The Twilight Zone

Volume 10

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

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
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Directors William Claxton
Norman Z. McLeod
Buzz Kulik

Warner Vision
Starring Kenneth Haigh 
Simon Scott 
Buster Keaton 
Stanley Adams 
Cliff Robertson
John Crawford
Ed Platt
John Astin
Brian Aherne
Pippa Scott
Sydney Pollack
Case Transparent Amaray
RPI $34.95 Music William Lava
Fred Steiner
Jeff Alexander

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, 96 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, 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

   Astute readers of this esteemed site will be sitting there wondering what happened to Volume 9, right? Well, let us just say that this is The Twilight Zone, somewhere between the earth and the heavens, where anything can happen and probably does. In the spirit of The Twilight Zone, we are simply awaiting the re-appearance of Volume 9 from wherever it has disappeared into The Twilight Zone. Also, my apologies here, for this Volume 10 that has appeared out of The Twilight Zone is a test sample and therefore I am missing the usual cover slick, and am therefore having to take something of an educated guess at some of the episode details here, as well as missing the short episode synopses that I use to introduce the episodes. Still, since I am stuck here in The Twilight Zone, I shall try to meet the challenges that it poses.

    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.

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 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.

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


    The usual standard of two soundtracks are on offer on this DVD, being Dolby Digital 1.0 mono efforts in English or French. Again I stuck to the English soundtrack.

    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 here!

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Whilst I know it is difficult to spice things up a little, and consistency of presentation is important, the presentation is getting just a little boring. The consistency with the earlier releases is very good though.


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.


    Just a slightly disappointing dip in the technical quality here, but Volume 10 remains an essential purchase simply because of the Buster Keaton episode. Even after all those years, in 1960 he could still do slapstick comedy better than anyone else. Overall, it continues to amaze me how good this forty year old television series looks.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
27th September 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