Treasures Of The Twilight Zone

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Details At A Glance

Category Sci-Fi / Television Featurette - The Pitch (7:51)
Featurette - Rod Serling Interview by Mike Wallace (21:43)
Biography - Rod Serling
Production Notes - Season By Season
Production Notes - History of The Twilight Zone
Reviews and Credits
Year Released 1959, 1964
Running Time
72:11 minutes
(not 75 minutes as per packaging) 
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Directors Robert Stevens
Robert Butler
Robert Enrico

Warner Vision
Starring Earl Holliman
James Gregory
George Takei 
Neville Brand
Robert Jaquet
Case Transparent Amaray
RPI $34.95 Music Bernard Herrmann
Henri Lanoe

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, 96 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, 96 Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles Dutch 
Annoying Product Placement Yes, in credits of The Encounter
Action In or After Credits Yes, minor in credits

Plot Synopsis

   There is just a little hiccup in the usual flow of DVDs from The Twilight Zone as rather than a normal Volume, we get a Special issue if you like. And quite why is this a Special issue? Well, apart from having just three episodes that is? Basically, we are talking about three very special episodes indeed from The Twilight Zone. And quite why are they so special?

    Where Is Everybody? (Oct 2 1959, 22:06 minutes) - The date of first airing should give away why this is so special, for this is indeed the very first episode of the series. And as such a lot was riding on how it performed. Mike Ferris (Earl Holliman) finds himself suddenly walking down a deserted road, past a deserted gas station and into the deserted town of Oakwood. He does not know who he is, he cannot remember what he does and he does not understand why any form of life is sadly missing from the scene - but he does think he is being watched. Paranoia? Maybe, but then again this is The Twilight Zone, and even in the first episode things may not be quite what they seem. Basically, not the greatest story ever in the series but a nicely solid effort that whilst not stretching the envelope too much does enough to set the tone for the series. Whilst basically a one man show as Earl Holliman performs solo for much of the show, the small performance of Robert Gregory is up to his usual standards. Directed by Robert Stevens, the overall show set a firm tone for the series that became one of the most unique to ever grace television.

   The Encounter (Episode 151, May 1 1964, 25:06 minutes) - And what is quite so special about this late episode from the final series of the show? Well, quite simply this episode is a very rare one - for it is one of the few episodes that was not included in the syndication package. So what does that mean? Basically, after its initial air date, this episode was stuck in the archives and not seen for over twenty-five years. It is just a tad unclear exactly when the next airing was, but suffice it to say that it is extremely unlikely that you have ever seen this episode before. The reason for that, it would seem, is the subject matter of the episode. Fenton (Neville Brand) is a World War II veteran of the Pacific campaign, recently sacked from his job driving a big earth mover for an over-indulgence in the amber brew. So with his wife having walked out the previous day, he finds himself up in the attic clearing up some of the accumulated junk - including a samurai sword liberated from a Japanese officer. Enter Japanese-American gardener Arthur Takamuri (George Takei), in search of some lawn mowing work. Also known as Taro, he looks at the sword and immediately knows that he has no choice but to kill Fenton. What follows is some metaphorical blood-letting as they recall the circumstances of the war. Directed by Robert Butler.

    An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge (Episode 142, Feb 28 1964, 24:59 minutes) - And we get a very, very special episode. How special? Well for a start off, it is not a Twilight Zone episode! Err, what? Yes indeed, this is not a Twilight Zone episode but rather a French short film that was turned into an episode of the series. This short film won the award for Best Short Film at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival. As the final season was running a bit over-budget, buying the episode, sticking Twilight Zone credits and intro onto it and airing it as a Twilight Zone episode saved a lot of money, and it ended up winning another award in 1963: an Oscar for Best Short Film, this making The Twilight Zone possibly unique in earning both an Oscar and an Emmy. The story? A confederate spy has been captured and is to be executed at the bridge, but is spared when the rope breaks when the beam is pulled from underneath him. Plummeted into the water, the spy desperately escapes his bindings and swims off to freedom, as the Union soldiers pepper the river with a fusillade of gunfire. His flight brings him back to his wife - or does it? Directed by Robert Enrico.

   And so there you have it: the first episode, the rare episode and the not-a-Twilight-Zone French episode. Anyone want to argue on these being the Treasures Of The Twilight Zone?

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in the usual aspect ratio of television shows of the era, namely 1.33:1.

