Twilight Zone

Volume 2

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Details At A Glance

Category Sci-Fi / Television Theatrical Trailer(s) No
Rating Other Trailer(s) No
Year Released 1959-1963 Commentary Tracks No
Running Time 100:15 minutes Other Extras Biography - Rod Serling 
Production Notes
RSDL/Flipper None
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Directors John Brahm
Donald Winston
Justus Addiss
Image Entertainment 
Warner Vision
Starring Burgess Meredith
Claude Akins
William Shatner
John Anderson
RPI $34.95 Music  
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None Dolby Digital 1.0
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 1.0, 96Kb/s) 
French (Dolby Digital 1.0, 96Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles Dutch 
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

Plot Synopsis

   In what will surely be a steady stream of episodes, this disc is Volume 2 and represents another cross-section of stories from the classic Twilight Zone vault. You can read my feelings on the whole Twilight Zone phenomenon in my review of Volume 1, and I won't repeat myself other than to say that this is a great series, and well worth the transfer to DVD. This particular volume is perhaps my favourite so far, with each story representing the very best kinds of stories shown in the series.

    Volume 2 has the following 4 episodes:

    Time Enough At Last (Nov 20 1959, 25:02 minutes) - Classic, classic stuff. Burgess Meredith is superb as a bookish, quiet man whose only want in life is to read books. It doesn't matter what, as long as it is printed he is interested. However, he never gets the time he needs, what with work and his wife both being hard-nosed and unrelenting. Well, by the end of this he does get all the time he needs, but of course there is a twist. Another story concerned with nuclear holocaust, this is surely one of the most clever stories presented. Directed by John Brahm.

    The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street (Apr 4 1960, 25:06 minutes) - A normal, tranquil suburb is turned on its head when a meteor flies past and knocks out the power. Accusations run thick, and prejudices come to the fore in this biting and insightful "morality" tale from Serling. Again, concerned indirectly with holocaust and destruction, and whilst exaggerated to be sure, it is quite an interesting look at ourselves and our frailties. Directed by Donald Winston and starring Claude Akins amongst others.

   Nightmare At 20,000 Feet (Oct 11 1963, 25:04 minutes) - A very youthful looking William Shatner is here a couple of years before Star Trek, up to all his famous mannerisms playing a man with a mortal fear of flying. Coming home from a psychiatric facility, he is faced with a final flight on which all his terrors are realized when he sees a "gremlin" on the wing, pulling apart the engine in mid-flight. The problem is, only he can see it. Redone for the movie in 1983 with somewhat better effects, this is another truly classic episode. Aw hell, they're all classic episodes, who am I kidding?

    The Odyssey Of Flight 33 (Feb 24 1961, 25:03 minutes) - Being an aviation buff, Serling infused the series with many episodes concerned with flight. This story was apparently written when the opportunity came to film the inside of a new airliner, and Serling penned it in literally ten minutes. A plane, on a routine trip from London to New York enters a rip in time and ends up at its destination thousands of years ago. The ever-suave captain, played by John Anderson decides to re-enter the same point to return back. They do, but don't come back far enough, ending up some 20 or so years before they left. Most definitely stuck in the Twilight Zone, we leave them attempting for a third time to return their passengers to the correct time. Most interesting, and distinguished by having quite technical banter in the cockpit, which I appreciated. Directed by Justus Addiss.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, being full-frame naturally since this series was produced for television.

    The episodes in this volume, as with all volumes, are pulled from different seasons anywhere from 1959 to 1964, and the quality of each episode is variable. However, all are a pleasure to watch being well-detailed and clear. There is minimal edge-enhancement, and little grain.

    These episodes are the genuine black and white ones, and I wouldn't have them any other way. I just love the strange feeling this gives the stories, and they just wouldn't be the same or as effective in colour.

    There were no MPEG artefacts in this volume. Film to video artefacts consisted of some telecine wobble. Film artefacts were quite regular, and Nightmare At 20,000 Feet suffers quite a bit from vertical lines running down the image at times, but given the age one can again forgive these as simply part and parcel of 40 year old film stock, and I am not about to complain.


    There are two soundtracks on offer, English or French, both Dolby Digital 1.0 mono at 96 Kilobits per second. Thankfully, this is 1.0 mono as opposed to 2.0 mono which I don't approve of.

    The dialogue for all episodes was clear and easy to understand.

    Limited by recording techniques of the day, this is not high fidelity audio, but rather is functional and gets the job done.

    Since this is Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, there is nothin' but the good old centre speaker for company here. Also left out is the subwoofer. Run this one through your television speaker if you want, it doesn't matter! I don't say that often, believe me!



    A well done menu here, with  an option called "Feature Presentation" if you want to jump right in from the start, or one called "Episodes" if you are a bit picky. The episode selection menu has an old black and white telly, and when an episode is selected, a still appears on the screen. When the "main menu" is selected, the screen is blank, and looks like it is reflecting your lounge-room in it. Nice touch.

Biography - Rod Serling

    This is the suave gentleman responsible for this whole genre. He started it in style, and went on to produce no less than 5 seasons, and a total of 138 half-hour episodes and 18 one-hour episodes from 1959 to 1964. What I didn't know was that he died in 1975 from open-heart surgery gone wrong. Well, he now knows for sure what is out there.

Production Notes - History Of The Twilight Zone / Season By Season

    Very interesting notes on the entire series, and well worth a read. Also contains a well-researched review of each episode.

R4 vs R1

    Our version is identical to the R1 version, although with PAL we are getting somewhat of a better picture.


    Totally classic material, and a good all-round Twilight Zone experience. If you are unsure, try this one out and you will be sure.

    The video is perfectly acceptable and as good as can be expected.

    No complaints for the audio either.

    There are enough extras to keep the wolves at bay, and make this a nicely rounded disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

© Paul Cordingley
29th July, 2000 (read my bio)
Review Equipment
DVD Panasonic A360 (S-Video output)
Display Pioneer SD-T43W1 125cm Rear-Projection Widescreen (16x9)
Audio Decoder Panasonic A360 DVD Player internal decoders - DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1 
Amplification Sony STRDE-525 5x100 watts Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver; 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ
Speakers Centre: Sony SS-CN35 100-watt, Main & Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders, Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive