on March 25, 2005
The Complete Second Season of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone is now on DVD. This second season contains all 29 episodes on 5 disks. It is full frame and is about 900 minutes.
I don't have a favorite season; there are great episodes from each. I am really enjoying entire seasons being released at once.
1) King Nine Will Not Return - A World War II captain wakes up in the desert, next to his crashed plane.
2) Man in the Bottle - A shop owner finds an old bottle which contains a genie which grants him 4 wishes.
3) Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room - A smalltime hood is ordered to commit a murder and when he looks into a mirror he sees himself with courage.
4) A Thing About Machines - A writer believes the machines in his home are against him.
5) The Howling Man - A man finds refuge in a monastery during a storm and finds an unusual prisoner.
6) The Eye of the Beholder - A woman goes through treatments to make herself normal so she can fit into society.
7) Nick of Time - A newlywed becomes obsessed by a fortune-telling machine when they are stranded with car trouble.
8) The Lateness of the Hour - A scientist creates robot servants and his daughter feels a little unusual.
9) The Trouble with Templeton - Templeton is an aging actor who longs for the old days when his wife was alive.
10) A Most Unusual Camera - A couple have stolen a camera that takes pictures of events just a few minutes into the future.
11) Night of the Meek - A drunkard Santa Claus discovers a bottomless sack of toys.
12) Dust - A peddler tries to sell a condemned man's father a bag of "magic dust".
13) Back There - A man goes back in time and realizes, he can't change the future by changing the past.
14) The Whole Truth - A "Model A" automobile compels its owner to tell only the truth.
15) The Invaders - An old woman in an old farmhouse encounters tiny aliens in her attic.
16) A Penny for Your Thoughts - A bank employee flips a coin and when it stands on its end, he is given the ability to read minds.
17) Twenty-Two - Miss Powell has a recurring nightmare ("room for one more") about room 22.
18) The Odyssey of Flight 33 - A commercial aircraft and its passengers travel back to prehistoric times.
19) Mr. Dingle, the Strong - Martians give Luther Dingle the strength of 300 men.
20) Static - Ed Lindsay hates television, so he gets his old radio out of the basement and it can receive programs from the past.
21) The Prime Mover - A man has the ability to control objects with his mind.
22) Long Distance Call - A boy finds he can communicate with his dead grandmother through his toy phone.
23) A Hundred Yards over the Rim - A man in the year 1847 moving west sets out to find medicine for his dying son and winds up in the future.
24) The Rip Van Winkle Caper - Three thieves put themselves into suspended animation for 100 years after stealing a million dollars worth of gold bars.
25) The Silence - A man is offered half a million dollars to remain silent for one year. The bet is taken and won but with a twist at the end.
26) Shadow Play - A man is trapped in a recurring nightmare where he tries to persuade those who are sentencing him to death that this is not reality.
27) The Mind and the Matter - After reading a book on the "power of thought" a man is able create the world exactly as he wants it.
28) Will the Real Martian lease Stand Up? - State Troopers follow the tracks from a frozen pond to a diner where they find a bus driver and his seven passengers but there were only six on the bus.
29) The Obsolete Man - In a state where religion and books are ban, a librarian is judged obsolete and sentenced to death.
If you hopped on board for season 1's definition edition, you probably don't need much convincing to pick this one up either. It's a great deal cheaper than season 1 (though there are less episodes in this season) but packs a lot of punch considering the high benchmark set for the show's debut season. There are a great number of gems with very few clunkers sprinkled in.
Among the episodes collected here are two of the series' most poignant social commentaries in "The Obsolete Man" (with Burgess Meredith) and "Eye of the Beholder" (probably the most infamous episode in all of TZ lore). To make things more varied, the second season also brought us some lighter fare like "Mr. Dingle the Strong" and "A Penny for Your Thoughts". We also get the TZ debut of Shatner in "Nick of Time" and its companion piece "The Silence", both notable episodes for containing no real supernatural elements yet keeping very much in the spirit of the Twilight Zone. And some of the best-loved episodes of all, the flawless "One Hundred Yards Over the Rim" (featuring audio commentary with star Cliff Robertson, Oscar winner for "Charly" and 'Uncle Ben' in "Spiderman"); "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" (a brilliant ensemble piece driven by atmosphere); and "Shadow Play" (one of the most overlooked episodes in the series).