    This special collection is very different than the "ordinary" volumes in the series, and overall this is one of the best - if not the best - of The Twilight Zone DVDs I have seen thus far. Sharpness is generally a bit better than usual, and with a bit more detail on offer than generally is the case. Shadow detail is generally good throughout and this collection suffers less of a problem with grain than is usually in case. There did not appear to be any significant problems with low level noise in the transfer. The difference between the episodes is quite noticeable reflecting the fact that the rare episode is much better preserved and the French originated effort is in a slightly different style. Only the first episode has a typical The Twilight Zone DVD feel to it. The rare episode is by far the best single looking episode thus far in the series.

    The black and white presentation of these episodes is somewhat more inconsistent than general owing to the distinct differences in the episodes. The first episode has quite typical mid range greys as the predominant colour, whilst the rare episode has a much more distinctly black and white look to it with a rather decent depth to the tones. The French episode has more of a black and white feel to it but not as deep as the rare episode, but distinctly better than the first episode. Confused? Well, let us just say that overall this is a better looking effort in general than other DVDs in the series and there really is little to complain about as far as the colours go, even if you are not a collector of these series in general.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There is a significant reduction in the aliasing problems in this collection, with only the first episode being really affected by the problem. Other than that, there are no real problems with film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. It should be noted that the French episode is somewhat affected by a lightness on the left hand side of the picture as if light has gotten into the film process somewhere. Whilst there are a few film artefacts here and there, with the first episode being by far the worst here, this is in general a very clean collection.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    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 at all.

    Okay, you have the first episode of this quite radically different television series. You want to make a good impression with the viewing audience and sponsors. So you go the whole hog and bring in a "name" to do the music. And around that era, amongst the very best was Bernard Herrmann, he of Vertigo fame. Not a bad way to kick-start the series musically! A good effort for a television show of the era. By the time of the rare episode, things had reached the stage where those ever-reliable stock sources were the norm, and so they take an uninspiring bow here. Naturally, the French short film has credited music, this from the pen of Henri Lanoe. Since the production values for this film were obviously slightly different to that of a television series, it is a noticeably better effort.

    Another virtually identical audio transfer to the earlier volumes in the series. Nothing much to say really, other than the first episode has just a slightly hissy soundtrack, noticeable during the opening credits. The soundtracks are generally free from any significant distortion or congestion and this is generally very decent sounding mono.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    With this being a special type of release within the usual series of issues, a slightly better extras package is reasonably expected. That is what we get although the technical quality of some of the material is pretty poor. Rarity value however is extremely high.


Featurette - The Pitch (7:51)

    No, nothing about baseball but rather an introductory film made by Rod Serling to attach to the first episode and sent out or played to potential sponsors of the series. This is an almost priceless piece of television history, showing the lengths to which producers went to in order to draw sponsors to their shows - for without sponsors, shows had little chance of success. You may have seen some of the effects of sponsors in some episodes, especially in the closing credits. The image might be quite diffuse and flat looking, the colours (especially lit areas) might be a bit washed out and there might be plenty of film artefacts to contend with, but this really is a terrific look at something we very rarely get to see. Naturally presented in a Full Frame format, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with a slightly muddy sounding Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Featurette - Rod Serling Interview by Mike Wallace (21:43)

    This was a television show interview in New York and was made in 1959. Believe me when I say the quality of the source material is pretty ropey indeed. Well actually it is pretty well shockingly poor. But then again, it is extremely rare footage and would not have been especially well looked after anyway. But such is the fascination with the interview itself that you should soon forget about the source material limitations - although the smoke haze from the two people smoking is a tad difficult to ignore. Rod Serling provides a glorious insight into the world of television writing and espouses his views on various topics related thereto, many of which have direct relevance to The Twilight Zone. The whole thing is quite wonderful and television fanatics will thoroughly enjoy this. Presented in a Full Frame format, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Biography - Rod Serling

Production Notes - History Of The Twilight Zone

Production Notes - Season By Season

Reviews and Credits

    Reflecting the fact that these were scheduled for release a little earlier in the overall flow of the DVDs of the series overseas, the style of these reverts to the same as up to Volume 13.

R4 vs R1

    The same as the Region 1 version in broad terms, the Region 4 version would be the version of choice owing to PAL formatting.


    The Treasures Of The Twilight Zone is something significantly different in the flow of the normal episode volumes of the series. The episodes included here are very good and the additional extras material included is terrific. Every DVD collection should have some representation from The Twilight Zone and this is as good a place to start as any. Well worth indulging in this effort, even if you are not a fan of the series.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
5th March, 2001.

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL