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|Category||Sci-Fi / Television||Biography - Rod Serling
Production Notes - Season By Season
Production Notes - History of The Twilight Zone
Reviews and Credits
|Year Released||1959, 1963|
|Running Time||100:59 minutes|
Joseph M Newman
|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||Yes, in credits of The Last Night Of A Jockey|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, minor in credits|
The episodes on offer on Volume 16, in the running order on the DVD, are:
And When The Sky Was Opened (Episode 11, Dec 11 1959, 25:04 minutes) - Astronauts Colonel Clegg Forbes, Colonel Ed Harrington and Major William Grat have gone to space in their X-20 and returned to Earth with a thud. However, since their return funny things have started to happen - like people seemed to have forgotten them. First Ed Harrington seems to just vanish through indifference, causing severe consternation in Clegg Forbes -especially when William Grat denies ever knowing him and denies that the X-20 can even hold three people. Is everyone going mad? Highlighted by a great performance by none other than Rod Taylor (just don't query his lousy accent), this is a nicely constructed episode even if it does tend to rush towards the end a little too much, whilst having just a tad too much exposition in the earlier part of the show. Directed by Douglas Heyes, in what might have been his first effort for the show - he became a staple director on the show and directed many episodes, quite a number of which have already been released on DVD..
In His Image (Episode 103, Jan 3 1963, 50:48 minutes) - And so we begin our voyage through the season four episodes with the very first of the hour long episodes (remember that the timing allowed for adverts). Alan Talbot seems like any normal guy. He has just met a lady that he loves and who loves him and is determined to settle down in married bliss with her. And so he takes his betrothed on a journey to meet his Aunt Mildred in Couerville, his home town. Only when they get there, it is nothing like he remembers it. His aunt's house, where he also lives, is not his aunt's house anymore, the university where he works is just an empty expanse of land and his parents graves are not in the cemetery. So what exactly is going on, since he has only been away from town for a week? And why does he start hearing these strange noises that induce him to kill? Naturally enough, all is revealed in the fullness of time when he meets his double - in The Twilight Zone. The first of the hour-long episodes rests pretty much upon the performance of George Grizzard in a dual role, and he does quite a decent job of the slightly padded story line, aided by Gail Kobe as his bewildered girlfriend. Directed by Perry Lafferty.
The Last Night Of A Jockey (Episode 125, Oct 25 1963, 25:07 minutes) - Michael Grady is a jockey with a problem - he seems to be a cheat and has done enough to warrant a lifetime ban from the racetrack. So what is a former jockey of small stature to do in the world? Well, a meeting with his alter ego (at least figuratively) that is less than pleasant ends up with Grady answering the greatest question of all: what would you wish for if you had one wish? Grady being somewhat down on his luck decides that all his problems stem from his small stature - and so the answer is plain. So what exactly does an eight foot plus jockey do? A definite rarity in The Twilight Zone canon - a single role for the whole show. So naturally the big guns are pulled out for it and the choice fell to Mickey Rooney for his only appearance in The Twilight Zone. And equally naturally, the entire episode either succeeds or fails on the shoulders of that one person. Suffice it to say that Mickey Rooney is more than up to the challenge. Directed by Joseph M Newman.
This volume is very much in the mold of its companion volume in the release sheets, Volume 15. Sharpness is generally quite adequate with adequate detail on offer throughout. There remain the few odd lapses in focus but these seem to be an inherent quirk of the series. Shadow detail is quite good. Clarity was also good, with grain being virtually a non-existent problem here in any real sense. There did not appear to be any significant problems with low level noise in the transfer.
The black and white presentation of these episodes is again more consistent than some of the earlier volumes in the series. We do not get to see much in the way of solid blacks and whites but the mid range grey scales that bless most of the transfer are quite decent. The overall effect is very much in keeping with the general standard of the series.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts
in the transfer. The only noticeable exception here was in In His Image
between 42:20 and 42:30
where there was a distinctly jerky feel to the transfer, as if odd frames
had been missed in the mastering process. Film-to-video artefacts were
again fairly prevalent in the form of the ever-present aliasing which seems
to afflict the series. The obligatory display of film artefacts is again
presented here and one or two are rather hard to ignore.
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.
This slightly abbreviated selection of episodes sees a return to the predomination of music from those ever-reliable, but hardly Emmy-winning sources known as stock. The only exception comes in And When The Sky Was Opened, the music for which comes from the pen of Leonard Rosenman. Quite a decent effort although as usual for a television show, lacking somewhat in individuality.
This is another virtually identical audio transfer
to the earlier volumes in the series. Not an awful lot to say really, although
And When The Sky Was Opened suffers from a slightly hissy soundtrack,
especially noticeable during the opening credits. Indeed, the hiss here
seemed just a little more than we have generally faced in the earlier volumes
in the series. The soundtracks are generally free from any significant
distortion or congestion and this is generally very decent sounding mono.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
28th February, 2001.
|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|