The Twilight Zone

Volume 9

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Details At A Glance

Category Sci-Fi / Television Biography - Rod Serling
Production Notes - Season By Season
Production Notes - History of The Twilight Zone
Rating ?
Year Released 1960, 1961
Running Time 100:31 minutes
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Directors Richard L. Bare
James Sheldon
Buzz Kulik

Warner Vision
Starring William Shatner 
Patricia Breslin 
Buddy Ebsen 
Dane Clark 
Christine White
Billy Mumy
John Larch
Cloris Leachman
Shelley Berman
Jack Grinnage
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Various

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Dolby Digital 1.0, 96 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 1.0, 96 Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles Dutch 
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, minor in credits

Plot Synopsis

   Surprise, surprise, Volume 9 of the ongoing releases from The Twilight Zone has finally emerged from wherever it disappeared into The Twilight Zone.

    The episodes on offer on Volume 9, in the running order on the DVD, are:

    Nick Of Time (Episode 43, Nov 18 1960, 25:21 minutes) - Dan Carter has a bit of a problem - he is just a little bit superstitious. He and his fiancé Pat find themselves stranded by car troubles in a small Ohio town, and whilst whiling away the time in the local diner, they come upon a mechanical fortune-telling napkin server. The answers it provide seem to be prophetic - or is this because Dan wants them to be? This little collection of episodes is definitely highlighting the power of the mind, and this one in particular highlights the way irrational fear can rule our lives. This episode is probably more noted however for the star - William Shatner in one of his early, pre-Star Trek roles. Directed by Richard L. Bare.

   The Prime Mover (Episode 57, Mar 24 1961, 25:10 minutes) - Jimbo Cobb has a secret that he has kept for many years. Ace Larsen has a problem that everyone knows. So when Jimbo reveals his secret to save people trapped by a car wreck, Ace decides to use the secret to advance his own fortunes. After heading to Las Vegas, Ace seems to oblivious to the ethical dilemma that Jimbo has to come to terms with. Is the power a curse or a blessing? Another memorable episode involving The Tin Man and later member of The Beverly Hillbillies in Buddy Ebsen - quite a few of the cast of that show were alumni of The Twilight Zone. Directed by Richard L. Bare.

    It's A Good Life (Episode 73, Nov 3 1961, 24:50 minutes) - The small town of Peaksville, Ohio finds itself removed from the rest of the world due to a monster that exerts a tremendous force over the inhabitants. The merest bad thought will find a person turned into something to be reviled -and banished to the cornfield. So far, the rest of the world has been banished and the population of the town is slowly going the same way through the mental powers of the monster. And exactly what is that monster? A six year boy called Anthony Fremont. Probably best remembered for being an early role of Billy Mumy who later went onto fame as Will Robinson on Lost In Space. Directed by James Sheldon.

    The Mind And The Matter (Episode 63, May 12 1961, 25:10 minutes) - Archibald Beechcroft has a problem with life - the rest of the world. He cannot stand the twentieth century and wishes nothing more than to be rid of the noise and the people. When he is given a book extolling the virtues of positive thinking, he comes to realize that he has the power to achieve his desires - and he does so. However, he soon finds out that life was not necessarily improved by the elimination of what he does not like, nor by the mere reinhabiting of the world with multiples of himself. This entire episode was pretty much written for Shelley Berman and is virtually a one man show. He carries the show as is to be expected. Directed by Buzz Kulik.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in the native aspect ratio of television shows of the era, namely 1.33:1.

    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 good, although it has to be pointed out that the opening titles of the earlier episodes are decidedly murkier than the actual episodes themselves. Detail is generally quite good. Clarity is reasonably good throughout, and grain does not appear to be a significant problem here at all. There is no low-level noise in the image, and the shadow detail is quite acceptable.

    The typical black and white presentation of these episodes is well up to the standards of the earlier volumes in the series. The overall effect though is not especially vibrant. There was only a slight issue with murkiness here and there, but nothing really major.

    After a slight dip in transfer quality on the previously reviewed Volume 10, this is somewhat of a return to form for the series. There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Film-to-video artefacts however were a little prevalent here, with mild aliasing being a common problem in all episodes, but especially the first two on the disc. There are a few jumps in the transfer here and there, but these may of course be an inherent problem in the source material: they looked almost like bad editing cuts. This is perhaps a slightly cleaner collection of episodes than usual and whilst film artefacts are obviously present here, they are in general a bit better than we would expect in source material of this vintage and are certainly not disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The usual standard of two soundtracks are on offer on the DVD, being Dolby Digital 1.0 efforts in English and French. For a bit of a laugh I indulged in the French soundtrack, but it really did not do an awful lot for me so I rapidly returned to the English soundtrack.

    The dialogue for all episodes was clear and easy to understand, and there did not appear to be any audio sync problems in the transfer at all.

    The music for all four episodes is actually uncredited, coming from what is described as stock sources. Nothing overly memorable here at all.

    If you have read the earlier reviews from the series, then you have a pretty good feel for what sort of soundtrack we have here. This is virtually identical to the earlier volumes in the series and therefore there really is not an awful lot to add 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. 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 here!

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The usual consistent presentation in common with the earlier releases in the series.


Biography - Rod Serling

Production Notes - History Of The Twilight Zone

Production Notes - Season By Season

R4 vs R1

    The same as the Region 1 version in broad terms, the Region 4 version would be the version of choice owing to PAL formatting.


    A slight return to form as far as the technical quality is concerned, but I have to feel that the quality of episodes here is perhaps not as strong as other discs in the series. If you are a fan of the series, then there is no reason to avoid this DVD but if you were looking for an introduction to the series, this is not perhaps the best place to start.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
29th October 2000

Review Equipment
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