on October 19, 2005
By 1963-64, when the final season of Twilight Zone was being filmed/aired, the show had already gone through a cancellation, a name change, a change in length and was going on it's 3rd president in office. So many wonderous ideas had made it onto the screen that the well understandably began to run dry. In the realm of science fiction, quite often a writer will begin to rely on cliches more so often after years in the genre.
Such is the case with season 5 of Twilight Zone. Shows of this season lacked the precise structuring and engaging story lines of earlier seasons. Episodes such as 'Uncle Simon', 'Ring-A-Ding Girl' and 'Ninety Years Without Slumbering' simply lacked a feeling of involvement, and others such as 'The Bewitching Pool' were just poorly made, going so far as to intercut an overdubbed adult voice for that of a child character. Yet with all these complaints, I would be the first to say that with a show like Twilight Zone, I find myself returning to the clunkers with blissful abandonment, as there is a certain charm to even the worst that this series has to offer. And there are certainly plenty of clunkers available here for those viewers so inclined to induldge.
But in a strictly objective sense, season 5 was arguably the worst of the series, with season 4 the only other contendor (although the different length format makes the two almost impossible to compare). However, the winners of this season unquestionably stand with the best of any other, amongst them being 'The Masks', 'Living Doll', 'Garrity and the Graves', 'Steel', 'In Praise of Pip', 'Last Night of a Jockey' and probably the most well known of the season, 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet'.
The probable cause of the downfall of this season (other than Serling just becoming drained and disinterested), as mentioned in Mark Scott Zicree's companion book, has to do with the fact that the final 10 to 15 shows of the season were written by authors who had never previously done work on the show and who probably had no deeper understanding of the mechanics inherant therein. Twilight Zone always had certain thematic elements that were steadfast, involving evil getting it's 'just dessert' alla 'Death's Head Revisited', and depicting human tradegy as devastating, alla 'Time Enough At Last'. However, you will notice that shows in the 5th season written by these lesser authors thematically violated the time-tested zone structure, although again I find this to be curiously interesting from a fan's point of view.
I suppose the bottom line is that, regardless of how poor many of the shows from season 5 were, they are still better than 99% of the trash on TV today, and any fan of the series should own this one. Flaws aside, the gems included more than make up for any shortcomings.
on January 5, 2006
It's a real shame that The Twilight Zone didn't go beyond a 5th season. I have been a die-hard fan of the show when it was popular as a rerun in the 1980s. Personally, season 5 was my favorite of the Twilight Zone.
To me there were many underrated classics in this season: "You Drive," "Night Call," "An Occurance At Owl Creek Bridge" (actually this episode is a French film. The story was written by Ambrose Bierce), "What's in The Box," "Stopover In A Quiet Town" and the rare non-syndicated episode "The Encounter." It also includes the more well-known classics: "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet," "Mr. Garrity And The Graves," "The Masks" and "Living Doll."
There are also some great bonus features including a 90-minute in-depth documentary about the life of Rod Serling titled "Submitted For Your Approval."
Also included are audio commentary with some of the stars like Martin Landau (The Jeopardy Room), Mickey Rooney (The Last Night Of A Jockey), Bill Mumy (Praise Of Pip) and Alan Sues (The Masks). Interviews with Rod Serling; remastered picture and sound for superior quality and much, much more.
This box set is worth every penny. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
on September 11, 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. 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, almost like viewing the original film elements. Look how realistic Shatner's [over exagerrated :)] facial expressions are in Nightmare at 20000 Feet. On my 50" plasma I can see every tiny line on his face as if he were actually standing in front of me. You don't get that when DNR is used, what you do get with DNR is a waxy unnatural/unhuman look. See example here: [...]
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 thankfully was left totally unmarred in transfer due to no DNR or ee [edge enhancement], this Blu-ray set is as close to as a pristine 35MM print as any of us will ever get. This set showcases Mr Serling's genius rather than try to conceal it in a shoddy revisionist modern manner and is truly reference quality.
Only negative for me is the non inclusion of the PBS American Masters "Submitted For Your Approval" documentary that was present on the Season 5 DVD set. While this set is still 5 stars, the absence of the documentary leaves it just short of perfection. Brief note to Image, if you include it on the eventual complete 5 Season Blu-Ray box set, I will be taking away stars for being shafted.
To the people at Image thank you again for NOT using amateurish cheapo digital hacks like DNR or EE and PLEASE PRODUCE ALL your Blu-Ray using the same level of quality and professional efforts as your Zone sets!!!!!
Many company's [ie: the morons at Anchor Bay or New Line] could learn many valuable lessons on proper Blu-Ray mastering from the people at Image who worked on these zone sets.
on May 13, 2011
Fans of the cult classic CBS 1959-1964 television series "The Twilight Zone" will be happy to learn that by August, 2011 the entire series will see renewed life, yet again, on Blu-ray as the fifth and final season arrives in stores. The episodes have been restored to pristine condition and the set featutes an array of features that will more than please fans.
Producers wisely pushed back the running time of "The Twilight Zone" to 30 minutes this season after airing the series the previous year in 60 minutes installments that made the stories lag somewhat. This year also features some of the best "Twilight Zone" episodes ever produced, among them "Uncle Simon" and "Living Doll" (my two personal favorites), "The Masks", "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", and "Stopover in a Quiet Town".
First up is a list of all 36 "Twilight Zone" season 5 episodes along with their airdates, then I have included a list of the amazing bonus features, some never before-seen, not even on the DVD release. This is a five disc set.
1. "In Praise of Pip", Sept. 27, 1963
2. "Steel", Oct. 4, 1963
3. "Nightmare at 20,000", Oct. 11, 1963
4. "A Kind of a Stopwatch", Oct. 18, 1963
5. "The Last Night of a Jockey", Oct. 5, 1963
6. "Living Doll", Nov. 1, 1963
7. "The Old Man in the Cave", Nov. 8, 1963
8. "Uncle Simon", Nov. 15, 1963
9. "Probe 7, Over and Out", Nov. 29, 1963
10. "The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms", Dec. 6, 1963
11. "A Short Drink From a Certain Fountain", Dec. 13, 1963
12. "Ninety Years Without Slumbering", Dec. 20, 1963
13. "Ring-A-Ding Girl", Dec. 27, 1963
14. "You Drive", Jan 3, 1964
15. "The Long Morrow", Jan. 10, 1964
16. "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross", Jan. 17, 1964
17. "Number 12 Looks Just Like You", Jan. 24, 1964
18. "Black Leather Jackets", Jan. 31, 1964
19. "Night Call", Feb. 7, 1964
20. "From Agnes-With Love", Feb 14, 1964
21. "Spur of the Moment". Feb. 21, 1964
22. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", Feb. 28, 1964
23. "Queen of the Nile", March 6, 1864
24. "What's in the Box", March 13, 1964
25. "The Masks", March 20, 1964
26. "I Am The Night-Color Me Black", March 27, 1964
27. "Sounds and Silences", April 3, 1964
28. "Caesar and Me", April 10, 1964
29. "The Jeopardy Room", April 17, 1964
30. "Stopover in a Quiet Town", April 24, 1964
31. "The Encounter", May 1, 1964
32. "Mr. Garrity and the Graves", May 8, 1964
33. "The Brain Center at Whipple's", May 15, 1964
34. "Come Wander With Me", May 22, 1964
35. "The Fear", May 29, 1964
36. "The Bewitchin' Pool", June 19, 1964
Following are the bonus features:
There are 20 brand new audio commentaries made especially for the Blu-ray edition featuring "The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree along with others; conversations with Rod Serling; 22 Radio Dramas; audio commentaries from actors Bill Mumy (In Praise of Pip), Mickey Rooney (The Last Night of a Jockey"), and June Foray ("The Living Doll"); video interviews; "The Mike Wallace Interview" from 1959; Rod Serling's promo for "Next Week's Show", and more.
on January 8, 2006
I am not sure why none of the product descriptions online have the correct information about the audio commentaries and video interviews for Season 5. Here is what's included on Season 5:
Audio commentaries: Mickey Rooney, Mariette Hartley, Martin Landau, June Foray, Bill Mumy, (and TZ Companion author Marc Zicree). Video interviews: Terry Becker, June Foray, Nancy Malone, Bill Mumy, Carolyn Kearney, Michael Forest, and writers Earl Hamner, Richard Matheson, George Clayton Johnson.
These were splendidly produced...and I sure wish Seasons 1-3 had the video interviews. Oh well, hopefully they'll release TZ again someday and they'll be included. Although the video interviews are all great, a few of the audio commentaries (for this set, and on the previous seasons) leave something to be desired. Mickey Rooney's borders on insane - he's so elderly now and obviously sick of discussing his career. He pretty much grumbles his way through the 23 minutes of his episode and obviously only agreed to do it for the money. Martin Landau, too, fakes his way through the episode he appeared in, obviously remembering nothing significant about it.
The video interviews were edited well, and the actors & writers mostly comment on their careers and the time period of Twilight Zone, not quite as much about the episodes they starred in/wrote. The other bonus features on this set, including "Conversations with Rod Serling" and a bonus disc of "Submitted for Your Approval" (90 minute documentary) are great. I hope someday more of Rod Serling's stuff is released on DVD. This Definitive Edition series is splendid, overall.
on November 3, 2005
Alas, we have the final season set of the original Twilight Zone series. The final season of any TV series always seem to run a bit low on gas but there are so-so episodes in all 4 of the previous seasons. Season 5 does have a couple of mediocre episodes but flashes of pure brilliance shine with the likes of 'Living Doll' and the one episiode that still makes me jump in my seat, 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet', especially when William Shatner pulls back that airplane window curtain. "Brrrr"!!!!!!
In all a very decent season set to conclude Rod Serling's magnificent 'Definitive' Twilight Zone series.
List and Description of Episodes:
Episode 121: 'In Praise of Pip'- An alcoholic bookie 'Jack Klugman' regrets that he wasnt a better father to his son, 'Pip', critically wounded in South Vietnam. A visit to an amusement park gives them both a second chance.
Episode 122: 'Steel'- In the future only androids are allowed to box. Desperate to raise money, penniless manager Steel Kelly (Lee Marvin) must fight disguised as his own broken down robot.
Episode 123: 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet'- A salesman recovering from a nervous breakdown spots a gremlin on the wing of his plane. When he attempts to alert others the nightmare truly begins.
Episode 124: 'A Kind of Stopwatch'- The worlds biggest bore and most avid talker gets a magical stopwatch that can stop everything except him. But when he misuses a wonderful conversation piece becomes a real party killer.
Episode 125: 'The Last Night of a Jockey'- Mickey Rooney is Grady, a former jockey banned from horseracing and down on his luck. When he gets one wish, he grows to over 8 feet tall- which, he'll find out, can be too big.
Episode 126: 'Living Doll'- Erich 'Telly Savalas' is displeased when his wife buys an expensive doll for his stepdaughter. He becomes even more displeased when the doll tells him it dosent like him.
Episode 127: 'The Old Man in the Cave'- a mysterious guardian helps a tiny community after a bomb destroys much of the Earth. But spurred by the bullying outsider Major French (James Coburn) the townspeople become an angry mob hell bent on learning the secret of the 'Old man in the Cave'.
Episode 128: 'Uncle Simon'- Barbara Polk has taken care of her detested Uncle for 25 yrs waiting impatiently to inherit his wealth. But his will states she must take care of his robot.
Episode 129: 'Probe 7, over and out'- Lone survivors of 2 annihilated planets becomes stranged on some remote world. Together they must begin new lives on this planet. A planet called Earth.
Episode 130: 'The 7th is made up of Phantoms'- a trio of national guardsmen conducting war exercises near little big horn in 1964 encounters evidence that another battle is going on- one that occured in 1876.
Episode 131: 'A Short drink from a certain Fountain'- an aging man desperate to keep up with his younger wife tries a youth serum.
Episode 132: 'Ninety years without slumbering'- Sam Forstmann 'Ed Wynn' believes he will die if his grandfather clock stops. When the clock begins to wind down, Sam must face his deepest fear.
Episode 133: 'Ring a Ding Girl'- Hollywood Star Bunny Blake gets an unusual gift from her town fan club, a ring that shows old friends faces, letting her know shes needed back home, where shes about to play the biggest role of her life.
Episode 134: 'You Drive'- Oliver Pope hits a boy on a bike killing him. Pipe flees the scene, determined to hide his guilt but his car has other ideas.
Episode 135: 'The Long Morrow'- Commander Douglas Stansfield (Robert Lansing) and Sandra Horn (Mariette Hartley) fall in love shortly before Stansfield launches into space to begin 40 years in suspended animation. As they dream of being together their fates take an ironic turn.
Episode 136: 'The Self improvement of Salvador Ross'- Salvador will stop at nothing to win Leahs love. He even trades his youth for money. When he buys compassion he gets more than he bargained for.
Episode 137: 'Number 12 looks just like you'- at age 19, everyone must undergo an operation which makes them beautiful and identical to everyone else. But Marilyn refuses. Superstar Model Suzy Parker is featured.
Episode 138: 'Black Leather Jackets'- 3 tough looking guys on motorcycles move into a suburb. Dont drink the water.
Episode 139: 'Night Call'- Lonely and confined to a wheelchair Elva Keene (Gladys Cooper) starts to get numerous mysterious phone calls. Terrified, she screams the words that will doom her.
Episode 140: 'From Agnes, With Love'- Walley Cox as a computer technician must deal with the queen of all femme fatales, a computer names Agnes who wreaks havoc on his love life.
Episode 141: 'Spur of the Moment'- Woman chased by mysterious figure in black. Anne Henderson (Diana Hyland) rushes home where she soon must face the biggest decision of her life.
Episode 142: 'An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge'- Confederate spy spared death when the rope meant to hang him breaks. Or does it? This french short subject aired once on the Twilight Zone and was the 1963 Academy Award Winner for Best Short Film.
Episode 143: 'Queen of the Nile'- a young handsome columnist, 'Lee Philips' is startled to learn that famous movie star Pamela Morris (Ann Blyth) is just as lovely and young looking as when she starred in Queen of the Nile. Intrigued, he investigates and soon learns a terrifying secret.
Episode 144: 'Whats in the Box'- Joe Britt 'William Demarest' sees a secret revealed and its horrible consequences on his tv set. He drastically tries to alter his fate by confronting his wife (Joan Blondell)
Episode 145: 'The Masks'- Knowing he is about to die, Foster summons his heirs to his mansion for a bizarre Mardi Gras ritual and gives them the inheritance they so richly deserve!
Episode 146: 'I am the Night, Color me Black'- An unpopular idealist is to be executed for killing a racist bully. An execution day and pitch black skies.
Episode 147: 'Sounds and Silences'- In this rarely seen episode, Roswell 'John McGiver' is a boisterous man who loves noise. But when his wife leaves the volume in his life goes haywire.
Episode 148: 'Ceasar and me'- Ventriloquist Jonathan West 'Jackie Cooper' is no match for his evil dummy- Little Ceasar, who grabs the chance to set him up for a fall.
Episode 149: 'The Jeopardy Room'- Major Ivan Kuchenko 'Martin Landeau' has 3 hours to escape from a room with a ticking bomb and a gun pointing at his head.
Episode 150: 'Stopover in a Quiet Town'- 2 people wake up in a strange town where everything appears to be fake. There are no other people but they can hear the giggling of a little girl.
Episode 151: 'The Encounter' - ' A rare non syndicated episode'- Fenton 'Neville Brand', a WWII Vet, proudly shows his captured sumurai sword to Arthur Takamuri, a young Japanese American gardener- who picks it up and instantly knows he must kill his host!
Episode 152: 'Mr. Garrity and the Graves'- Jared Garrity 'John Dehner' makes a living reserecting the dead in the old west.
Episode 153: 'The Brain center at Whipple's'- Callous factory owner Wallace Whipple 'Richard Deacon' automates his plant, putting thousands of men out of work, Smugly self satisfied, he has no regrets.. At first.
Episode 154: 'Come Wander with Me'- a singer journeys to the backwoods to find authentic folk songs. He hears a great ballad...a timeless tune that will have a very personal meaning for him.
