The Twilight Zone-Volume 27 (1962)
Notes-Season By Season
Notes-History Of The Twilight Zone
Notes-Reviews And Credits
|Year Of Production||1962|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It seems ages since we last indulged emanations from The Twilight Zone, and checking the review dates it certainly is well over three months. Obviously a longer than usual lull in the inexorable releases from this series. With the tagline of "Another Reality in The Twilight Zone", we find ourselves delving into otherworldly areas in Volume 27 of the series. The episodes on offer on Volume 27, in the running order on the DVD, are:
He's Alive (Episode 106, Jan 24 1963, 50:57 minutes) - Peter Vollmer (Dennis Hopper) is an angry young man with some childhood parenting issues. Rather than go into therapy, he goes into neo-Nazism. However, his lot as a small-time joke in the neighbourhood is about to come to an end thanks to his new benefactor, one with intimate knowledge of the real deal as far as Nazism goes. Like a new man, Peter remolds himself and his following grows and grows - until he has to confront the man whom he has regarded as his father for many years, Ernst Ganz (Ludwig Donath), who is a former inmate of Dachau. It is amazing what you will do for power - but this is the 1960s and right has to win so the cop-out ending is a bit of a tosser. It never ceases to amaze the way the series was a stepping stone for many actors into other things. Dennis Hopper certainly progressed onto bigger and better things, and to be fair certainly better performances than here. Nonetheless, you can see an early performance from one of the more unconventional characters of Hollywood here. Also noteworthy for the work of Paul Mazursky as an actor rather than as a director. Directed by Stuart Rosenberg, who also went onto to bigger things.
From Agnes - With Love (Episode 140, Feb 14 1964, 25:15 minutes) - Ever tried one of those computer dating services? Ever wondered why you never seemed to get the right sort of matches? Wonder no more - Agnes is here. Agnes is a computer wonder (remember, this is the 1960s so don't laugh too much at the computer), capable of great calculative feats. So when computer technician James Elwood (Wally Cox) casually seeks advice from Agnes on how to woo the lovely Millie (Sue Randall), he should perhaps have been a little more sceptical of the answers. Agnes certainly provides some guidance but not necessarily to the advantage of James. What was that about a hell knows no fury like a woman scorned? Rubbish, hell knows no fury like a super-computer scorned. Wally Cox made something of a career out of playing the inept but lovable character and plays it to perfection here, and there are some nicely understated comedic touches here to lighten the mood considerably. Directed by Richard Donner, whom you just might have heard of.
Spur Of The Moment (Episode 141, Feb 21 1964, 24:44 minutes) - Anne Henderson (Diana Hyland) is (rich) daddy's little girl and has everything she could possibly want - including an investment banker fiancée. She also has a jilted lover who is not too happy about the whole deal. On the day of her engagement party, she decides to go horse riding, whereupon she encounters a mysterious woman in black who proceeds to chase after her. Terrified, Anne returns home to escape the ordeal. Anne Mitchell (Diana Hyland) is a near-middle aged cynic, unconcerned with the decline of the family fortune as a result of her disastrous marriage. In between drinks, she decides to go horse riding and encounters a young woman also out horse riding. She recognises the young woman and sets off in pursuit, to no avail. Knowing who the young woman is, she recognises too that the meeting is no ordinary meeting. Not a great episode in the lexicon of the series, and not an entirely convincing double role from Diana Hyland - she does not convince at all as an eighteen year old. Directed by Elliott Silverstein, who funnily enough went onto bigger things too.
The transfer is presented in the usual aspect ratio of television shows of the era, namely 1.33:1.
Another collection of generally decent quality transfers, generally on the upper end of the quality level as far as the series goes. Most especially He's Alive, which starts out a tad ropey, but ends up being one of the best quality episodes I recall seeing thus far. The general definition level in these episodes is good, and these are generally quite sharp transfers. Shadow detail is good throughout, especially He's Alive although Spur Of The Moment suffers somewhat from being noticeably over bright. There did not appear to be any problem with low level noise in the transfers. There is minor degrees of grain present in all the transfers.
The quality of the black and white here is good, apart from the over bright Spur Of The Moment which is basically a collection of brightish greys, with good depth to the tones in general. He's Alive is noticeably better than the other episodes though and the grey scales here are exceptionally well rendered.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, although He's Alive suffers with a very poor resolution pan shot at 1:05. There is something of a problem with aliasing and shimmer in the transfer, as is usual for DVDs from this series. It is generally much better handled here however, with He's Alive almost completely free of the problem and the other two episodes only suffering modest shimmer problems. Film artefacts are just a little less than the usual collection that we expect in material of this vintage, although some are just a tad too noticeable. Again He's Alive is very much cleaner than the other two episodes.
Unless you speak Spanish, French or Italian, you are going to have serious problems with the subtitles available on the DVD.
The usual standard of two soundtracks are on offer on the DVD, being Dolby Digital 1.0 mono efforts in English and French.
The dialogue for all episodes was clear and easy to understand, and there did not appear to be any audio sync problems in the transfer.
He's Alive has no music credit, with the scores for the other two episodes coming from Van Cleave and Rene Garriguenc. To be honest, I could not tell the difference between the stock music of He's Alive and the composed music of the other two episodes. Enough said I suppose.
One noticeable improvement here is in the almost total lack of hiss in the soundtracks - a pleasurable improvement over the previous volume in the series. Otherwise, there is nothing really that different from what we have heard in the previous releases in the series. The soundtracks are free from any significant distortion or congestion and this is generally very good sounding mono, slightly better than the norm for the series.
|Surround Channel Use|
The same standard package that we have seen for some time now, but.....a new menu design across the DVD! Whilst it looks very different, unfortunately the execution needs some improvement. The Season by Season notes appear to have completely lost Seasons Four and Five, and in the menus there is no convenient way to go back to the immediately preceding menu - it's either play the programme or the main menu. Not good when you are reading the notes in the various sections.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The same as the Region 1 version in broad terms, the Region 4 version would be the marginal version of choice owing to PAL formatting.
The Twilight Zone - Volume 27 in terms of the video and audio transfer is one of the better DVDs in the series so far, and contains two good episodes (the third is quite ordinary). If you are not collecting the complete series (and why not I ask), this would not be a bad DVD to add to the collection as a representative of one of the landmark series of American television.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|