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135 of 148 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Final Season winds down with some real gems amongst several dissapointments, October 19, 2005
This review is from: The Twilight Zone: Season 5 (DVD)
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.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 17, 2008 3:11:48 PM PST
Well done review. Star Trek actors George Takei and William Shatner were in this season.

Posted on May 25, 2011 5:47:04 PM PDT
Guitaro says:
Your closing statement couldn't be more correct. I long for a new series with that charm not sex in every joke or reference from liberal America.

Posted on Oct 29, 2011 1:19:54 PM PDT
bdoober8 says:
One episode you you didn't mention from Season Five is noteworthy, "Number 12 Looks Just Like You," one of the show's most overlooked classic episodes. It was one of the few episodes I hadn't seen until fairly recently, and I was sort of shocked how good it was; Colin Wilcox turns in a deeply moving, tour-de-force performance as a normal girl who doesn't want to be forced to look like everyone else. Plus, this is one of the episodes (like "Queen of the Nile" or "Execution") where the edited version they show on TV leaves out important or interesting scenes. Another overlooked episode here is a near-classic, "Night Call," one of the few episodes of Zone that really scared me. It's stylishly directed if I recall by Jacques Tournier ("Cat People," "Curse of the Demon"), and has some wonderfully spooky cinematography. But the mandatory twist ending actually hurts this episode; it would have been perfect to just end it with the graveyard scene.

Posted on May 1, 2013 7:34:17 PM PDT
Bruce says:
I have to disagree. I liked the ring a ding girl, uncle simon, 90 years without slumbering, and the bewitching pool. I think they were some of the best episodes. Twilight zone had to keep evolving, and I believe they did so. It's a great season, too bad it was the lase.
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