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Title: The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series

Movie: :5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :5stars:

HTS Overall Score:93







[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=86745[/img]
Summary
We can all argue back and forth about which is better, “The Twilight Zone” or “The Outer Limiters”, be we all know the eventual outcome. There are those who think Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” is easily the superior show, and then there are those people who are wrong. Ok, all jokes aside, “The Twilight Zone” is one of the most influential works of science fiction television to ever have hit the air. It rivals the greats such as Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek”, the original seasons of “Dr. Who”, and modern classics like “Babylon 5” and “Farscape”. It single handedly revolutionized adult television. At that point in time the broadcasting shows were less about adult fiction but more about sitcoms and informational programs. “The Twilight Zone” was initially seen as “pulp” fiction, devoid of anything serious or worthwhile. Especially since Rod Serling was the wonder boy of TV dramas at the time. He was even mocked and ridiculed by critics for losing his touch and moving on to “fluff” material. It wasn’t until YEARS later that most critics and people saw “The Twilight Zone” for the genius work that it was. Serious, playful, and eerily creepy, it was the perfect mix of science fiction, horror and dramatic storytelling of that time period.

Unlike many of the shows today, “The Twilight Zone” lasted only 5 short seasons, and by short I’m talking about it not making it to the 8-10 season arcs that some of its spiritual predecessor’s like “X-files” and “Dr. Who” did a few short decades later. In terms of actual run time it was ANYTHING but short. This was back in the day when broadcast TV shows ran into the 30-36 episodes per season category, something which is almost unheard of in today’s TV marketing world (even the really “high” count TV shows of today top out at 20-24 episodes). The series was an anthology show, and each week we would have a completely new story about some terrifying and deliciously out there science fiction tales that would delve into all sorts of social issues. It tackled everything from racism, to sexism, to political goings on in the day, and was done so well that most people didn’t pick up on the under tones until much later (sometimes years). Despite the serious nature of the show, it was still covered in a veneer of pulp science fiction and there were more than enough filler episodes that had nothing to them but a desire for good fun and great thrills.

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=86753[/img]
“The Twilight Zone” was initially release back in 2012 by Image Entertainment in individual season releases as well as a giant boxset that was nothing but the 5 individual seasons in a chipboard box. It was a fantastic release of the series spread across 25 discs and was widely considered one of the best complete TV series pickups of the day. Sadly Image lost the rights to distribute and the boxset went out of print before this sad panda could get his paws on it. However, Paramount is now redistributing the series in this giant clamshell boxset (with giant slipcover) that appears to be the EXACT same discs as the Image release. In fact the discs startup with the Image Entertainment Logo and show the exact same file sizes and bitrates as logged in other forums regarding the Image set. Which means we have access to those same fantastic discs, just housed in new packaging and under the Paramount Label. I for one am more than happy with that arrangement as this poor fellow kept meaning to pick up the Image Set when it first came out and then life got in the way. Leaving him up a creek and out a paddle when the original pressing went out of print.

It really says something about the staying power of “The Twilight Zone” when 50+ years later the series is still one of the most beloved science fiction shows of all time. I can watch it from beginning to end with rapt fascination and not worry one bit about the cheap prosthetics of the time, or the limited scope that outer space was given. Serling was a legend in his time and he infused his intellectual storytelling with the pulp aspects of the anthology show, creating something that truly can stand the test of time. Now we once more have access to the entire series in one show and for a fantastic price at that. Now if only we can get Paramount/CBS to remaster “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Deep Space Nine” my bucket list of classic Sci-fi boxsets would be complete.





Rating:

Not Rated by the MPAA




Video :4.5stars:
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=86761[/img]
Ohhhh snap. Thank goodness these are the exact same transfers as the Image Entertainment release. This is one incredible looking transfer. CBS and Image went back to the original negatives and did a completely new scan for these transfers and they look PHENOMENAL. For a show shot on film back in the late 1950’s and early 60s it almost looks like it was hot yesterday. Fine detailing is magnificent from scene to scene (just watch the very first episode and look at the individual hairs and sweat marks on the airman’s face, or the smudges of grease left from hand prints on the phone booth glass). The prints have very little debris or markings, but there is a fleck or two that will show up now and again. Vertical lines and contrast balancing has been done to the masters and I honestly doubt it will ever look any better. Black levels are deep and inky and show detail in both light and dark scenes equally. To put it simply an almost perfect transfer.









Audio :4.5stars:
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=86769[/img]
Image (and now Paramount) has given us 2 different tracks in LPCM mono to enjoy today. Both taken from the original magnetic tracks and transferred to disc. The first is a brand new and remastered mono audio track that cleans and spruces up the original mono audio and gives it a brand new coat of paint. There’s been some auditory tweaks to clean up some of the scratches and hisses in the track and balanced to a higher decibel level as well. The vocals are strong and clean, and the monorail audio does a great job at replicating the shows score and special effects accurately. There’s really not a whole lot of LFE in the track due to the mixing nature of the show, but there’s a little bit baked in here and there that make the subs light up from time to time. The second audio track is the show’s original mono track for purists. It hasn’t been given the same cleanup that the remastered track has so it’s got the original pops, hisses and crackles that have been indicative of the DVDS and other home video releases for quite some time. It’s a nice curio, but I REALLY prefer the cleaner and more vivid remastered track.








