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The Twilight Zone: Season 4 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Discs: 5
  • Studio: Image Entertainment/CBS
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 17, 2011
  • List Price: $99.98

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BestBuy.com:
Twilight Zone: Season 4 [5 Discs] - Fullscreen B&W

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4.5/5]

The Twilight Zone: Season 4 arrived at a time when the CBS Network was struggling somewhat in the ratings race and in an effort to boost those numbers was increasing a number of its half-hour shows to an hour. Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, which had previously been rejected by the network in its hour-long form as a pilot and had already settled in for three not-so-highly-rated seasons as a half-hour program, was one of those series to get the extra thirty-minute bump. Serling wasn’t too happy about it, feeling the series worked better in the half-hour format, particularly with the three seasons already behind it.

Season 4 would go on as an hour-long program anyway, Serling, being busy, wouldn’t do his normal walk-on dialogues, but would fly in to record a few at a time and fly back out again. The series that challenged the mind, experimented with the world of the paranormal, parallel universes, aliens, and more would have some classic moments in its fourth year. Enduring episodes like “He’s Alive” with Dennis Hopper, “Death Ship” with Jack Klugman and “Printer’s Devil” with Burgess Meredith would go on to become some of the favorite episodes of this long-lasting cult classic, genre bending series that set the stage for series like The X-Files and Fringe.

The five-disc Blu-ray set from Image Entertainment brings the season to life again for fans old and new. It’s a wonderful experience that revives The Twilight Zone, making it look and sound even better than it perhaps did on those old 1963 television screens.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

For a series from 1963, The Twilight Zone: Season 4 looks darn good on Blu-ray. Of course, as to be expected, the quality does vary a bit from episode to episode, sometimes even within any given episode, but the source damage is relatively minimal, detail is quite strong and black levels are rather stable in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Image Entertainment.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The choice is offered under each individual episode to select either the Remastered audio (LPCM 2.0 Mono) or the Original audio (LPCM 2.0 Mono). When selecting the “Play All” option from the menu screen, the disc will default to the remastered audio option. It’s good to have the choice available for those who strictly want to stay with the original for historical reasons. Both are reasonable options, but the remastered audio option does provide a fuller sound with cleaner audio and more natural sounding dialogue. Background noises and special effects can also be heard more clearly; there’s more sense of depth. When listening to the original audio track, things thin out, voices are a bit more scratchy, sound effects are not as well perceived and there is a bit more hiss that can be heard.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

Befitting this classic series, the season 4 set has been packaged with hours of great bonus materials that includes 13 audio commentaries, vintage interviews with series writers and guest stars, plus an isolated score track for each episode and even a vintage Saturday Night Live “Twilight Zone” skit featuring Dan Akroyd.

The supplements provided with this release are:

Disc 1:

  • “In His Image”:
    • Commentary by Marc Scott Zicree (Author of The Twilight Zone Companion)
    • Zicree Interview: Herbert Hirschman (1978)
    • Isolated Score
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
  • “The Thirty Fathom Grave”:
    • Commentary by Gary Gerani and Marc Scott Zicree
    • Isolated Score
    • Sponsor Billboard (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
    • Radio Drama starring Blair Underwood (0:44.14)
  • “Valley of the Shadow”:
    • Interview with Morgan Brittany
    • Commentary by Jaime Paglia and Marc Scott Zicree
    • Isolated Score
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
  • “He’s Alive”:
    • Rod Serling Blooper (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:00.12)
    • Isolated Score
    • Sponsor Billboard (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

Disc 2:

  • “Mute”:
    • Isolated Score by Fred Steiner
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
  • “Death Ship”
    • Commentary by Marc Scott Zicree
    • Zicree Interview: Ross Martin (1978)
    • Isolated Score
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
  • “Jess-Belle”:
    • Interview with Anne Francis
    • Commentary by Earl Hamner and Marc Scott Zicree
    • Zicree Interview: Earl Hamner, Buzz Kulik, Anne Francis (1978)
    • Isolated Score by Van Cleave
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
  • “Miniature”:
    • Commentary by William Windom
    • Commentary by William F. Nolan and Marc Scott Zicree
    • Isolated Score by Fred Steiner
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)

Disc 3:

  • “Printer’s Devil”:
    • Commentary by Bill Warren and Marc Scott Zicree
    • Zicree Interview: Burgess Meredith (1978)
    • Isolated Score
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
  • “No Time Like the Past”:
    • Isolated Score
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
    • Radio Drama starring Jason Alexander (0:41.24)
  • “The Parallel”:
    • Interview with Paul Comi
    • Commentary by Marc Scott Zicree
    • Isolated Score
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
    • Radio Drama starring Lou Diamond Phillips (0:42.35)
  • “I Dream of Genie”:
    • Interview with John Furia, Jr.
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
    • Isolated Score by Fred Steiner

Disc 4:

  • “The New Exhibit”:
    • Commentary by Bill Warren and Marc Scott Zicree
    • Commentary by Scott Skelton and Jim Benson
    • Isolated Score (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
  • “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville”:
    • Isolated Score
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
    • Radio Drama starring H.M. Wynant (0:42.43)
  • “The Incredible World of Horace Ford”:
    • Commentary by Jeff Vlaming and Marc Scott Zicree
    • Zicree Interview: Pat Hingle (1978)
    • Isolated Score
    • Radio Drama starring Mike Starr (0:36.12)
  • “On Thursday We Leave for Home”:
    • Commentary by Joseph Dougherty and Marc Scott Zicree
    • Commentary by Scott Skelton and Jim Benson
    • Isolated Score
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
    • Radio Drama starring Barry Botswick (0:50.51)

Disc 5:

  • “Passage on the Lady Anne”:
    • Isolated Score by Rene Garriguene
    • Sponsor Billboard (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
  • “The Bard”:
    • Commentary by Bill Warren and Marc Scott Zicree
    • Sponsor Billboards (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
    • Radio Drama starring John Ratzenberger (0:38.34)
  • Additional Bonus Features:
    • Saturday Night Live Clip (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:04.34)
    • Genesee Beer Commercial (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:00.33)
    • The Famous Writers School Promo (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:05.54)
    • Zicree Interview: George T. Clemens (1974) Part 4 (audio only)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A television classic that broadens the mind and has become a part of our social fabric, The Twilight Zone is an engaging experience made all the better by this marvelous Blu-ray set from Image. Highly recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product align=”right”]B004LVRQ4M[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Twilight Zone: Season 4 [5 Discs] - Fullscreen B&W

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

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