The Twilight Zone-Volume 25 (1960)
Notes-Season By Season
Notes-History Of The Twilight Zone
Notes-Reviews & Credits
Scene Selection Animation
|Year Of Production||1960|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
David Orrick McDearmon
|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|
And so we progress to the latest paired batch of releases from the ongoing journey into The Twilight Zone with Volume 25 of this ground breaking series. I might not have worked the math with respect of the last volume reviewed, but by my calculation the four episodes on offer on Volume 25 take the overall episode tally so far on Region 4 DVD to 94. Since the total number of episodes in the entire run of The Twilight Zone amounted to 156, we are most definitely on the downward run towards the conclusion of the reissuing of the series on DVD.
With the collection tag line of "a twist of fate in The Twilight Zone", the episodes on offer on Volume 25, in the running order on the DVD, are:
Execution (Episode 26, Apr 1 1960, 25:10 minutes) - Joe Caswell (Albert Salmi) is about to meet his maker at the end of a rope after shooting a man in the back. Unrepentant to the end, Joe is about to have his whole world turned upside down thanks to an inventor (Russell Johnson) eighty years in the future who uses his new time machine to transport Joe from the end of that rope in the nick of time. So what happens when a murderer is transported eighty years into the future from certain death? Does he have an epiphany and change his ways? Well, you are not going to believe this but ..... Probably a little ironic that this first aired on April Fools Day, forty one years ago, considering the twist of fate that Joe suffers! Aside from the fact that Russell Johnson is forever associated with only one role in my mind and therefore is completely unbelievable in any other role, another good and somewhat black comedic turn from the first season of the show. Directed by David Orrick McDearmon.
The Hunt (Episode 84, Jan 26 1962, 25:01 minutes) - Hyder Simpson (Arthur Hunnicut) is an old hillbilly out in the sticks, living alone with his wife Rachel (Jeanette Nolan) and his trusty hound Rip. Despite the protestations of his wife, Hyder heads out after supper with Rip for a spot of 'coon hunting. Rip is really ace hunting them 'coons and soon enough has one bailed up, but a quick slip and the 'coon is heading for water with Rip in hot pursuit. When Rip don't reappear on the surface of the lake real quick, Hyder is in after him. Next morning Hyder and Rip reluctantly head home fearing the worst of tongue lashings from Rachel. Thankfully, she is mourning and in no mood for tongue lashing anyone. But when Hyder finds out who she is in mourning for, and finds himself on an unfamiliar walk with Rip in tow, he is just a tad dumbfounded. At least until he gets to the gate and finds out that this is Heaven and - dogs ain't allowed! Or is it and are they really? This is a nicely handled episode from the last season of the show, nothing too memorable in the acting stakes but with a nice bit of down-to-earthiness about it. Directed by Harold Schuster.
The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross (Episode 136, Jan 17 1964, 25:11 minutes) - Salvadore Ross (Don Gordon) has a serious liking for Leah Maitland (Gail Kobe), but unfortunately he just does not seem to push her buttons right at all - and is certainly not good enough for Leah in the eyes of her father (Vaughn Taylor). After battering his hand into a pulp in frustration, a quick visit to hospital reveals a gift that will be well used by Salvadore. And so he sets out to improve himself using this new gift, thereby acquiring first wealth and then regaining his youth, in order to woo his Juliet. Trouble is, does his Juliet find him changed at heart? Simply, Salvadore does not compare to her old man and so he makes a deal - a deal that makes him irresistible to Leah but exposes him to soul searching like never before. And when he tries to appeal to the compassion of Leah's father, he finds out that you just might not like what you paid for. A personal favourite of mine from way back, and I don't really know why, with a nicely ironic story matched to slightly over the top acting by Don Gordon. Directed by Don Siegel.
Number Twelve Looks Just Like You (Episode 137, Jan 24 1964, 25:12 minutes) - A sad tale of the nature of humanity set in the future (namely the year 2000). As usual medical science has been meddling with the physical appearance of humans and has developed a system called the Transformation, whereby upon attaining the age of 19 every person can choose from a selection of perfect physical models of the human form. Not only do you get physical beauty but your life is extended by decades upon decades. And so when Marilyn Cuberle (Collin Wilcox) rebels against the idea of the transformation, her mother Lana (Suzy Parker) and Uncle Rick (Richard Long) have no idea what the heck she is on about. Medical help is sought but it turns out that the transformation is not a voluntary thing - everyone must go through it otherwise others would be offended by an individual's lack of physical perfection. In something of a commentary upon the falsity of the human fetish for seeking physical beauty and perfection, at the cost of infinite diversity in infinite combinations (just throwing a bit of Trek in here for a change), we get to see all barring Collin Wilcox playing multiple roles. Directed by Abner Biberman.
The transfer is presented in the usual aspect ratio of television shows of the era, namely 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced.
Whilst generally a collection of decent quality transfers, there are the occasional more than minor niggles to detract from the enjoyment of these particular episodes. The general definition level in these episodes is quite good, but the effect is somewhat marred by these being slightly darker transfers than usual and thus shadow detail goes a bit walkabout - notably during Execution and The Hunt (the night time scenes in particular). There did not appear to be any problem with low level noise in the transfers. There is however some degree of grain present in the transfers, with only Number Twelve Looks Just Like You not displaying the problem. It does detract from the transfers a little but then again it is no worse than we would expect in forty year old source material, made for television.
The quality of the black and white here is good, with good depth to the tones in general. this is distinctly more black and white than has been the norm for the series to date, but those shadow detail lapses are the worse for it. There is nothing in the way of murky greys here, and the overall presentation across the grey scales is good.
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. Both Execution and The Hunt suffer noticeably from the problem, and it does detract a little from these episodes. Number Twelve Looks Just Like You is less afflicted but does contain one obvious problem around 14:49 where the edge of the cheek by the hair aliases quite badly. The main problems are however restricted to The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross, which suffers some rather gross looking moiré artefacting in the jacket worn by Don Gordon at 22:10 and 23:00. In addition, there is some issue with cross colouration in the same garment at 24:13. Film artefacts are the usual ever-present collection that we expect in material of this vintage, although Execution suffers from a rather noticeable white mark down the left hand side of the picture at 3:31.
The funny thing is that the rather obvious decline in the film-to-video artefact stakes comes on the first DVD to see reduced subtitle options - down from the previous five to three.
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 The Hunt has any music credit, with the score coming from Robert Drasnin. The usually reliable stock sources are used for the other three episodes. Pretty much par for the course as far as music scores in The Twilight Zone are concerned.
Apart from the fact that these episodes seem to be less afflicted with background hiss than the previous volume, 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.
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 25 is another good solid collection of episodes, although the DVD itself is blessed with a slightly less acceptable video transfer.
|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|