerby, A Game of Pool, The Mirror, The Grave, It's a Good Life, Death's Head Revisited, The Midnight Sun, Still Valley, The Jungle, Once Upon a Time, Five Characters in Search of an Exit, A Quality of Mercy, Nothing in the Dark, One More Pallbearer, Dead Man's Shoes, The Hunt , Showdown with Rance McGrew, Kick the Can, A Piano in the House, The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank, To Serve Man, The Fugitive, Little Girl Lost, Person or Persons Unknown, The Little People, Four O'Clock , Hocus-Pocus and Frisby, The Trade-ins, The Gift, The Dummy, Young Man's Fancy, I Sing the Body Electric, Cavender Is Coming , The Changing of the Guard
'The Twilight Zone: Season 2'
- Audio Commentaries by actors Donna Douglas, Don Rickles, William Idelson, Bill Mumy, Cliff Robertson, Dennis Weaver and Shelley Berman
- 25 New Audio Commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani, author/music historian Steven C. Smith, author/film & TV historian, Martin Grams Jr., writer/music historian Jon Burlingame, writer Len Wein, writer/producer Joseph Dougherty, writer/producer Matthew Weiner, writer/director Michael Nankin, writer Marv Wolfman, authors/historians Scott Skelton and Jim Benson and writer George Clayton Johnson.
- (HD) Suspense episode “Nightmare at Ground Zero” written by Rod Serling
- Vintage audio recollections with actors Burgess Meredith and Anne Francis, directors Douglas Heyes and Richard L. Bare, producer Buck Houghton and writer Richard Matheson
- Interviews with actors Joseph Ruskin and H. M. Wynant
- 34 isolated music scores featuring Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith and others
- Vintage Audio Recollections with Buzz Kulik, Douglas Heyes, Maxine Stuart, George Clayton Johnson and Robert Serling
- Vintage audio interview with director of photography George T. Clemens
- 22 Isolated Music Scores featuring the legendary Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith, Fred Steiner
- Vintage Audio Interview with George T. Clemens Audio Interview (1978) Part 2 and an interview makeup artist William Tuttle
- 15 Radio Dramas featuring Daniel J. Travanti, Jim Caviezel, Jason Alexander, Ed Begley Jr., Fred Willard, Jane Seymour, Michael York, Chris McDonald, Henry Rollins & Stan Freberg
'The Twilight Zone: Season 3'
- Audio Commentaries by actors Bill Mumy, Lois Nettleton, William Windom, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Cornthwaite and Cliff Robertson & Commentary by Jonathan Winters for A Game of Pool, plus Winters reads the Alternate Ending from the original script
- 19 New Audio Commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani (Fantastic Television), authors/historians Scott Skelton and Jim Benson (Rod Serling's Night Gallery: An After Hours Tour), Twilight Zone writers Earl Hamner, George Clayton Johnson and John Tomerlin, writer William F. Nolan (Logan's Run), author/historian Martin Grams, Jr. (The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic), writer Marv Wolfman (creator of Blade and New Teen Titans), writer Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Coraline), writer/producer Jeff Vlaming (NCIS, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica), writer Mark Fergus (Children of Men, Iron Man) and writer Len Wein (creator of Swamp Thing, Wolverine, New X-Men)
- (HD) Rare Rod Serling appearances as a guest on The Garry Moore Show and Tell It to Groucho and as host of the popular game show Liar’s Club
- Interview with actor Edson Stroll
- Vintage Audio Interview with George T. Clemens Audio Interview (1978) Part 3
- Isolated Scores for all 37 episodes featuring the legendary Bernard Herrmann, Van Cleave & Fred Steiner
- Clip from the 1989 remake of A Game of Pool, featuring George Clayton Johnson’s original ending & Clip from the 1985 remake of Dead Man’s Shoes, featuring Helen Mirren in Dead Woman’s Shoes
- Vintage Audio Recollections with Buzz Kulik, Buck Houghton, Richard L. Bare, Lamont Johnson and Earl Hamner
- Original Laugh Track for Cavender Is Coming
- Vintage Audio Interview with director of photography George T. Clemens
- 19 Radio Dramas featuring Don Johnson, Blair Underwood, Ernie Hudson, Morgan Brittany, Adam West, Ed Begley, Jr., Jason Alexander, Shelley Berman, Michael York & Bruno Kirby
As with Season 1, I had a blast watching Seasons 2 and 3 of The Twilight Zone. If you enjoyed them when they originally aired or in syndication you will throughly enjoy this set by Image Entertainment. I would venture to say this will be a welcome upgrade and is a must have for die hards. If you have never seen The Twilight Zone like me, it is very worth a rental. Image Entertainment didn't skimp on us here as this release is jam packed with extras that include all the content from the DVD Definitive Collection, plus new commentaries, interviews, isolated scores and a top quality transfer. Go ahead, take a journey to the... "fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man, It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone."
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