|Category||Sci-Fi / Television||Biography - Rod Serling
Production Notes - Season By Season
Production Notes - History of The Twilight Zone
|Year Released||1959 - 1961|
|Running Time||100:42 minutes|
|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 7, in the running order on the DVD, are:
Perchance To Dream (Episode 9, Nov 27 1959, 25:11 minutes) - A man is terrified of falling asleep for fear he might die. His pursuer? A mysterious vixen he meets in his dreams! The first non-Serling script of the series. This is a seemingly oft repeated theme of the terror to be found in your dreams/phobias. What makes this one stand out is Suzanne Lloyd as Maya The Cat Girl - now that would be a good way to die! Directed by Robert Florey.
Shadow Play (Episode 62, May 5 1961, 25:13 minutes) - Trapped in a recurring nightmare, a man tries to persuade those who are sentencing him to death that the whole scenario is not real. Will they ever listen? The quality of actors that were attracted to The Twilight Zone never ceases to amaze - in this instance Dennis Weaver. This really is a very early precursor to later films such as Groundhog Day, and does it very well for a 25 minute television show. Directed by John Brahm.
King Nine Will Not Return (Episode 37, Sep 30 1960, 25:11 minutes) - WWII Captain James Embry finds himself next to a crashed plane in a vast desert. Where is his crew? And why are futuristic jet planes flying overhead? Another theme that has been well-used not just on television but also in film. This is a nice take on how guilt can be a powerful emotion, both positive and negative - this one being a negative. Directed by Buzz Kulik.
The Hitch-Hiker (Episode 16, Jan 22 1960, 25:07 minutes) - Alone on a cross country trip, Nan Adams has a blow-out. Surviving the incident, she gets back on the road - only to see the same hitch-hiker everywhere she looks! Another theme that gets a later reuse in an episode on an earlier volume. Don't dead people know when to die? Directed by Alvin Ganzer.
The transfer quality on offer is once again 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 quite decent, and is actually a lot better than I was expecting for television episodes bordering on forty years old. It is however not generally as good as Volume 6. Detail is quite good too, but again is not quite as good as the earlier Volume 6. Clarity is reasonably good throughout, although grain is a little bit more noticeable here. There is no low-level noise in the image, and the shadow detail is quite acceptable.
These episodes are all in black and white, but are again not quite as good looking as the earlier Volume 6. Still, the overall quality of the depth of tone to the black and white is quite reasonable, although not especially vibrant.
There generally were not any significant MPEG artefacts
in these transfers. There is again a rather consistent problem with film-to-video
artefacts, most noticeably aliasing. At no time was this a distraction.
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 first and third episodes on the DVD have music provided by Van Cleave 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 decent 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|