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Monday, September 2, 2013

Twilight Zone Season 5 (DVD Review)

This is the end of a journey of sight, sound and mind.You've just crossed over into Season 5 of the Twilight Zone, released on DVD tomorrow, September 3rd. I assure you that like our recent reviews of Seasons 3 and 4, this is also a solid release full of everything you've come to expect from the classic TV show that created a genre and style of storytelling.  Rod Serling may have started his quiet step back from this particular series by the time Season 5 rolled around, but it is still full of the classic episodes you've loved during so many marathons on so many 4th of July holidays or whilst drunkenly making New Year's resolutions.

Here's your episode list: In Praise of Pip, Steel, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, A Kind of a Stopwatch, The Last Night of a Jockey, Living Doll, The Old Man in the Cave, Uncle Simon, Probe 7 Over and Out, The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms, Ninety Years Without Slumbering, Ring-A-Ding Girl, You Drive, The Long Morrow, The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross, Number Twelve Looks Just Like You, Black Leather Jackets, Night Call, From Agnes, with Love, Spur of the Moment, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Queen of the Nile, What's in the Box, The Masks, I Am the Night Color Me Black, Sounds and Silences, Caesar and Me, The Jeopardy Room, Stopover in a Quiet Town, The Encounter, Mr. Garrity and the Graves, The Brain Center at Whipple's, Come Wander with Me, The Fear, The Bewitchin' Pool.

Intro to Season 5

It's strange that so many iconic episodes, the episodes that we actually identify as Twilight Zone, came from the very last season. This right before Serling would go on to produce other pieces of classic television; stories in which he hoped to have the control that he had gradually had lost as Zone evolved.  For me personally Living Doll has always been the spine-tingler. Insert Tele Savalas into a tale of a new stepfather, who is having trouble coping with his role as daddy. Add Talkie Teenie, a doll, very much alive and not Savalas' biggest fan. Then give the doll life, a vengeful tendency and the ability to punish the new stepfather. That's a recipe for terror, effective as you might imagine and remembered lovingly by fans who may have a penchant for the future star of Kojack. I do not jest when I say that if you don't become familiar with this episode, you may not live to regret it (I'm looking at you fellow stepfathers).

How about Nightmare at 20,000 Feet? William Shatner stars in this highly memorable tale of a man with a fear of flying who finds out that the gremlins he believes to lurk outside his plane window are actually quite real. This performance defined the show even if it did come at the tail end of it. It was even remade with John Lithgow in the starring role for the 1980's feature movie adaptation. This actually isn't my favorite Shatner appearance in the zone. That honor is reserved for Nick of Time.

Most of these I have been very familiar with even if they aren't nearly the fan favorites of the previously mentioned classics. In Praise of Pip is a highly emotional tale of regret and woe starring Jack Klugman. Steel is a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em tale of the future pugilists of the boxing sport. They are robots, and a team of handlers tries to make a run for the big bucks with a has-been robot in a desperate attempt at making a few bucks. See how they succeed and perhaps how they fail. Recently I had become acquainted with The Masks, a tale of a rich man whose family is about to take him for his fortune on his death bed, but not before he casts a mirror in front of their faces to show them their the faces they truly have underneath the masks they wear. Personally I had never seen Ring-A-Ding Girl, and it's classic Zone. A rather common theme in the Zone legacy and worth your 22 minutes.

The discs are fine quality though this may not be for the Blu-ray/Hi-def heads. They feature the all the episodes from Season 5. The DVD's unlike the Blu-ray release, do not contain extras, however they will satisfy the casual fans urge for zone-age at a fantastic price (under $30 for the whole season). I'd recommend this for folks who haven't seen episodes of the Zone in Season 5 who want to complete their knowledge base of the series. I strongly recommend this release.

You can pick up this release through the link below, available September 3rd.


-Dr. TERROR

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