Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Twilight Zone - The Complete Fourth Season (1963) (DVD Review)

Of all the Twilight Zone marathons you've watched over the year's I'd gamble that most of the episodes don't come from Season 4 (1963). The series was approaching it's final season fast and with strange production dilemmas, scheduling changes and folks simply moving and shaking their way to the next big TV production, the Zone was like a ship without a captain. It shows. The season is not the best written by far, however it is still OUR Zone, and even though it's not the creme de la creme, it's my favorite damn series to ever air on the small screen. I wish Buck Houghton coulda stuck around. I wish Rod Serling didn't have to fly in, shoot a pile of introductions and then split.

This is the year that we see some hour long episodes make there way in. I have never been comfortable with that longer episodes. You start to find filler. Needless dead air between the moral, the intro and the twist of fate. The reason you buy Season 4 is for exposure. You buy it because you probably have seen have the episodes on these 5 discs. I don't think I was even familiar with a fourth of them, and I'm a dedicated marathon man. Sure the cable stations will throw us a bone with a "never before marathoned" episode every now and again, but most likely you were out shucking corn or lighting your hands on fire with a Roman candle.

Episodes include: In His Image, The Thirty Fathom Grave, Valley of the Shadow, He's Alive, Mute, Death Ship, Jess-Belle, Miniature, Printer's Devil, No Time Like the Past, The Parallel, I Dream of Genie, The New Exhibit, Of Late I Think of Cliffordville, The Incredible World of Horace Ford, On Thursday We Leave for Home, Passage on the Lady Anne, The Bard

This is the first season to use this introduction as well:

After seeing that list of episodes can you see what I mean? Did you even realize that Bill Bixby was in a Zone? Burt Reynolds? Which episode do you think Burgess Meredith is in (this is where you scan for Time Enough at Last or maybe, just maybe, The Obsolete Man). Try the Printer's Devil. 

Despite my own lack of familiarity with this particular season, it's important to note that it was still up for awards and has a strong following for the episode On Thursday We Leave for Home. It's quite good. It's written by Rod Serling after all. 

You can pick it up here August 6th (make sure to pre-order so you don't miss it). 

Highly recommended for the Zone bone that thinks he's seen everything.


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