Twilight Zone

Volume 3

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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 100:01 minutes Other Extras Biography - Rod Serling 
Production Notes
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Directors Don Wies
Buzz Kulik
Robert Stevens
Lamont Johnson
Image Entertainment 
Warner Vision
Starring Lee Marvin
Jack Klugman
Jonathan Winters
Gig Young
Ernest Truex
Russell Collins
RPI $34.95 Music Van Cleave
Bernard Herrmann
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

   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.

    Volume 3 has the following 4 episodes:

    Steel (Oct 4 1963, 25:05 minutes) - Set in the far future of 1974, where human boxing has been outlawed and only humanoid robots are allowed to fight (gosh I love this series), "Steel" (Lee Marvin) is a boxer from the old school, and has an old worn out B2 series boxing machine. Pitted against the newer and far more capable B7 android in a match due very soon, his trusted B2 throws a spring, and Steel is left with no option but to don a face place and make like his robot if he is to get paid his $500 (big money). Actually, the robots look very good and quite convincing, and this is an amusing tale. Directed by Don Weis, and with music by Van Cleave.

    A Game Of Pool (Oct 13 1961, 24:54 minutes) - Jack Klugman, who later starred as the scruffier one in the TV series "The Odd Couple", has dedicated his whole life to becoming the best pool player ever. Never quite good enough, he is given the chance to play a legend, the best of all time, and prove his worth. The problem is, being the best comes with responsibilities, as Jack finds out. Directed by Buzz Kulik, and with a brilliant performance by Jonathan Winters as the pool legend sent from above.

    Walking Distance (Oct 30 1959, 25:10 minutes) - Gig Young is a man who is tired of the city corporate life - reports, meetings, deadlines, stress and so on. Breaking down at a garage just outside his hometown, he decides to walk the distance whilst his car is fixed and see how much his old stomping ground has changed. Well, being the Twilight Zone, nothing has changed, and he finds himself in the past, even meeting himself as a young boy. This one is not the most compelling story, but the message is to look forward and not behind. Look out for a small cameo by Ron Howard, one of the best filmmakers of all time, who is about five years old here. Directed by Robert Stevens, and with music by Bernard Herrmann.

    Kick The Can (Feb 9 1962, 24:52 minutes) - Another episode which was redone for the 1983 film version of the Twilight Zone, this is the classic tale of old folk wanting to recapture their youth. It is interesting that the makers of this series were all quite young, being in their twenties and with Rod Serling only in his early thirties, and yet death, dying and general doom was a popular theme with them. Well, these elderly people get their wish, and find youth again after playing a game of "kick the can" outside their retirement village. Starring Ernest Truex and Russell Collins, and directed by Lamont Johnson.

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 artefacts were quite regular, 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 it 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 as per the norm in this series, 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.


    Another great disc in the series, although to be honest I can't see most people wanting to buy all these volumes unless they are hard-core fans and collectors like myself. It is great that they are becoming available on DVD, and surely they are worth at least a rent for a dark, rainy night.

    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, making 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