Customer Review

130 of 137 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Includes "Lost Episode" and Two All-Time Classics, February 8, 2012
This review is from: Night Gallery: Season 3 (DVD)
By the third season of Night Gallery, the network had cut its running time to thirty minutes rather than sixty--which left the show's creative team much more limited in how they could pace the vignettes. Tensions between writer/face-man Rod Serling and workaholic writer/producer Jack Laird had gotten worse than ever, and the show's use of the cheap-looking "day for night" technique--in which outdoor scenes were shot in daylight and then filtered to unconvincingly appear as "nighttime"--had reached an all-time high. Season three had several meandering episodes that barely held together a narrative thread ("Whisper" and "Death on a Barge," for example), and of the seventeen stories that originally aired (fifteen episodes), two are useless vampire puns (courtesy of Jack Laird, if I recall) and another two focus on killer animals (a gorilla and a jungle cat) rather than ghosts or monsters.

There are, however, two standouts that remain some of the best episodes of television to ever bear Serling's name. The first, "The Other Way Out," is a compelling tale, through-and-through, about a man who gets his comeuppance after murdering a "go-go dancer" and seemingly getting away with it--until he is lured to an isolated farm by a potential blackmailer. The second truly great story, "Finnegan's Flight," sees Burgess Meredith in his second and final Night Gallery appearance as a prison inmate whose imagination is so vivid that he can push the limits of the human mind's capabilities--and possibly bend the rules of reality.

Other good stories that would have been better as 20-minute pieces of an hour-long show, rather than 30-minute stories stretched a little too far, include "Fright Night," about a man who inherits a house with a mysterious, locked chest in the attic, and "Spectre In Tap Shoes," a murder mystery with a (possible, I don't want to ruin it) supernatural twist.

As a whole, season three of Night Gallery cannot hold a candle to the superior season one, which was short but with a high batting average of quality, or season two, which had many, many classic episodes due to sheer volume. Most episodes do have that unquantifiable "Night Gallery feel" that viewers crave, however, and "The Other Way Out" and "Finnegan's Flight" alone make this set worth owning.

Completist fans will also be happy to know that "Witches' Feast," in its entirety, is included in this set as part of a "lost episode" that was recently compiled. See the episode list below for the other three vignettes included in the "lost episode."

Guest stars include Vincent Price, Leonard Nimoy, Mickey Rooney, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, Burl Ives, Burgess Meredith, and Dean Stockwell.

Episodes:
The Return of the Sorcerer
The Girl With the Hungry Eyes
Rare Objects
Spectre In Tap Shoes
You Can Come Up Now, Mrs. Millikan/Smile, Please
The Other Way Out
Fright Night
Finnegan's Flight
She'll Be Company For You
The Ring with the Red Velvet Ropes
Something in the Woodwork
Death on a Barge
Whisper
The Doll of Death
Hatred Unto Death/How to Cure the Common Vampire

BONUS FEATURES
Bonus vignettes, compiled as a "lost episode" and included here:
Die Now, Pay Later
Room for One Less
Little Girl Lost
Witches' Feast

Also, this set will include audio commentary on "The Return of the Sorcerer" as well as for the shorts included in the aforementioned "Lost Episode."
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 12, 2012 9:28:36 AM PST
I go out of my way to be informative here--so I have to laugh at the person who calls the review "not helpful" simply because he/she doesn't agree with my 3-star opinion of this season's quality.

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 11:38:33 AM PST
T. Tobias says:
Thanks for the info!! I was curious about the extras and even nightgallery.net didn't (a usually reliable source of NG info) have anything on this release! Then again, I think they are more fans of the first two seasons. Thanks for spilling the beans on the extras!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 1:31:10 PM PST
My pleasure! I love Night Gallery because the good episodes are SO good that they make the bad ones worth it. When it comes to atmosphere, Night Gallery (especially Season 2) has never been matched.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 1:44:12 PM PST
T. Tobias says:
I tend to agree that Season 2 was the best. My main issues with Season 3 are that I preferred the multi-story, 1-hour format over the half-hour format and, of course, I preferred Gil Melle's main title over Eddie Sauter's. But, don't get me wrong, the Sauter one is creepy too in it's own way! Too bad Season 3 wasn't a longer season too. Anyway, love NG and I agree that it's never been matched on TV. Critics can say what they want, but when NG was good -- it was REAL good! The worst episodes were just mediocre and confusing...but never "bad". I wish someone would bring it back. There's a whole bunch of classic and modern horror stories that could be adapted...

Posted on Feb 29, 2012 5:02:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 29, 2012 5:04:04 AM PST
I have to speak up for "Death on a Barge" -- a moody and very unusual vampire story directed by none other than Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 7:39:51 AM PST
T. Tobias says:
I liked DOAB...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 9:44:54 AM PST
While I disagree, I do think it has its redeeming qualities, and I'm glad to hear that some people get enjoyment out of it. "Whipser" is my least favorite of the season (that, and "Hatred Unto Death"); it's a very poorly paced, and told, story, but even that still had a good "feel" to it. Thanks for adding to the discussion, guys!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 10:04:01 AM PST
T. Tobias says:
DOAB had its problems...sure! Nothing like "Hatred Unto Death" though. Mostly, I found that one to be dull. No offense to those who liked it. It's still NG... Which makes it better than a lot of other shows! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2012 8:39:24 PM PST
Whisper would be my least favorite story from the third season as well. I find it too slow and kind of confusing and a waste of talent considering you had Dean Stockwell and Sally Field starring in it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 8:05:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2012 8:07:04 PM PDT
Wayne Klein says:
Thanks for the overview on the season. Season three had its fair share of clunkers but I'm happy to see this finally be released on DVD regardless of the quality of the various episodes. Kudos to Universal for putting some effor tinto this cult classic and I'm assuming the fact that they put a bit effort into it (unlike some other vintage shows) indicates the sets have sold fairly well.

As I've discovered "not helpful" votes come from those who 1) troll 2) just disagree and don't understand that this isn't about agreeing or disagreeing with someone's opinion bout the product but whether or not the review truly helped someone make the choice to purchase the product.

It's unfortunate, but that's what the voting system has become at amazon.com
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