Season two also brought about budget restraints, which lowered the total number of episodes and caused several to be shot on videotape. Few other shows could have gotten away with this approach, and the videotaped episodes include a heartwarming Christmas-themed "Night of the Meek" that sees Art Carney becoming Santa Claus and "Twenty-Two", which suffers through probably the worst special effect in the history of television. If you haven't seen it; I dare not spoil it for you.
Boasting remastered hi-def film transfers from original camera negatives and magnetic soundtracks as well as continuing the tradition of restoring the "Next Week" teasers from Serling as they belong in the broadcasts (even those that ended up with Serling holding a pack of Oasis Cigarettes and puffing away -- priceless!), season 2 is yet another excursion into the Twilight Zone that will offer something that even diehards will not have seen or heard yet.
* Billy Mumy & William Idelson on "The Long Distance Call" (Videotaped episode. Mumy's other TZ credit is as the legendary Anthony Fremont in "It's a Good Life", which he has recorded an additional commentary for to look forward to in season 3's set. Idelson had acted in a season 1 episode but actually wrote this episode himself, though Charles Beaumont is credited with co-writing it -- Idelson goes into a bit of detail in regards to this. Meanwhile, Mumy shares stories about his mother's hesitance to let him star in such a morbid episode and informs us that he went to high school with 'TZ Companion' author Marc Scott Zicree himself!)
* Cliff Robertson on "One Hundred Yards Over the Rim" (Understated time travel episode -- Oscar Winner Robertson's performance is incredibly real here. His commentary is less than animated than the one mentioned above, but still enjoyable as he talks about the 9-page report on the character that he had written himself before shooting began, the "controversy" over the tophat he wore, and even lets us know he's writing the script for "Charly 2"!)
* Dennis Weaver on "Shadow Play"
* Shelley Berman on "The Mind and the Matter" (Truly a ridiculous episode and, in true TZ fashion, becomes enjoyable for exactly that reason.)
* Donna Douglas on "The Eye of the Beholder" (Not the voice -- except for some dialogue at the end that didn't require her to be overdubbed -- but the infamous face in this episode -- and later Ellie Mae of "The Beverly Hillbillies" notoriety.)
* Don Rickles on "Mr. Dingle the Strong" (great to see the "Merchant of Venom" contributing an audio commentary)
Also included are original production slates for the 6 videotaped episodes. These are small videotaped clips of the guy with the production slate in hand, calling out the show name, production number, take and then "Action!" Might seem like a minor inclusion, but really helps lend credibility to a set that calls itself "definitive". Really, it's the little things that can make a huge difference. We get all of this content, plus the Mike Wallace Interview with Rod Serling (a marvelous piece originally available on one of the "Treasures..." discs), Serling appearances on "Tell it to Groucho" and "The Jack Benny Show", another wave of TZ radio dramas & isolated original scores, plus a DVD-ROM script of "Twenty-Two" with Serling's notes and a lot more audio interviews contributed by "TZ Companion" author Marc Scott Zicree all add up to make this the second installment of "Must-Buy TV". Your wallet compels you!
on April 13, 2005
This set lives up to its billing. The Definitive Edition, seasons one and two (with the rest come shortly), finally delivers the quality this series deserves. The video reproduction is stunning and the extras fill out a perfect package. I've seen some reviews suggesting that this edition will quickly be replaced by yet another improved edition. Don't believe it. With this set, the old reels and their caretakers have put up about all they can deliver--outstanding video, reproduction in original broadcast order, a detailed book-length episode guide and commentary with the season 1 package, and, finally, Rod Serling introducing "next week's" show. Until DVD's are replaced as a delivery vehicle, this edition will be as good as it gets.
on February 28, 2006
The Twilight Zone was picking up speed by Season 2. By this time, CBS began to see that it was a great show, which all of us knew since the beginning.
