The Twilight Zone-Volume 24 (1959)
Notes-Season By Season
Notes-History Of The Twilight Zone
Notes-Reviews & Credits
|Year Of Production||1959|
|Running Time||101:29 (Case: 100)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Joseph M. Newman
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/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|
Rather belatedly, thanks to some laziness on my part, we progress on the voyage through The Twilight Zone with Volume 24 of this collection of always-anticipated ongoing releases. I have not worked out the maths here, but I would have thought that we are now over half-way through that voyage. And so far it has been a rather interesting voyage indeed, with the promise that the rest of the voyage will be no less interesting. Oh and see if you can spot all the Star Trek related performers in this collection!
The episodes on offer on Volume 24, in the running order on the DVD, are:
People Are Alike All Over (Episode 25, Mar 25 1960, 25:17 minutes) - Samuel Conrad (Roddy McDowall) is a biologist who is about to embark upon a very special mission - as an astronaut. He is about to be blasted off to Mars, a prospect that he is not entirely happy about. He is terrified of what they might find on Mars. So crash landing on Mars does his mood no good at all, and when he hears noises outside the spaceship, he is mortified. Cajoled into opening the hatch by his dying co-astronaut, he is startled to discover that the Martians appear to be human. Not just human, but speakers of Martian - a language that Sam knows very well as it is also English. And they are a benevolent lot, too, as they insist on building him a home in which to live whilst they repair his spaceship. The home is perfect and it seems that indeed people are alike all over. Sam truly does discover how much alike very quickly. An episode from the first season of the show and as usual a fine one, highlighted by a good performance from Roddy McDowall (it is sometimes difficult to remember that he was a big star in the sixties and seventies). This episode also features a nice appearance from Susan Oliver in a limited role - she went onto a quite well-known role in a certain spacey based television sci-fi series. Directed by Mitchell Leisen.
Valley Of The Shadow (Episode 105, Jan 17 1963, 50:58 minutes) - Philip Redfield (Ed Nelson) is a journalist on his way home when he gets lost taking a short cut recommended by a friend that would have saved hours off his long trip. Lost, and virtually out of petrol in the middle of nowhere, Philip happens upon one of those out-of-the-way little towns that dot the American landscape - Pleasant Valley. Everything seems normal enough - a sleepy little town with minimal obvious activity. Philip gets some gas but is taken aback that there is nowhere to get something to eat. About to leave and head towards the Interstate via a nearby town, Philip is delayed by his dog chasing a cat owned by a young girl. Having got the cat bailed up, Philip is stunned to see his dog suddenly disappear. Sensing something unusual is going on here, he tries to get the little girl to explain what the device was that she was using, but to no avail. Eventually the girl's father comes out to look for the missing dog and lo and behold - the dog reappears. A perplexed Philip heads out of town but is suddenly involved in a monumental crash that inexplicably destroys the front end of his car. It seems that the town has a secret that it does not want to share with the outside world - and Mayor Dorn (David Opatoshu) makes Philip an offer that he should not be able to resist. Live in the town for the rest of his life or die. Living in this town should be no problem when the inhabitants are as beautiful as Ellen Marshall (Natalie Trundy). But Philip proves that the town committee's fears about the outside world would indeed be correct. A decently handled episode from the fourth season, highlighted by a good performance from Ed Nelson. You might be able to recognise the bloke who plays the young girl's father. Features a rather well-handled crash that really looks like the car has hit absolutely nothing and been wrecked. Directed by Perry Lafferty.
Black Leather Jackets (Episode 138, Jan 31 1964, 25:14 minutes) - A bunch of black leathered jacketed motor cyclists descend upon a typical American small town, to the consternation of the local population. Name the film! Well, the gang is smaller, but they still look menacing enough to the locals and especially to Stu Tillman (Denver Pyle) when they move in next door. His daughter (Shelley Fabares) is not so bothered by the new neighbours. However, these three mysterious newcomers really are unusual - they have no furniture in the house for one thing. And when the Tillman's electricity and television start going wonky, Stu is quick to blame the ham radio operators next door, since they have installed a large antenna on their roof. Deciding to give them a piece of his mind, Stu ends up not bothering to. Meantime, dear little daughter is much taken with one of the guys, at least until he starts ranting about invasion forces from another world. So just how dangerous are these motorcycle riding guys next door? And quite why do they have a bank of communications gear that would make Parkes envious? Not an especially terrific episode from the last season, but then again it is too reminiscent of The Wild One in the beginning to have a character of its own. Directed by Joseph M. Newman.
The transfer is presented in the usual aspect ratio of television shows of the era, namely 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.
In broad terms, this is a collection of decent quality transfers, with only generally minor niggles to detract from the enjoyment of the episodes. The general definition level in these three episodes seems a bit better than I recall in the previous volumes, and that partially accounts for the slightly more obvious film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. Shadow detail is pretty darn good too in general, with only some issue with the staircase scenes in Valley Of The Shadow, and this is one of the better collections in that regard too. There did not appear to be any problem with low level noise in the transfers. There did appear to be some edge enhancement in use in Valley Of The Shadow (notably around 29:20) but nothing to really worry about.
Overall, the quality of the black and white here is quite good, with reasonable depth to the tones. Whilst this is closer to decent grey and grey rather than black and white, as is rather typical of the general standard for the show, there is a general decency to the depth to the blacks and a nice contrast across the grey scales. There is nothing much in the way of murky greys here.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There is something of a problem with aliasing and shimmer in the transfer, which at times gets a little bit more than background stuff. This is mostly during Valley Of The Shadow where there are noticeable problems in the likes of the car grille, fences, windows, filing cabinet and staircase balustrades. Apart from that, there is some wobble in the image (indeed one bit we get to see twice due to reused footage at 6:57 and 10:38 of People Are Alike All Over) that is probably source-related and some telecine wobble in the credits of People Are Alike All Over that is almost certainly not source related. Film artefacts are the usual that we expect in material of this vintage, apart from some rather obvious white vertical lines during the opening five minutes of Black Leather Jackets.
The usual standard of two soundtracks are on offer on the DVD, being Dolby Digital 1.0 mono efforts in English or 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.
Only Black Leather Jackets has any music credit, with the score coming from Van Cleave. The usually reliable stock sources are used for the other two episodes. I cannot say that any of the efforts left much of an indelible mark upon me.
People Are Alike All Over and Valley Of The Shadow both seemed to suffer from hissy soundtracks, the former especially so. Apart from that there is nothing really that different from what we have heard in the previous releases in the series. The soundtracks are generally free from any significant distortion or congestion and this is generally very decent sounding mono.
|Surround Channel Use|
The same standard package that we have seen for some time now.
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 24 is a good solid collection of episodes, even with the inclusion of Black Leather Jackets. Devotees of the series will continue to lap up another release, but I would also suggest that the occasional dabbler in the series might find enough to enjoy here. The overall quality of the package is good.
|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|