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The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series - Blu-ray Review

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The Twilight Zone - Blu-ray Review


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5 Stars

There is a 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.”

With those words, Rod Serling – whose skull-like hollowed narration is as haunting now as it was in 1959 – guides viewers into a spellbinding world of the bizarre and the occult; where the impossible is possible.  Welcome to The Twilight Zone, an original anthology television series of frights and outer space sights that ran for five seasons on CBS.

Between October of 1959 and June of 1964, the television show treated universal and existential terrors with much weekly bravado and the payoff is the simple fact that most of the episodes still work from a 2013 viewing.  While some of the acting is a bit dated, the stories the episodes tell and the fears they collect are great.   Some episodes are good and some are almost good, if a bit unrealized.  And some of the 156 episodes - that’s some 75 hours of television - are plainly bad…albeit in an interesting way.

Good or bad, they are all collected in one amazing 24-disc Blu-ray set from Image Entertainment.  Now, you can revisit The Twilight Zone’s influence and dominating brilliance in these five seasons, newly remastered and cleaned up for high-definition clarity.  Most beloved TV shows from the past don't hold up very well. What was once innovative has been copied so often, and so badly, that even the original is sullied by the swamp of bad copycats and simple overkill.  This does not apply to The Twilight Zone.  Serling’s program has an overarching thematic and stylistic philosophy that thunderously declares itself the champion of the paranoid.  It depicts intense morality plays of the uncanny with a novel use of the twist ending.  This humanistic world-view is serviced well inside the strange and haunted universe of The Twilight Zone.

The quality and elegance of the writing is unmatched, too.  Some later dramas may exceed it (The Wire or Mad Men for example), but that impact comes from following a core group of characters for dozens of hours. That The Twilight Zone – an anthology series of science fiction and horror - could pack such punch with new characters in stylized settings week after week speaks volumes about the tight, compact power of the writing.  And look at the names involved, you have Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Alfred Hitchcock, Charles Beaumont, Lucille Fletcher, and Serling himself.

With this five season set, you revisit classics like “The Time Element”, where a man repeatedly "dreams" he's waking up in Pearl Harbor on the morning of the attack and “Where Is Everybody?” the series’ unforgettable opening movement.  There are classic episodes like “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge” and fan favorites “Night of the Meek”, “Steel”, “A Passage for Trumpet”, “The Invaders”, “A Game of Pool”, “The Four of Us are Dying”, “Nothing in the Dark”, “Walking Distance”, “Long Distance Call”, “Time Enough at Last”, “Kick the Can”, “I Sing the Body Electric”, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, “Mr. Dingle the Strong”, “The Lonely”, “The Odyssey of Flight 33”, “Two”, “Probe 7 – Over and Out”, “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street” and many more that will keep you glued to the screen for hours.  You also get numerous audio commentaries, tons of interviews, Serling lectures, a batch of promos, and isolated music scores from terror maestro Bernard Hermann.

For the fans patiently holding out for the ultimate compilation of Rod Serling’s sci-fi masterpiece – the time has finally arrived.  The Twilight Zone: The Complete Collection features all of the episodes of Rod Serling’s groundbreaking series completely re-mastered and enhanced in high definition, all in one box set. Enjoy over 75 hours of the iconic episodes featuring some of Hollywood’s biggest names including William Shatner, Robert Redford, Mickey Rooney, Burt Reynolds, Art Carney, Burgess Meredith, Cliff Robertson, Dennis Weaver, Don Rickles, Jack Klugman, Jay Overholts, Lee Marvin, Martin Landau, Robert McCord and many more! Loaded with bonus features found in the individual Seasons 1-5 releases, this collection gives you another reason to dive back into the cryptic, metaphysical world of The Twilight Zone.

Thankfully, there is still a place where ideas matter.  Welcome, my friends, to The Twilight Zone.  There is no turning back once you press play.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

The Twilight Zone - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
5 Stars

5 Stars

Blu-ray Experience
5 Stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - June 5, 2012
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Audio: English: LPCM Mono
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Twenty four-disc set (24 BDs)
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Image Entertainment goes back to the original camera negatives and presents The Twilight Zone in 1080p/AVC-encoded transfers.  Restored for Blu-ray, the clarity of the image is nothing like anyone ever saw on TV screens in 1962. The facial detail renders this a whole new experience.  Each episode is presented in 1.37:1 pillar-boxed format, and except for a bit of stylization.  It's mostly standard late-'50s television photography but the added HD detail is remarkable, and in a weird way it enhances the intimacy between the viewer and the actors, particularly in close-up.  The uncompressed PCM mono audio is likewise strong and the isolated music cues are another strong reason to pick up this copy.



  • Earl Holliman, Martin Landau, Rod Taylor, Martin Milner, Kevin McCarthy, and CBS executive William Self and many more provide the episode commentaries.  There are about 20 episode commentaries per season.  Truly fascinating stuff to listen to for any fan of science fiction or the show.

Special Features:

Extras are spread through each disc with a whopping amount of commentaries (by the likes of Earl Holliman, Martin Landau, Rod Taylor, Martin Milner, Kevin McCarthy, and CBS executive William Self etc.) and include stuff like the never-before-released unofficial pilot “The Time Element” written by Rod Serling and shown on the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse - on the 5th Blu-ray. There looks to be heaping amount more...there are promos, radio dramas, Emmy Award footage, vintage audio recollections with actors Burgess Meredith and Anne Francis, directors Douglas Heyes and Richard L. Bare, producer Buck Houghton and writer Richard Matheson, Rod Serling audio lectures from Sherwood Oaks College, Rod Serling Promos for "Next Week's" Show and more.  And that’s just for the first season!  With five seasons of material, Image Entertainment has simply outdone themselves with this must own box set.  There are 24 discs of material included in this set.  Dive in!

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