Judge Jim Thomas recently discovered The Twilight Zone is a suburb of San Diego.
Our reviews of The Twilight Zone: Season One (Blu-ray) (published October 29th, 2010), The Twilight Zone: Season Two (Blu-ray) (published December 9th, 2010), The Twilight Zone: Season Three (Blu-ray) (published February 15th, 2011), The Twilight Zone: The Complete Third Season (published July 10th, 2013), The Twilight Zone: Season Four (Blu-ray) (published May 17th, 2011), The Twilight Zone: The Complete Fourth Season (published August 9th, 2013), The Twilight Zone: Season Five (Blu-ray) (published August 29th, 2011), The Twilight Zone: The Complete Fifth Season (published September 26th, 2013), and The Twilight Zone (2002): The Complete First Season (published October 6th, 2004) are also available.
Image Entertainment follows up its stellar Blu-ray release of this television classic with a dumbed down DVD set. Apparently, extras are not backwards compatible.
The Twilight Zone: The Complete Second Season continues on the path set by the first season—flights of imagination that keep us off balance, guessing until the last moment. All twenty-nine episodes are included in this set, which includes more than a few certifiable classics…
• "The Howling Man"—A man learns a hard lesson about the nature of evil.
• "The Eye of the Beholder"—This was, in fact, the very first episode of The Twilight Zone I ever saw.
• "Nick of Time"—Marooned in a small town, William Shatner becomes obsessed with a fortune telling machine.
• "The Invaders"—Agnes Moorehead (Citizen Kane) fights off an alien invasion.
• "A Most Unusual Camera"—A group of two-bit hoods steal a camera that takes pictures of the future.
• "Night of the Meek"—A down-on-his-luck department store Santa (Art Carney, Harry and Tonto) finds a magical burlap bag.
• "Mr. Dingle, the Strong"—Aliens gift a perennial loser (Burgess Meredith, Rocky) with superhuman strength. Also features legendary comic Don Rickles.
• "The Prime Mover"—When a small-time gambler discovers that his friend (Buddy Ebsen, Breakfast at Tiffany's) has telekinesis, he hatches a plot strike it big in Vegas.
• "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?"—State troopers, investigating a crashed UFO, follow footprints from the site to a diner, where a group of travelers are waiting to resume their journey. Is an alien hiding amongst them?
Those are the ones that immediately spring to mind, but there isn't a weak episode in the set; it's yet another testament to Serling's genius that the quality of these shows is so consistently high.
Technically, the set benefits greatly from the cleanup done for Image's recent Blu-ray release of the series. Video and audio are damned good, particularly for DVD—with one caveat. As a cost-cutting experiment, CBS forced Serling to shoot several episodes on videotape. Those episodes look markedly worse than the others, with weaker detail and black crush throughout. Fortunately, the strength of the stories still comes through.
Another concern with this set is the absolute absence of extras. The earlier Blu-ray releases had a wealth of extras. Here, we get nothing, not even the remastered stereo track; all we have is mono. Video and audio are exceptional, mind you; it's just that you can't help but feel that the set is lacking.
The court finds itself in a curious quandary. If the lack of extras is not a problem for you, then it is a good set, particularly at the $20-$25 price point. If, on the other hand, you are the kind of person who likes the extras—and I suspect that most people who want to own The Twilight Zone on DVD are likely to want some extras—then you're better off ponying up the extra money for the Blu-rays.
Under these circumstances, a true verdict may not be possible, but that's just the way it goes…in The Twilight Zone.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
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