003778Reviews & Counting
The Twilight Zone (S5)
BLU-RAY disk
09.08.2011 By: Stephanie Cooke
The Twilight Zone (S5) order
Rod Serling

Rod Serling


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One off original TV series stories from 1959-1964 depicting people in paranormal, sci-fi and futuristic events. As the intro to the show says: "You're traveling to another dimension...a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind...a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop: The Twilight Zone."
I’ve been told that the fifth and final season of THE TWILIGHT ZONE is considered to be one of the best seasons of the show. Up until last week, I had never before seen an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. While obviously I had heard of it and the classic theme music is something I’ve been familiar with for a long time, actually seeing an episode was something that I just never got around to.

Among the first episodes on the season is the iconic ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet’ starring a young William Shatner. This episode is supposedly one of the best and while it was definitely a bit dated, it still delivers as far as spookiness and it still makes you wonder what the hell is actually going on. Aside from maybe a rerun of Star Trek, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Shatner in anything when he was in his hey day. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it definitely set the bar pretty high for the rest of the season. There’s an updated version of the episode where John Lithgow plays Shatner’s character in Twilight Zone: The Movie, which I definitely want to see.

Some of the episodes are a bit mundane and you wonder where they’re going with it. Episodes from this season, understandably, were back to being only a half hour long, instead of the hour long episodes that aired during the show's fourth season (and only the fourth season). One such episode was the second episode in the season titled ‘Steel’, which is set in a future where only androids are allowed to box. It was a little slow and just generally lacking in the interesting department compared to some of the other episodes.

However, all in all, it was actually really amazing to watch how well the black and white show converted to Blu-ray. The picture was beautiful and the show was a joy to watch. I can see why THE TWILIGHT ZONE made the impact it did and why it remains iconic even now. I actually want to go back and watch some of the early episodes from the series to see what it was like when it first started out.
While many people who are picking up the show are picking it up for nostalgic reasons or because they’re big fans of the series, another great excuse to pick up the Blu-ray of it is because of the special features. This Blu-ray is one of the most jam-packed set of Blu-ray extras that I’ve ever come across. They pretty well had me when I saw that author Neil Gaiman was a part of the audio commentaries. A lot of these are really self-explanatory, like the audio commentaries, the billboards and the interviews.

20 New Audio Commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani, Twilight Zone directors Ted Post, Richard Donner and Robert Butler, writer Earl Hamner, actors George Takei and Peter Mark Richman, author/historian Martin Grams, Jr., authors/historians Jim Benson and Scott Skelton, author Bill Warren, writer Neil Gaiman, writer/director Michael Nankin and radio host George Noory: A great set of people that speak about THE TWILIGHT ZONE. As I mentioned at the top, they pretty well had me right at Neil Gaiman. A lot of the times I find that audio commentaries are pretty pointless and can be really dry. However, I love the people that they got to speak about the show for this set. As I mentioned earlier, they pretty well had me right at Neil Gaiman, as I consider him a modern day expert in writing and sci-fi and fantasy.

Vintage Audio Interview with director of photography George T. Clemens

22 Radio Dramas featuring Louis Gossett, Jr., Adam Baldwin, Peter Mark Richman, Beverly Garland, Adam West, Bill Erwin, Luke Perry, Mariette Hartley, Ed Begley, Jr., Kate Jackson, Mike Starr, Stan Freberg, Jason Alexander, Jane Seymour, James Keach and Karen Black: A great addition to the Blu-ray as well. The radio dramas started in 2002 and many were adaptations of original episodes. I was really impressed with some of the names that were attached to these dramas, especially Adam Baldwin. It’s nice to see actors step out of their traditional roles on camera to do something like this.

Audio Commentaries by Bill Mumy (In Praise of Pip), Mickey Rooney (The Last Night of a Jockey), June Foray (Living Doll), Mariette Hartley (The Long Morrow), Marc Scott Zicree (Number 12 Looks Just Like You), Alan Sues (The Masks) and Martin Landau (The Jeopardy Room)

Video Interviews with Richard Matheson, George Clayton Johnson, Earl Hamner, Bill Mumy, June Foray, Carolyn Kearney, Michael Forest, Nancy Malone and Terry Becker: These interviews are with writers, actors and other people who worked with THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

Isolated Music Scores featuring the legendary Bernard Herrmann, Van Cleave and Rene Garriguenc
The Mike Wallace Interview (September 1959)
Netherlands Sales Pitch
Excerpt from Rod Serling's Sherwood Oaks Experimental College Lecture
Alfred Hitchcock Promo
Rare George Clayton Johnson Home Movies
Rod Serling Promos for "Next Week's" Show
Twilight Zone Season 5 Billboards
The show is hokey and remains in black and white as it originally aired. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but as far as I can tell, the show passes the test of time and is still worth watching. A little outdated, as most classic TV shows and movies tend to be, but a lot of fun and still contains a lot of creeptastic scenes that helped pave the way for the industry today.
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