Twilight Zone - The Complete Series

Production Year: 1959-1964
Release Date: 11-19-2013
Company: Image Entertainment

How does one properly review a complete television series (156 episodes) without being monotonous?  That's the question.  Twilight Zone is the quintessential science fiction/horror television show, predating classics like Star Trek and Night Gallery.

Not only that, but the number of talented actors involved with the show is just tremendous.  Dennis Hopper, Martin Landau, Telly Savalas, and Robert Duvall and numerous others lent their chops to the show.  So how does one really sum up 156 episodes in just one meager post?

I figured the best way to go about it would be to discuss a few of my favorite episodes of the classic show, but before we get into that, a little history...

Rod Sterling is a name you're going to hear a lot when you get into this television series.  He was not just the host but also the creator.  The first season kicked off in 1959 and lasted until 1964.  The final episode (The Bewitchin' Pool; Season 5) aired on June 19th, 1964.  While it was only on for a short time it would go on to make a pretty big impact on the way television shows would be perceived.

I mentioned a number of famous actors that appeared on the show, that's not to over shadow some of the amazing authors that their talent to the show, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, and Charles Beaumont just to name a few.  Alright, onto some episodes...

Time Enough At Last (Season 1)

An obvious choice, yes, but that doesn't lessen the impact of this episode.  Time Enough At Last was the first Twilight Zone episode I remember falling in love with.  Written by Lynn Venable, Time Enough At Last tells the story of a very bitter man (Henry; Burgess Meredith) who wants nothing more than some peace and quiet so he can finish his book.  Henry works at a bank, and during his break he descends into a vault to read.  While in the Vault his world falls into nuclear peril and he ends up being the only man left alive.  For the first time he can finally read as much as he desires...That's when his glasses break, leaving him blind.

The Night of the Meek (Season 2)

Henry Corwin (Art Carney) is a down on his luck, alcoholic department store Santa.  While he has his issues, he's a good guy with good intentions.  He manages to find a magic bag that produces gifts for everyone deserving of them.  It's essentially you're unintentional Santa Claus story with a Twilight Zone twist.

Death's Head Revisited (Season 3)

Gunther Lutze (Oscar Beregi Jr,) a former SS officer returns to the concentration camp he inhabited only to find it's haunted by the ghosts of Jews he'd slain.  While he claims he was only following orders, the spirits inflict the same mental damage he caused slowly driving the officer insane.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (Season 5)

Yet another extremely well known episodes, there's a few reasons for this.  One, it's damn good.  Two, William Shatner.  The third is due to its (very well done) remake in Twilight Zone: The Movie.  Bob Wilson (the aforementioned William Shatner) should have taken a different seat on this plane ride.  The man notices there's a gremlin.  Every time someone else looks the little monster hides making poor Bob sound insane.  Will he prove his point before the Gremlin destroys the wing??

Living Doll (Season 5)

Christie (Tracy Stratford) has a new wind-up doll named "Talky Tina."  She loves her new toy, and why not?  The doll seems innocent enough, right?  Well this is The Twilight Zone we're talking about here.  Christie's father Erich (Telly Savalas) is pretty infuriated when he finds out his wife bought their daughter a new toy, when he examines it he comes to the realization that things with this children's toy aren't exactly kosher.

As the screen caps above show, the PQ varies.  A majority of the episodes look clear while a handful do look a bit hazy, though nothing is unwatchable by any means.  The audio is about the same, the show suffers from some issues primarily due to age, occasionally you might hear a slight hiss or maybe a crack, but that's about it.  I wasn't expecting Pacific Rim picture quality when I viewed this and you shouldn't either, though I am curious to see how the blu-ray release fared.

 None.  This is a stripped down and basic set.  Each keep case contains 5 discs which hold the episodes, no extras to be found.

 A nice cardboard slipcase houses 5 plastic DVD keep cases.  It's simple and I dig that, a few digipacks might have looked better, but considering that this set has 25 discs that might have made things a bit complicated.

I grew up on this show, a number of my summer days were wasted away playing with Spawn figures and tuning into Twilight Zone marathons.  There are a few options for purchasing the seasons, this particular set lacks any special features and is priced as such.  If you do not care about the frills and are on a budget, this is the choice for you.

To this day The Twilight Zone continues to haunt our TV sets, there's even rumors of a Bryan Singer produced revival.  While a new series could have a lot of potential given the current climate of cable-story telling, nothing will ever replace the original.