|Category||Sci-Fi / Television||Theatrical Trailer(s)||No|
|Year Released||1959-1963||Commentary Tracks||No|
|Running Time||101:19 minutes||Other Extras||Biography - Rod Serling
|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||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Volume 5 has the following 4 episodes:
Long Distance Call (Mar 3 1961, 25:18 minutes) - A young boy, besotted by the loss of his Grandma, takes to calling her on his toy phone. The twist is, she really is on the other end of the line, most truly stuck in the twilight zone. This is also one of the few (6) episodes filmed directly on video, and suffers visually as a result. Directed by James Sheldon.
I Sing The Electronic Body (May 18 1962, 24:51 minutes) - A strange name for a strange story. Written by the great Ray Bradbury, in fact his only contribution to the entire series, this tells of a company who's product is an aged carer for busy people who haven't the time they need to spend with their children. A robot nanny looks after the kids, and in time is treated as a real grandma. No real twist, just a nice little story. Directed by James Sheldon and William Claxton, with music by Van Cleave.
The Lonely (Nov 13 1959, 25:12 minutes) - The first episode ever filmed, after the unaired pilot, this is an inventive tale, again concerned with man's relationship with robots - obviously somewhat of an interest at the time. A man imprisoned on an asteroid does not want to leave after genuinely falling in love with a robotic companion. Directed by Jack Smight, and with music by Bernard Herrmann, a prolific composer responsible for the score to the fabulous Twelve Monkeys and Psycho amongst others.
Probe 7 Over And Out (Nov 29 1963, 25:05 minutes) - A wonderfully over-acted story of an astronaut escaping the imminent nuclear war on earth (again, another fascination of the times) by accidentally crashing on another planet. He finds a native woman, known in the native tongue as 'Eve', and builds a new life with her on this verdant new world. Is it giving away too much to say that his name is Adam? Directed by Ted Post.
As with Volume 1, the transfer quality is very good when consideration is given both to the age of the series and to the medium for which it was produced - namely television. I might as well repeat myself, for essentially all future volumes will have the same video characteristics. The definition in episodes 2,3 and 4 is excellent in general terms, and is as good as we should expect it to be. There is no low-level noise in the image, and the shadow detail is quite acceptable. The same cannot be said for episode 1, which was shot using video as an exercise in cost-cutting, and was quickly shelved as an idea since Rod Serling was displeased with the lack of editing control he had with video as compared with film. The image is much softer, and suffers from edge enhancement and low contrast, with everything being a shade of grey rather than black and white. It is a good thing that the producers canned the whole straight-to-video-tape idea, and the reasons are explained in the excellent production notes.
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. This might sound strange, but it's really how I feel.
Whilst there were no motion-based MPEG artefacts in these transfers, episode 1 did suffer quite badly from posterization, though this would be not a fault of the transfer but one of MPEG's inherent inability to describe small changes in hue. This was evident in shots of the sky, and was quite off-putting although forgivable. 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.
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!
The video is perfectly acceptable, although Long Distance Call is rather poor, having been shot on video.
No complaints for the audio either.
There are enough extras to keep the wolves at bay, and make this a nicely rounded disc.
|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|