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Twilight Zone, The - Complete Series Review




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Rating
Video:   9/10
Audio:   9/10
Extras:   0/10

Spoooky, and good!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
9/07/2004

The Twilight Zone has been around since 1959, when Rod Serling created the first version of the show. The show was a science-fantasy anthology series aimed at adults, and it lasted for 155 episodes over its 5 year run. Serling hosted the show, and served as one of the writers, something that earned him two Emmy Awards. In 1983 Twilight Zone The Movie was released by Warner Bros. The movie from John Landis and Steven Spielberg contained 4 segments, and prompted CBS to create a new version of the series. The new show, which premiered in 1985, lasted 3 seasons (110 stories).

The latest version of the series, the one contained in this DVD set, premiered in the fall of 2002 on UPN. Forest Whitaker hosted the new series which carries the same ideas as the previous incarnations. The show features some of today's hottest stars: Amber Tamblyn (Joan Of Arcadia), Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Shannon Elizabeth (That 70's Show), Katherine Heigl (Roswell), Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck), Portia de Rossi (Ally McBeal, Arrested Development), Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld, The Tick), Greg Germann (Ally McBeal), Christopher McDonald (Cracking Up), Elizabeth Berkley (Saved By The Bell), Brian Austin Green (Beverly Hills 90210), Christopher Titus (Titus), Devon Gummersall (My So-Called Life), Paul Rodriguez (a.k.a. Pablo), Samantha Mathis (Harsh Realm), Billy Mumy (Lost In Space, Babylon 5), Cloris Leachman (Lassie, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Phyllis), Andrew McCarthy (Kingdom Hospital), Vivica A. Fox, Eriq La Salle (ER), Wayne Knight (Seinfeld, Third Rock From The Sun), Sean Patrick Flanery (Young Indiana Jones, The Dead Zone), Jessica Simpson (Newlyweds), Alicia Witt (Cybill), Angela Featherstone, and Jason Bateman (It's Your Move, Valerie/The Hogan Family, Arrested Development).

Man, oh man, do I ever love this show! I love ironic situations, and that's what The Twilight Zone is all about. I purposely watched the show before bed, and I had some pretty weird dreams. You know that feeling...the tickle that goes down your back when you're slightly freaked out? I felt that a few times while watching these episodes. I know I watched one of these episodes when they first aired, but I didn't remember seeing anything on this set before. That's something that could only happen in....The Twilight Zone...

This is New Line's first foray into TV-on-DVD, and they did a nice job. It helps that they were working with a new series, but I think they did an above-average release. This 6 disc set contains all 43 stories in production order. The packaging lists them as 43 episodes, but 2 stories aired during each episode, except for the double-length episode, the first one that was produced.

Video

Woo, this is a great-looking anamorphic widescreen transfer. I didn't notice any dust, debris, or grain in the picture. The colors look excellent, and the black levels are bang-on. This is reference quality video here. My only complaint; New Line set a chapter before the opening, not after it. Note to New Line: place the chapter after the opening so we can skip it. Each disc has a "play all" feature as well.

Audio

Oh boy, this sounds excellent! New Line has given us a Dolby Surround track, a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, AND a DTS track! DTS is becoming common on theatrical releases, but it's very rare for a TV release to have it. Almost every episode makes full use of the sound format, providing ample use of the rear speakers, as well as the front speakers for panning effects. The show sounds great on DVD! There are English and Spanish subtitles as well.

Extras - How we rate extras

Sorry, no extras for the show. With a rotating cast of actors, it would be difficult to go back and shoot material for the DVD release.

Summary

I can't get enough of this show, so I'm a bit bummed it didn't last very long. The good news is that the other Twilight Zones will be released later this year, so fans will get to spend a whole lot of time in The Zone.

New Line did a nice job with their first TV set, though they have a bit of improvement to do. The audio and video is amazing, but they should consider adding a chapter after the title sequence, not before it. That's my only complaint, besides the lack of extras, but it's still a very nice set.


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