|Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense
July 9th, 2013
Release length: approx. 16:00:00
Unlike many “x movies on one disc” collections emerging lately, this set captures all thirty-seven episodes across five DVDs. This greatly limits any compression issues one might normally experience on cramped, budget friendly film sets. Instead, RLJ Entertainment presents them in the original format they aired, but takes advantage of some of today’s modern digital traits to make them look and sound better, even for being the standard full-screen ratio. The visuals are rather stunning for a common digital transfer, and the audio itself is still the typical 2.0 mono style, but sounds better than ever, especially with some sound effects, such as running water, sounding more realistic than they have in the past. For such an economic collection, this is actually pretty impressive. The only downfalls here are that the picture seems a bit darker than normal on some episodes, such as “The Shelter,” and the audio does cut out from time to time at the start of many episodes, such as the one already mentioned, and the absolute classic “It’s a Good Life.”
One of the best parts of this collection is some of the station identification material included, which individuals who never saw the series back when it initially aired (such as myself) may not have seen up to this point. Watching a brief narration about the show with a title card for The Ed Sullivan Show was a real treat, as well as for Gunsmoke (which, admittedly, I’m not a fan of, but still enjoyed seeing either way), as well as the CBS ID that looks like an eye with the pupil that opens to reveal the station’s logo made for a great first experience to truly establish the time period of these episodes. Even the transitions in and out of commercial break are included, as well as Rod Serling himself discussing next weeks episode in person, only making you want to sit down and go through another episode, even if you don’t have the time.
There are a few gripes to be had about this DVD collection, sadly. The first would be the interactive menus. Yes, they are simple, going straight to the typical designs the series had at the time, such as the logo and moving circles behind it. However, the black and white screen and text is met with an incredibly faint light blue. This is definitely a major problem if you’re colorblind, or even just watching these at a distance. Chances are good you’ll end up choosing the wrong episode entirely, only realizing once the bright yellow appears after you select one. The other is the lack of a play all function. After each episode, you are brought right back to the title screen, leaving you to choose which episode you want to watch next instead of just naturally progressing to the next one. It does, however, move to the next episode on the list, which you won’t be able to tell the first time around, causing you to choose the wrong one again, and getting yourself really out of order once more.
Season three of The Twilight Zone is one of the most memorable of them all, and usually the first anyone who has seen any of the show will recognize. “The Shelter,” “It’s a Good Life,” “Death’s Head Revisited,” “The Dummy,” “Once Upon a Time,” and the always parodied “To Serve Man” stand as testaments of the impact this single television show has made on popular culture over the years. If you just want the episodes of the series as they were, and don’t care about any modernization or bonus materials, or just don’t have a lot of money to spare in this economy, then this RLJ Entertainment version is a nice, economic choice. It would have been nice to just have these in the widescreen format instead of full screen, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy these episodes in all their original glory, but with a crisper audio and video presentation. If you’re a die hard fan, or new to the series, this is the best season for you to pick up, and a solid choice for your collection.
|Overall Score: 8.5/10