Extras :5stars:
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=86777[/img]

• “Where Is Everybody?”
• Commentary by Earl Holliman
• Isolated Score by Bernard Hermann
• Sponsor Billboard
• Original Pilot Version with Rod Serling Pitch
• Radio Drama Starring John Schneider
• “One For The Angels”

• Interview with Dana Dillaway
• Commentary by Gary Gerani
• Isolated Score
• Sponsor Billboard
• Radio Drama Starring Ed Begley Jr
• “Mr. Denton on Doomsday”

• Commentary by Martin Landau
• Isolated Score
• Sponsor Billboard
• “The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine”

• Isolated Score by Franz Waxman
• Sponsor Billboards
• “Walking Distance”

• Commentary by Marc Scott Zicree
• Commentary by Steven C. Smith, John Morgan, William T. Stromberg
• Rod Serling Lecture at Sherwood Oaks College (1975)
• Alternate Audio Mix
• Isolated Score by Bernard Herrmann
• Radio Drama starring Chelcie Ross
• “Escape Clause”

• Isolated Score
• Radio Drama starring Mike Starr
• “The Lonely”

• Commentary by Marc Scott Zicree
• Commentary by Steven C. Smith, John Morgan, William T. Stromberg
• Commentary by Gary Gerani
• Isolated Score by Bernard Herrmann
• Sponsor Billboard
• Radio Drama starring Mike Starr


• “Time Enough at Last”
• Commentary by Marc Scott Zicree
• Zicree Interview: Burgess Meredith (1978)
• Radio Drama starring Tim Kazurinsky
• “Perchance To Dream”

• Interview with Suzanne Lloyd
• Isolated Score by Van Cleave
• Radio Drama starring Fred Willard
• “And When The Sky Was Opened”

• Commentary by Rod Taylor
• Zicree Interview: Douglas Heyes (1978)
• Rod Serling Lecture at Sherwood Oaks College (1975)
• Isolated Score by Leonard Rosenman
• “What You Need”

• Tales of Tomorrow Episode: “What You Need” (HD, 29:29)
• Isolated Score by Van Cleave
• “The Four of Us are Dying”

• Interview with Beverly Garland
• Commentary by Gary Gerani
• Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith
• “Third from the Sun”

• Commentary by David Simkins and Mar Scott Zicree
• Zicree Interview: Richard L. Bare (1978)
• Isolated Score
• “I Shot an Arrow Into the Air”

• Isolated Score
• Radio Drama starring Chelcie Ross (HD, 36:21)
• ..........And many more





Overall: :4.5stars:

I can’t tell you how excited I am to see Paramount re-release this classic series. When I lost out on getting the Image Entertainment boxset I was HUGELY disappointed (my fault, I waited too long), but when I saw Paramount was going to put the set out I was hugely curious how it would compare. Hysterically (and fantastically) so, these 25 discs are the EXACT same pressings that Image used for their set down to the opening scrawl and the Image logo on startup. Which is a great thing as the original Image boxset was nothing short of incredible. All the extras are there from the originally packaged 5 season set (I only listed a small amount above as the list would go on for pages and pages) and all 25 discs are perfectly intact. The ONLY complaint that I have is that Paramount is still using those giant clamshell cases with multiple discs overlapped per tray. It’s a nightmare with discs always slipping off and getting scratched (that’s mostly pertaining to DVD releases) and the trays are easily cracked. It’s the tradeoff we’ve made for cheaper MSRP to get back into the game (at less than $99 for all 5 seasons this is a huge bargain). Still, wonderful audio and video and amazing extras. This is a set that you MUST NOT let slip through your fingers like I did the original boxset in 2012. MUST BUY!


Additional Information:

Starring: Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts
Creator: Rod Serling
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 AVC
Audio: English: LPCM Mono
Studio: Paramount
Rated: NR
Runtime: 4466 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2016



Buy The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series On Blu-ray at Amazon



Recommendation: Must Own




More about Mike
 

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Thanks for the review. Growing up, I always watched 'The Twilight Zone" and even today, I am fascinated by the series. I will have to get this one since I don't have a previous version.
 

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This is so cool. I wasn't born until '74 but there were plenty of reruns throughout my life. I loved this series, and some of the episodes make me laugh like, when you wake up from the craziest dream you can imagine and spend the next 5 hours making sense of it. The cool thing about TZ is no matter how twisted the episode, you always got it at the end. Last winter we went to Disney, and my kids fell in love with the twighlight zone,tower of terror. Kinda like being in an episode. How much fun would that have been to make an episode?


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This is so cool. I wasn't born until '74 but there were plenty of reruns throughout my life. I loved this series, and some of the episodes make me laugh like, when you wake up from the craziest dream you can imagine and spend the next 5 hours making sense of it. The cool thing about TZ is no matter how twisted the episode, you always got it at the end. Last winter we went to Disney, and my kids fell in love with the twighlight zone,tower of terror. Kinda like being in an episode. How much fun would that have been to make an episode?


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I'm in a similar boat... a little older than you... but pretty much the same. I remember watching these in the 80's on late night TV. Such great shows....one of my favorites: the one with the Monkey's paw!
 
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