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

The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Various
Starring: Rod Serling and Various Others
Rated: UR/Region: 1/1:33/1080p/Number of disc: 25
Available from Paramount Pictures/CBS Home Video

All 156 episodes of Rod Serling’s classic television series in one special Blu-ray box set. This “not just episodes-only” collection includes all 5 seasons of the groundbreaking TV series in full 1080p HD. Guest stars include Art Carney, Burgess Meredith, Cliff Robertson, Dennis Hopper, Bill Bixby, Leonard Nimoy, Burt Reynolds, Don Rickles, Jack Klugman, Robert Redford, Lee Marvin, Martin Landau, Telly Savalas, William Shatner and much more.

I’m sooo happy Twilight Zone has finally hit the shelves again in HD. As you may know, an older Blu-ray set was released some time back and had since gone out of print and was going for a pretty big price online. Here we have the set in a very similar to the DVD set that was released a month or so back, only this time around it actually has a “play all” option to watch everything without the annoyance of having to go back to the main menu to pick another episode. It contains a nice slip box that holds each individual season of the show as they were in their solo releases but now it doesn’t just show only. This means each season is on a few discs and comes with plenty of extras that goes well along with getting all the episodes in HD again at long last and we can’t forget that really that is all that matters. The price is way better than most were getting the old release of the show for so I think this is a very good set out there and one of the most welcome of 2016.

SEASON ONE

The complete first season (36 episodes) of Rod Serling’s classic, groundbreaking series exploring the fantastic and the frightening. Special guest stars include Burgess Meredith, Claude Akins, Ida Lupino, Jack Klugman, Martin Landau, Roddy McDowall, Ted Knight, Ron Howard and more! Episodes: Where Is Everybody?, One for the Angels, Mr. Denton on Doomsday, Sixteen Millimeter Shrine, Walking Distance, Escape Clause, The Lonely, Time Enough at Last, Perchance to Dream, Judgment Night, And When the Sky Was Opened, What You Need, The Four of Us Are Dying, Third from the Sun, I Shot an Arrow into the Air, The Hitch-Hiker, The Fever, The Last Flight, The Purple Testament, Elegy, Mirror Image, The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, A World of Difference, Long Live Walter Jameson, People Are Alike All Over, Execution, The Big Tall Wish, A Nice Place to Visit, Nightmare as a Child, A Stop at Willoughby, The Chaser, A Passage for Trumpet, Mr. Bevis, The After Hours, The Mighty Casey, A World of His Own..

The season that started it all and would be the forerunner for many other horror anthologies shows to come. To really appreciate just how special season one of this show was I think we’d have had to be there, but to just think about it gives you an idea. I was born in 1983, but something like this must have been really cool to turn your TV on and see in 1959. Rod Serling would introduce us to some very some creepy and ironic tales and some of which are very awesome. After all, this is the season that kick-started what would come and the legacy of the series. If you are a fan of the show this season will show you why everyone at one time or another was a fan.

Among the best of this season is the classic “Time Enough at Last”. We all know that story and its very iconic ending. We also have “Perchance to Dream” a movie that may have influenced A Nightmare on Elm Street. Then again, how often could we say that about many episodes of the series? I think season 2 might be the overall best, but you will find that this season wasn’t very far behind. This is a must-own for anyone who loves the show or horror anthology series throughout the years. I don’t think it is possible to get bored with a show like this and I’m sure many people feel the very same way.

SEASON TWO

All 29 episodes of the second season of Rod Serling’s classic, groundbreaking series! This set has each episode All 29 episodes of the second season of Rod Serling’s classic, groundbreaking series! This also the season that features the episodes that were filmed on video instead of film to save budget. And, they actually look very good here on DVD as well!

There have been many horror/sci-fi anthology shows to come along over the years, but here we have the one that started it all. While a few are really awesome you can’t deny that Twilight Zone was the best. What we have here might just be the season that truly defined how awesome The Twilight Zone really was. Sure, there are few episodes that didn’t hit the mark as well as others, but this is also the season that featured such classics as “The Eye of the Beholder”, “Man in the Bottle”, “Nick of Time” (with William Shatner), “Dust”, and lots more awesome episodes.

More times than not these shows end with a twist and of course, some are better than others. Still, you can’t deny the quality of this show and I will admit that I have had more fun watching these five discs than I have had watching anything in a very long time. So, why wait for New Years for Sy-Fy to air the early Twilight Zone marathon when you can enjoy some of the best series had to offer any time you want with this 29 episode set?

SEASON THREE

All 37 episodes of the third season of Rod Serling’s classic, groundbreaking series. We get these shows on five discs and if you love the Twilight Zone and don’t already own the series in some form or fashion, this is a great set for you to get.

