Starring Rod Serling, Dennis Hopper, Robert Duvall, Burgess Meredith, Anne Francis, James Whitmore, Burt Reynolds, Bill Bixby, Julie Newmar, Dana Andrews, Mike Kellin, Jack Albertson, James Doohan, Ed Nelson, Percy Helton, Jack Klugman, William Windom, Martin Balsam, Lee Philips
Directed by Various
Created by Rod Serling
Distributed by Image Entertainment
“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call … The Twilight Zone.”
All right, all right! Here we are again delving head first into the strange and mysterious realm of Rod Serling’s much beloved and often imitated hit series, “The Twilight Zone”. Buckle in for a look at the fourth season of the TV show in which things changed a bit. Instead of the usual half-hour long format, the show’s runtime was upped to an hour (with commercials). As a result you rarely see any of the episodes of this particular season in syndication, but after drinking them in here — in glorious 1080p high definition — you’ll hardly care.
In fact the lack of them being aired over and over again is actually a very good thing because with the exception of the hardest of the hardcore fans, most of you will never have seen any of these eighteen tales of the wild, weird, and spooky. The lengthier episodes mean that the present and accounted for bitrates are higher than the previous three seasons, ranging around 20 Mbps. None of the episodes were shot on video (I’m looking at you Season 2) so all of them end up looking very impressive with consistent levels of gray and black, and very little image noise present throughout the package.
In terms of sound, as with Seasons 1, 2, and 3, you have the choice of the original mono recording or a stellar restored PCM lossless soundtrack as well as the option to dig on the isolated scores themselves. Oh. So. Sweet.
Looking back at this fourth season as a whole, there truly are only a couple of stinkers (and even that is subjective) out of the eighteen slivers of strange. What we have here is at the very least ten plus hours of television that was way above average for both its time then and even current day. Know that old adage “They don’t make them like they used to?” Yeah. That completely applies here. For those out there looking for where to start or what to save for last, In His Image, Printer’s Devil, The Thirty-Fathom Grave, and Death Ship are some of the best this series has to offer. You’re in for a real treat.
Speaking of treats, Image Entertainment has absolutely saturated this Blu-ray set with special features. Going through them all will take not just days but weeks. Set aside some time. Grab some chips, and or any other assorted party favors you may have at your disposal, and let the games begin!
Thirteen new commentaries featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani (Fantastic Television), “Twilight Zone” writer Earl Hamner, writer William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run), author Bill Warren (Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties), writer/producer Jeff Vlaming (“NCIS”, “Fringe”, “Battlestar Galactica”),writer/producer Joseph Dougherty (“thirtysomething”, “Judging Amy”, “Saving Grace”), authors/historians Scott Skelton and Jim Benson (Night Gallery: An After Hours Tour), and writer/producer Jaime Paglia (“Eureka”) all join the preexisting ones ported over from the DVD release.
From there we have a multitude of vintage audio interviews and recollections will delight the eardrums. Commercials. Bloopers. Promo appearances. Photo and billboard galleries. Radio dramas. Hell, there’s even a vintage “Saturday Night Live” clip included in the festivities. Once again Image has turned out a delight of a package. Nothing short of an amazing gift to the “Twilight Zone” fan base.
There’s no reason not to gush here, kids. This set and the ones before it are simply that damned good. We have just one more season to go before our high definition series collection is complete, and we have no doubt that Image will leave no stone unturned in terms of delivering the goods.
Your next stop? Following the links below and ordering yourself copies of this immediately.
Season 4 Episodes
In His Image, The Thirty-Fathom Grave, Valley of the Shadow, He’s Alive, Mute, Death Ship, Jess-Belle, Miniature, Printer’s Devil, No Time Like the Past, The Parallel, I Dream of Genie, The New Exhibit, Of Late I Think of Cliffordville, The Incredible World of Horace Ford, On Thursday We Leave for Home, Passage on the Lady Anne, The Bard.
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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