The Twilight Zone: Season 5
Created by Rod Serling
Image Entertainment
Review by Brian M. Sammons

Ok, here it is Twilight fans. No, I’m not talking about that tweeny, angsty, abstinence-message-in-disguise crap about the sparkling, emo vampires. I’m talking about the slice of classic entertainment that will forever outright own the word “twilight” in the hearts and minds of all true horrorheads. That’s right, it’s the Twilight Zone and here is the least season of the original series finally out on Blu-ray from Image Entertainment.

Now I firmly believe that The Twilight Zone is like pizza, and that I really shouldn’t have to sell it to you. You know exactly what it is, and you know if you want it. I’m just here to let you know that these Blu-rays are now available for purchase and to remind you just how great of a television show this series, and specifically this season, was.

Here you will find “Steel” about a boxer going up against robotic opponents. Hey, doesn’t that sound just like a certain movie coming out soon staring Hugh “Wolverine” Jackman? Yeah well it was done here first. Got a thing about creepy dolls? Well then stay away from episode 126, “Living Doll.” Are you a critical snob? Well then be sure to check out “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” which won an Academy Award for best short film in 1963. Or how about just one of the greatest Twilight Zones of all time (and that’s saying something): Richard Matheson’s amazing “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” staring William Shatner. You know, the one with the gremlin on the wing of the plane? Yeah, that was awesome. Those are just some of the classic zones that proved the old adage of saving the best for last. Season 5 proves that the Zone went away far before it should, and despite the two attempts to resurrect it, the first in the ’80s being good to ok and the last in the early 2000s being pretty damn painful to watch, these discs easily show that the original is still the best by far. This is how great sci-fi, horror, and fantasy TV is done.

This five disc Blu-ray set from Image has 36 episodes, 20 with brand new audio commentaries. There are a bunch more extra goodies to be found here as well. There’s an extended conversation with Rod Serling, a radio interview with the director of photography of many of the TZs, and 22 radio dramas on the majority of episodes on this disc starring a wide variety of talent such as Louis Gossett, Jr., Adam Baldwin, Adam West, Luke Perry, Kate Jackson, Ed Begley, Jr., Jason Alexander, Jane Seymour, and more. There are a bunch of video interviews with writers such as Richard Matheson and George Clayton Johnson and actors Bill Mumy and June Foray, to name just a few. Every episode comes with an isolated music score, in case you want to jam to the sounds of the Zone without the pesky dialog. There are “next week’s show” promos, more interviews, scenes from the Mike Wallace Show, home movies (no, really) and more.

To say that these new discs are jam packed with extras would be accurate. To say that The Twilight Zone is mandatory viewing for everyone would be an understatement. Simply put, the TZ is good television. Since I already used one old adage, I’ll dust off another one for this: they don’t make them like this anymore. If you already have the other seasons of TZ on Blu-ray then you owe it to yourself to end the series right and get this new set. If you have yet to start your High-Def collection of Twilight Zone then the good news is that you can watch them in any order, and since Season 5 has some of the best episodes, it’s a good place to start “zoning” out. So no matter how you come at it, starting off or ending things, this is a must have collection and as such it is very highly recommend.

About Brian M. Sammons

Brian M. Sammons has penned stories that have appeared in the anthologies: Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Deepest, Darkest Eden and others. He has edited the books; Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, Steampunk Cthulhu, Dark Rites of Cthulhu, Atomic Age Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu and Flesh Like Smoke. He is also the managing editor of Dark Regions Press’ Weird Fiction line. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as “such a nice, quiet man” you can check out his infrequently updated webpage here: http://brian_sammons.webs.com/ and follow him on Twitter @BrianMSammons.

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