The second season of Rod Serling’s landmark TV anthology series comes to blu-ray. This collection features a whopping 36 episodes featuring many notable stars of the day (Burgess Meredith, Fritz Weaver, Franchot Tone, Robert Cummings, E.G Marshall, etc).
Season two was really Serling operating at the peak of his prowess. With thirty six episodes running half hour each, Serling was responsible for an awful lot of content, but the quality never diminished. Highlights from this season include: KING NINE WILL NOT RETURN: Robert Cummings plays the Captain of a WW2 bomber who finds himself stranded in North Africa with a crashed plane, and a crew which has mysteriously vanished. This is a one-man show for Cummings, who was admittedly a bit of a lightweight, but probably does the acting job of his life here.
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: An absolute mindf**k of an episode told from the point of view of a horribly deformed woman, who’s waiting to be unmasked after radical plastic surgery. The whole episode is shot without revealing anyone’s face, and the ending stands as one of the most inspired in the show’s history.
THE SILENCE: Franchot Tone plays an elderly aristocrat, who challenges a talkative young man to stay silent for an entire year, with a 500 Thousand Dollar incentive. This one actually plays out more like an episode of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, but that’s not a bad thing. The ending is a classic.
THE OBSOLETE MAN: Another classic featuring Burgess Meredith as a librarian rendered obsolete by a future totalitarian government that has outlawed books and religion. He’s sentenced to death, but before he dies, he’ll teach the mouthpiece of the fascist government a much needed lesson in selflessness, humility, and courage.
Of course those are just a few highlights of an insanely memorable season, and you could really just select an episode at random and be guaranteed a solid half hour of occasionally thought-provoking entertainment.
Last but not least is an episode of a previous anthology series, CLIMAX!, called NIGHTMARE AT GROUND ZERO which was also scripted by Serling.