Episode 155: 'The Fear'- An unknown creature hidden in the shadows terrorizes a hysterical young woman and a state trooper whos there to help her. But is this gargantuan invader what it seems to be?
Episode 156: 'The Bewitchin' Pool'- For children distraught by feuding parents, a special swimming pool offers admittance to a happier, simpler place. Written by Earl Hammer Jr., creator of The Waltons.
Bonus Feature: Interview with Earl Hammer Jr. Isolated Score.
Bonus Features for Season 5: Highlights from the Museum of Television and Radio Seminar
Conversation with Rod Serling (Part 2)
Alfred Hitchcock Promo
Rare George Clayton Johnson Home Movies
Excerpt from Rod Serlings Sherwood Oaks Experimental College Lecture
Season 5 Billboards
Season 5 Photo Gallery
Stunning Brand New Transfers. Remastered from new high definition film transfers using the original camera negatives and magnetic soundtracks.
Audio Commentaries with Bill Mumy, Mickey Rooney, June Foray, Mariette Hartley, Marc Scott Zicree, Alan Sues and Martin Landau
Isolated Music Scores featuring the legendary Bernard Herrmann, Van Cleave and more
Video interviews with Richard Matheson, George Clayton Johnson, Earl Hamner Jr., Bill Mumy, June Foray, Carolyn Kearney, Michael Forest, Nancy Malone and Terry Becker.
Conversations with Rod Sterling
Rod Serlings Promos for 'Next Weeks Show' and more.
Overall, Great TV and Highly Recommended to any fan of the Show.
on September 17, 2011
Don't doubt yourself for one second. You need this!!! Whether it be a first time purchase or replacement for the regular definitive dvd versions, the crystal clarity and remastered sound is simply stunning. The resolution is so high that, in close ups, you can see the pores on people's faces and see the individual fibers that make up their clothing. I am simply amazed that they could take old film and make it look so good. What you see on this set is likely better than anyone has ever seen them, even when they were originally broadcast. The bonus features are cool and also in HD as well. I love the packaging. It's slim and the same size as any other single disc bluray release. It has two sturdy flaps on the inside that hold the discs very nicely. If I could give it 10 stars I would. You will not be disappointed!!!
on January 4, 2006
Sad to say,but Season Five was all she wrote for The Twilight Zone.As a TZ fan and for this incredible release of the entire
series in "The Definitive Edition" i give five stars for the
fifth season and the entire set altogether!The reproduction of
the master film negatives of this series is absolutely a work
of art.For all of the (many of the) sour grape reviews that
have been posted here at Amazon about pricing and the sets not
worth buying are just that - sour grapes.Sci Fi Channel ran a
TZ marathon this past New Years Day(as usual)and i checked in
just to have a look see.The quality was absolutely awful,as in
real bad and i used to think they looked good for their age...
man if any of you saw those on t.v. and compared them to this
set,like me,you would have been shocked.As far as Season 5
being the weakest of the series,compared to itself and Season
4,maybe,but it still beats anything out there.Episodes from
this season absolutely rank near the top of all the earlier
seasons.Remember- Nightmare at 20,000 Feet-Steel-Living Doll-
The 7th Is Made Up Of Phantoms-Number 12 looks just like you-
Night Call-The Masks-Stopover in a Quiet town-RinG-A-Ding girl-
A kind of Stopwatch-Spur of the Moment...these are no slouches.
All the remaining episodes were very good and many i had
forgotten about,all with moral endings and relating to us as
human beings with all of our faults and good and bad qualities.
There is even the "old time version" of "Christine" titled -
"You Drive" long before "Christine" was made!You are missing a
real treat if you dont invest in this series .In fact,i will
bet that before long - this "Entire series,all 5" will be re-
leased as one set.Either way,dont miss out! MUST ADD THOUGH:
The worst TZ in history is the last one made"The Bewitching
Pool" - a real bad CLUNKER!
on September 30, 2011
"Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is a wonderful short story, and the film is even better! I showed it to my high school students and their reaction was really fun to watch. Even though the film is black and white and has little dialogue, the students were thoroughly engaged and were utterly shocked by the surprise ending.