The only problem that plagued Season 2 were the six episodes that were videotaped instead of filmed due to budget reasons. These episodes were "The Lateness of the Hour," "Static," "The Whole Truth," "Night of the Meek," "Twenty-Two," and "Long Distance Call" (you can actually view the difference when compared to the remaining episodes).
With this Definitive Edition, it is obvious that the videotaped episodes haven't held up well visually and audibly. Many of the scenes from these episodes either jump or fluctuate. The audio is also hard to hear when characters are away from the camera, thus, away from the microphone.
However, don't let these episodes sway the fact that The Twilight Zone was a great show and even with these few episodes, Season 2 is a great addition.
on March 16, 2005
How much are we lovin' these releases of The Twilight Zone in these definitive collection dvd packs?
Season 2: all the eps including classics like
"The Odyssey of Flight 33", "The Howling Man", and "The Trouble with Templeton".
But the treat here again are the features and if what I've read is true, then picking this up for $69:99 is a very good buy.
Radio Twilight Zone eps, appearances made by Rod Serling on a number of tv shows including "The Jack Benny Show", original promos for the next weeks' episode, and commentaries by Dennis Weaver (how good is "Shadowplay"?), Don Rickles, Fritz Weaver and others, whose names have escaped me at the moment.
Ok, maybe season 2 wasn't quite as good as 1 but with the features, the lower price and the mere existence of these on dvd, well you can't complain.
As others have already commented on the specifics of the technical features and the episodes themselves, I thought I would try to make some different comments more about the series as a whole. Then I compared seasons one and two are the very end (those are the only ones I've watched all the DVDs for yet).
I wasn't a fan of the original series as I was a little young at the time, having been born in the early 50s, but I saw some of the shows in reruns in the mid-60s. I was more of a fan of the Outer Limits, Lost in Space, and Star Trek, at the time, and only caught saw maybe a dozen episodes. So at age 53, I decided to buy seasons 1-4 and finally watch most of the episodes. (I still need to find the last season, number 5).
I was pleased to see how well they have held up. It was the drab 50s and then turbulent 60s, and the Cold War, with its threat of possible nuclear annihilation, was in full swing. Perhaps that explains the pervasive film noir ambience and dark mood that often hangs like a pall over many of the episodes. Although the characters are drawn from all levels of society and from all walks of life--from two-bit criminals to the rich and famous--many are just various and sundry low-lifes, riff-raff, criminals, and grifters. And then there are the simply down and out--the bored or emotionally overwrought, old and unwanted, middle-aged and overstressed, desperate housewives, the dyspeptic, dispossessed, or depressed, and your average guy just down on his luck.
One funny aspect of the episodes is how unflatteringly writers themselves are portrayed. The episodes starring Keenan Wynn (in the first season) as a America's most famous (but philandering) playwright and Richard Haydn in the second season as a snobbish, effete, arrogant, spiteful, and verbally abusive wine and food writer with a short temper and a sharp wit and tongue, don't exactly portray writers in a positive light. :-)
There were the few episodes that made an attempt at humor, but as the editorial review mentions, they don't seem to have held up as well as the other episodes. It was also interesting to see how often science fictional themes cropped up--although the science aspect isn't so important as the fact that a futuristic scenario allowed Serling to explore another dark topic--such as in the episode in the first season starring Jack Warden, who has been unjustly sentenced to a lonely existence on an uninhabited asteroid. He is going mad from isolation, his only contact with the outside world being the few minutes every 3 months when the supply ship comes to drop off supplies.
