|Category||Sci-Fi / Television||Biography - Rod Serling
Production Notes - Season By Season
Production Notes - History of The Twilight Zone
|Year Released||1961, 1962|
|Running Time||100:25 minutes|
Lee Van Cleef
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English (Dolby Digital 1.0 mono,
French (Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, 96 Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, minor in credits|
The episodes on offer on Volume 6, in the running order on the DVD, are:
Deaths-Head Revisited (Episode 74, Nov 10 1961, 25:22 minutes) - A former Nazi SS Captain returns to the ruins of a concentration camp to re-live the good old days - until his long-dead victims appear to deliver overdue justice! Directed by Don Medford. Perhaps just a tad too clichéd to be utterly memorable but still a decently evocative tale based upon the events at Dachau.
The Grave (Episode 72, Oct 27 1961, 24:51 minutes) - Before he died, notorious badman Pinto Sykes put a curse on hired-gun Conny Miller. If Miller ever sets foot on his grave he will kill him - a threat Sykes carries out! One of the more memorable episodes that I recall from my youth, since it starred three great actors from the annals of the Western - Lee Marvin, Lee Van Cleef and Strother Martin. Directed by Montgomery Pittman.
The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank (Episode 88, Feb 23 1962, 25:02 minutes) - Ever since he came back to life at his own funeral, Jeff hasn't been the same! The townspeople want him out of town, but Jeff says they have no reason to fear him. Or do they? One of the dreadfully overacted efforts that did occasionally plague the series, there is nothing too memorable here at all. Perhaps if they had not insisted on using those dreadfully fake Midwestern accents this would have been less painful! Also directed by Montgomery Pittman.
The Passerby (Episode 69, Oct 6 1961, 25:00 minutes) - On the road home from The Civil War, a Confederate soldier stops at a house. He and the owner, a recent widow, soon realize that all who pass are dead, including them! Starring James Gregory, this is a nicely handled take on the walk of the dead to the afterlife. It is also a rather prosaic look at the futility of revenge. Directed by Elliott Silverstein.
Whilst it has been said before, it does bear repeating that the transfer quality on offer is very good when consideration is given both to the age of the series and to the medium for which it was produced. All episodes have generally the same video characteristics. The definition in all episodes is generally very good, and is actually a lot better than I was expecting for television episodes bordering on forty years old. Detail is uniformly high too, although the odd lapse does have to be grudgingly acknowledged. Clarity is pretty good throughout. There is no low-level noise in the image, and the shadow detail is quite acceptable.
As is to be expected, these episodes are all in black and white and a fine looking black and white it is too. I only wish that some of the black and white films I have seen on DVD had this sort of quality. There is generally a very nice depth of tone to the black and white that makes these in general quite vibrant looking transfers.
There generally were not any significant MPEG artefacts
in these transfers, apart from Episode 69 which suffers just a little from
some blockiness in the picture on a couple of occasions. There is a rather
consistent problem with film-to-video artefacts, most noticeably aliasing.
At times it gets a little distracting, especially in Episode 74 and Episode
88. Naturally there are plenty of film artefacts, but in general they are
no worse than we would expect in source material of this vintage.
The dialogue for all episodes was clear and easy to understand, and audio sync did not appear to be any sort of problem here at all.
The music for the episodes is often not credited, reflecting the stock nature of a lot of the music used. However, the last two episodes on the DVD have music provided by Tommy Morgan and Fred Steiner.
There really is not an awful lot to say about the
soundtrack, as it is obviously a reflection of the limitations of the period
in which it was recorded and the medium for which is was recorded. You
certainly would not be digging this sort of effort out to demonstrate how
great DVD can sound. Still, the soundtracks are generally free from any
distortion or congestion and this is actually very decent sounding mono.
Naturally, you can forget about every speaker apart from the centre speaker
|Surround Channel Use|
A good video transfer for material of this age and source.
An acceptable audio transfer.
A good extras package all things considered.
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
23rd September 2000
|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|