|Category||Sci-Fi / Television||Biography - Rod Serling
Production Notes - Season By Season
Production Notes - History of The Twilight Zone
|Year Released||1960, 1961|
|Running Time||100:51 minutes|
Norman Z. McLeod
|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 10, in the running order on the DVD, are:
The Last Flight (Episode 18, Feb 5 1960, 25:30 minutes) - Captain Decker of the 56th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps has a little problem. He is in the right day, just the wrong year - and the air base is just a little bit different. And to compound matters his wing man is making a visit that might reveal that Captain Decker was no war hero - or was he? Time displacement is a common theme in The Twilight Zone and this was one of the earlier efforts, renowned more for the magnificent WWI biplane that "stars" here. Directed by William Claxton.
Once Upon A Time (Episode 78, Dec 15 1961, 24:57 minutes) - Woodrow Mulligan has a complaint about 1890 - it's too noisy and too expensive. So when his boss invents a time helmet, allowing the wearer to go anywhere they like for half an hour, he tries it out. To his amazement, the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence - or in this case, the other side of time! One of the true standout episodes of the series, if for no other reason than the star here is none other than the immortal Buster Keaton. The whole episode is done in a the style of the silent era films of which Buster Keaton was one of the great stars, and this is a very memorable performance, especially for fans of perhaps the greatest comedy film star ever. Directed by Norman Z. McLeod.
A Hundred Yards Over The Rim (Episode 59, Apr 7 1961, 25:16 minutes) - A collection of pioneers are making the trek to the new land of California, but they are delayed by lack of water and a sick boy. Christian Horn presses forward to the next rim as the eternal optimist - and finds that the edge of the rim is the edge of the twilight zone. Battling monsters (well, semi-trailers) and other amazing things, he finds everything just a little different from 1847. How would you handle falling out of the desert from 1847 and finding yourself in September, 1961? Another of those episodes where the quality of the guest star amazes - Cliff Robertson may not be a huge name now but he made a few decent films in his time. And Gomez Addams, err, sorry, John Astin makes an appearance, too. Directed by Buzz Kulik.
The Trouble With Templeton (Episode 45, Dec 12 1960, 25:08 minutes) - Booth Templeton is a distinguished theatre actor with a penchant for young women. He never really got over the loss of his first wife Laura, and keeps wishing for a rekindling of those heady days before she died. So when he is presented with the opportunity to see her again, courtesy of The Twilight Zone, he is happy - until it becomes apparent that all is not as he remembers. Tossed back out of the Zone, he realizes that you cannot live in the past, only in the present and future. Not an especially memorable episode in my view, but noteworthy for the fact that Sydney Pollack is amongst the cast - he is of course better known as a director. This episode is also directed by Buzz Kulik.
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, although this collection is certainly not of the same quality as the earlier volumes I have reviewed. There are just a few more lapses in focus than we have hitherto seen in the series. Nothing too serious, but just a little noticeable after the general excellence of the previous volumes. Detail nonetheless remains 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. If I were to be a little over-critical, I would note that the black and white tones are not quite as deep here as we have been used to, but they are by no means as poor as some films I have seen on DVD. The overall effect is not especially vibrant.
Unfortunately, this collection displays a few more
problems than we have had before. There is generally a bit of a problem
with loss of resolution on panned shots. In general, this is just a little
off-putting, at least until you get to the last episode on the DVD, where
the pan at 20:54 is especially poor
- and noticeably so. Film-to-video artefacts were also a little more prevalent
here, with mild aliasing being a common problem in the first and third
episodes especially. There is also something of a cross colouration problem
in the jukebox at 11:50 in the third
episode. There are also a few jumps in the transfer of the first episode,
but these may of course be an inherent problem in the source material:
they looked almost like bad editing cuts. There is perhaps a slightly greater
display of film artefacts here than in the earlier volumes, 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 three episodes is actually credited, coming from William Lava, Fred Steiner and Jeff Alexander. The effort from William Lava, for Once Upon A Time, is the most memorable as it is vital to the silent era feel of the episode.
Broadly speaking, 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 it 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
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
27th 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|