Yes, I’m a fanboy. (Albeit an old one!) I probably always have been, and, at present, I probably always will be. I’m drawn to all things sci-fi and fantasy, and I have a very good track record at staying faithful to them so long as the quality remains. So far as THE TWILIGHT ZONE is concerned, the quality was there right out of the gate; and, despite some modest network tinkering in its second and fourth seasons, it remained high throughout its five-season run. Five decades after it aired, ZONE remains a favorite among many inside and outside of the entertainment industry.
Don’t you owe it to yourself to know why?
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
Rod Serling’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE fascinated TV audiences from 1959 through 1964, and it really isn’t all that hard to figure out why: because it could. Under Serling’s influence, the program retained a strong spark at exploring the fantastical possibilities of asking ‘what if’? Truth be told, audiences loved the show but network executives weren’t exactly enamored of it – reportedly, Serling found it a difficult item to ‘sell,’ and reporters and media critics were somewhat quick to dismiss anything on TV with a sci-fi element as ‘unimportant.’ That’s amazing to know especially, today, when ZONE is still revered as one of the finest productions from TV’s golden age.
And why wouldn’t it be? Where else can you find stories spanning the spectrum of human experience? The format was perfect for visiting the past, present, or future as an era for telling tales of the curious or downright frightening? ZONE served up quality yarns – most of which were either conceived or adapted by Serling – and it brought some of the industry’s top talent to its always expanding universe. What other show could explores stories of loss and love, benevolence and apathy, war and peace? Why, Season 3 alone looked closely at transcending racial bigotry, coming to terms with personal failure, what it meant to be truly neighborly, the consequences of being the best, and dealing with superstitions … and that’s only a handful of themes examined in these 37 classics!
If you haven’t yet ventured into the ZONE, then you’re truly in store for an amazing journey. If you have, then I’ll still encourage you to explore them once more as these parables, performances, and productions never get old.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE is produced by Cayuga Productions and Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). DVD distribution for this release is being handled by RLJ Entertainment. As for the technical specifications, the picture and sound quality is superb. Lastly, there are no special features accompanying this release as it’s intended as a bargain-priced, episodes-only collection … and, so far as this critic is concerned, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE. THE TWILIGHT ZONE remains a groundbreaking experience, and Season 3 continued to prove that Rod Serling’s experiment with sci-fi and fantasy was a sight to behold for interested audiences. It’s no wonder that the program still delights audiences in some way, shape, or form today, and this is perhaps the best way to explore it all over again: just the shows, folks. Just the shows.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at RLJ Entertainment provided me with a DVD copy of THE TWILIGHT ZONE: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEAONS by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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