One final note on the special features of the second season volume. This set is only five DVDs and not six like the first season, and there is less bonus material on the fifth DVD. The sixth DVD of the first season is all extra bonus material, but for the second season, it contains five episodes in addition to the bonus material, For comparison purposes here are the special features of season 1 versus season 2:
In addition to the above features, there are the additional features on the sixth and last DVD in the first season set. These are:
1. A special edition of Where Is Everybody? which wasn't aired
2. Serling's Netherlands sales pitch (the show was to be shown in the Netherlands)
3. Serling's hosting the Liar's Club TV show
4. A rare Rod Serling blooper
5. The first Emmy award he received (hosted by Chuck Conners and Fred Astaire)
6. The original Twilight Zone Billboards
7. A Photo Galleries section containing individual photos from the first season
8. The Twilight Zone radio drama, "The Lonely," starring Mike Starr
9. The Twilight Zone Comic Book (in .pdf format).
1. Mike Wallace interview
2. Tell It to Groucho clip
3. The Jack Benny show clip
4. The Twilight Zone season 2 Billboards
5. Season 2 stills/photos
6. The Twilight Zone comic book in .pdf format.
The first season also had Serlings Sherwood Oaks college lecture, which was interesting, especially the portions where he fields questions from the audience and explains how the did some of the shots and worked out the problems of transferring the written scripts to the more visual medium of TV.
So overall, I'm finding it to still be a great series that has stood the test of time. This is truly a great slice of Americana, from a younger, simpler, less complex America that is now long gone.
on May 18, 2011
KUDOS to the folks at Image for NOT using evil DNR which would have destroyed Mr. Serling's original intent. To those that do not know, grain is an literally part of the physical composition of silver nitrate. Director's chose film stock based on how much grain they wanted their artistic vision to have. Grain=Detail not the opposite. To remove grain no matter how carefully always removes fine detail. So much detail is in this Blu-ray set you can even see the ripples and sheen of Rod Serling's herringbone suits in some of the intro's. That and the tiny lines on actors faces is detail to the MAX. Except for it being black and white, it is like they standing right in front of us. You don't get that when DNR is used, what you do get with DNR is a waxy unnatural look.
The folks at Image should also be proud for giving us unaltered, uncompressed sound as an option. For those of us who despise unnatural processed modern digital sound and this is a blessing of blessings. Coupled with the pristine video which totally unmarred thankfully due to no DNR this Blu-ray set is nearly as good as a pristine 35MM print. This set showcases Mr Serling's genius rather than try to conceal it in a shoddy revisionist modern manner. This and all the Zone sets are true reference quality.
To the people at Image please produce all your Blu-Ray using the same level of quality and professional effort as your Zone sets!!!!!
Many company's could learn valuable lessons on proper Blu-Ray mastering from the people at Image who worked on these zone sets.
on January 28, 2006
I love Twilight Zone. It's one of the greatest TV shows of all time, and it's great to see the episodes presented by season in their original order. I do have some nitpicking though with the packaging:
The extra stuff is fun - but some of the ads for other TV shows and TZ Billboards in the middle of the episodes kind of break the mood while you're watching the stories.
Also, while the filmed episodes look terrific, some of the videotaped shows in Season 2 suffer from a fluttering and decomposing picture quality. Couldn't they find better copies, or maybe is it just that videotape doesn't preserve well? I have the VHS tapes from CBS Video Library from nearly 20 years ago, and I don't remember these issues with the 6 videotaped episodes.
Finally, a 'Play All' feature on the discs, and a direct start of each episode (instead of going to an index of scenes that hints what will happen) would have been nice too - not too mention that some of the seasons are missing closed captioning. Probably not a big deal if you have a modern TV though.
Despite these criticisms, TZ is still wonderful to have. Highly recommended to anyone who likes good stories that give you something to think about.
on March 4, 2006
It is a dream come true to have these original Twilight Zone Episodes. I bought all 5 seasons. Now, rather than wait for TV to show my favorite episodes, I can see them whenever I want. These are absolutely terrific. I strongly recommend buying all 5 seasons.
on February 23, 2006
You might think because of the yearly Twilight Zone marathons played on TV that ypou've seen them all, but I thought the same until I bought all five seasons. There are many, many episodes I haven't seen and enjoyed fully.