The Twilight Zone: Season 5 (5-Disc Set), Blu-ray (1964/2011)

by | Aug 23, 2011 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

The Twilight Zone: Season 5 (5-Disc Set), Blu-ray  (1964/2011)

Guest Stars: Bill Mumy, George Takei, James Coburn, Lee Marvin, Martin Landau, Mickey Rooney, Shelley Fabares, William Shatner, Jack Klugman
Studio: Image Entertainment [8/30/11]
Video: 1.33:1 1080p HD; Black & White
Audio: English PCM Mono
Subtitles: English SDH
Extras: 20 new audio commentaries; Conversations with Rod Serling; 22 Radio Dramas; 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”), Alan Sues (“The Masks”) and Martin Landau (“The Jeopardy Room”); Interviews with various cast and crew; isolated music scores; The Mike Wallace Interview (September 1959); Netherlands Sales Pitch; Excerpt from Rod Serling’s Sherwood Oaks College Lecture; Alfred Hitchcock Promo; George Clayton Johnson’s home movies; Marc Scott Zicree Interview with George T. Clemens; Sponsor billboards
Total Length: 916 minutes
Movie Rating: *****      Video Rating: *****     Audio Rating: ****1/2

In the five short years that it ran on television (1959-1964), “The Twilight Zone” established itself as one of the most innovative and groundbreaking shows of its, or any, generation.  Episodes dealt with, among other things, science-fiction, futuristic and paranormal topics, and typically injected a surprising plot twist somewhere therein.  Rod Serling’s show remains one of the most popular television shows of all time and it has certainly influenced the creation of popular sci-fi shows like “The X-Files” and “Fringe”. 

The entire 36 episodes from the final season of the iconic television show are included on these five discs.  (Disc One: 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. Disc Two: Uncle Simon; Probe 7 Over and Out; The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms; A Short Drink From a Certain Fountain; Ninety Years Without Slumbering; Ring-A-Ding Girl; You Drive. Disc Three: The Long Morrow; The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross; Number 12 Looks Just Like You; Black Leather Jackets; Night Call; From Agnes – with Love; Spur of the Moment. Disc Four: 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. Disc Five: 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). 

My favorite episodes from the fifth season are: “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” which stars William Shatner as a distraught man on a plane who believes he witnesses a gremlin on the wing tearing apart the engine; “Living Doll” where a step dad (Telly Savalas) battles a talking doll with seemingly homicidal tendencies; and the Oscar-winning “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” in which a Civil War civilian about to be executed seemingly escapes his hanging and makes a mad dash home to be with his wife.  With its innovative storylines and splendid video and audio restoration, I highly recommend “The Twilight Zone: Season Five” (along with its four previous seasons already out on Blu-ray) as a ‘must-own’.  
The overall high definition video quality of “The Twilight Zone: Season 5” is outstanding, especially given the age of the source material.  Images are remarkably sharp with the finest of details being nicely displayed.  Black levels are inky dark throughout the set and white levels present excellent contrast without being overblown.  Picture defect mastering is commendable and free of major defects and compression artifacts.  The overall audio quality is also very good. (There is an option of either listening to a restored PCM mono audio mix or the original mono mix).  Dialogue is crisp and intelligible.  On the restored track there are no distracting clicks or hisses plus the music and sound effects do not overwhelm the vocals despite emanating from the same channel.  

—Calvin Harding Jr.

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