The third season of The Twilight Zone might have changed up the intro a bit, but it was still the same fun show we have grown to love over the years. Even if Rod Serling was a bit tapped out during the making of this season, the signs of wear and tiredness are far and few as we go through all 37 Episodes of this show that has become a legend to not just horror fans, but everyone. You might look at a set like this and be a little intimidated by the five discs, but once you start you will find that the time seems to fly by once you start watching.

This series might not be overall as strong as season two, but it is still extremely strong. “Nothing in the Dark”, “Person or Persons Unknown”, “A Game of Pool”, “I Sing the Body Electric”, and other iconic and legendary episodes are here for us to enjoy and enjoy them I’m sure you will with season three of The Twilight Zone. Great acting, great writing, and great twists are here for all and I enjoyed every moment of it.

SEASON FOUR

EXPLORE THE FANTASTIC AND THE FRIGHTENING. This collection includes all 18 episodes from the fourth season of Rod Serling’s legendary classic television series. Travel to another dimension of sight and sound with special guest stars Bill Bixby, Burgess Meredith, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Jack Klugman, Jack Weston, James Best, Ann Jillian, Anne Francis, James Whitmore, Martin Balsam, Robert Duvall and more! Episodes: In His Image, The Thirty-Fathom Grave, Valley of the Shadow, He’s Alive, Mute, Death Ship, Jess-Belle, Miniature, Printer’s Devil, No Time Like the Past, The Parallel, I Dream of Genie, and more!

In November 1962 CBS contracted Twilight Zone (now sans the “The”) as a mid-season January replacement for Fair Exchange. That oddly enough was the show that originally took the place of The Twilight Zone. In order to fill the slot the show was changed from a 30-minute format to an hour format and that is why we get fewer episodes here. Fewer episodes, but longer ones regardless. That can be hit and miss in some cases as I personally love the 30-minute format, but there are still some awesome episodes here no matter what the running time is.

Rod Serling also does a lot of intros on a basic backdrop a lot of the time this season. That should only lead you to realize the awkward feeling that can follow this season around from time to time. Then again, it also makes this season stand out above the rest for better or worse for that very same reason. You still get some awesome episodes here and this is a must for any Twilight Zone purest.

SEASON FIVE

TRAVEL TO ANOTHER DIMENSION OF SIGHT AND SOUND…with Rod Serling’s classic television series exploring the fantastic and the frightening. This collection includes all 36 episodes from the fifth and final season of this legendary series. Special guest stars include Jack Klugman, Jackie Cooper, James Coburn, Lee Marvin, Martin Landau, Mickey Rooney, Shelley Fabares, Telly Savalas, William Shatner, George Takei and more! Episodes: In Praise of Pip, Steel, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, A Kind of a Stopwatch, The Last Night of a Jockey, Living Doll, The Old Man in the Cave, Uncle Simon, Probe 7 Over and Out, The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms, Ninety Years Without Slumbering, Ring-A-Ding Girl, You Drive, The Long Morrow, The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross, Number Twelve Looks Just Like You, Black Leather Jackets, Night Call, From Agnes, with Love, Spur of the Moment, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Queen of the Nile, What’s in the Box, The Masks, I Am the Night Color Me Black, Sounds and Silences, Caesar and Me, The Jeopardy Room, Stopover in a Quiet Town, The Encounter, Mr. Garrity and the Graves, The Brain Center at Whipple’s, Come Wander with Me, The Fear, The Bewitchin’ Pool

The fifth and final season of The Twilight Zone aired Fridays at 9:30-10:00 pm on CBS and for the last season the show went back to the usual 30 minutes format. I think this was a great idea as the hour shows felt a little off and most of these strange tells fit the 30-minute frame much better, causing things to get right to the point and feel more fitting. Here, you have 36 episodes and while some might have felt the show was running out of steam in season four, you will notice that this season packed some very memorable episodes that are considered classics. To go over each would take way more space than we have here, but there are a couple that you will without question know by heart.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet starring William Shatner may be the star of this set. Not that there aren’t other great episodes, but this is probably the one I remember most from all the episodes I have seen and I think a lot of horror lovers are in the very same boat. You couldn’t help but notice a decline from Rod Sterling, with many of the intros done clearly not on the set as they were done in the past. Still, you can’t hold that against him or the series because the man was a machine and everyone gets tired. The Twilight Zone, however, didn’t seem tired to me during its last season of the original run.

Extras

– Rare unofficial pilot episode “The Time Element,”
– Original unaired pilot version of “Where is Everybody?” with Rod Serling’s network pitch
– Numerous audio commentaries and interviews
– Rod Serling’s audio lectures
– Promos for “next week’s” show
– Radio Dramas
– Sponsor Billboards
– Isolated music scores

Quality of Transfer: 95% (Not counting the Shot on Video Episodes from Season 2)