The name itself has become synonymous with the odd and out of place, a location where time stands still and dreams come true. As Serling said each week “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call…the Twilight Zone.” Rarely is prose like this found on TV today.
For most THE TWILIGHT ZONE is nothing more than a marathon shown on the SyFy network every so often. One episode after another for three days straight. For fans it’s a gift, for those unfamiliar with the show it’s a novelty and for those who don’t give it a chance it’s a tedious chore to watch. Unlike series today with quick cuts, fast moving shots and locations and plotlines that have to be understood in nanoseconds rather than take the time to play out, THE TWILIGHT ZONE took the time to tell stories, to take new ideas as well as the works of famous authors to be shown each week.
Serling chose the best of the best from stories that drifted from science fiction to fantasy to eerie tales to downright mysteries. Many are well remembered and some forgotten, but once seen they are difficult to forget. Consider “Time Enough At Last”, the story of a henpecked man who loves to read and does so by escaping to a vault on his lunch break. When the apocalypse arrives and wipes out mankind, he now has all the time he wants to read. SPOILER. And then he drops and breaks his glasses. It was twists like this that made the series must see TV.
Or how about “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” where a group of neighbors display their deepest fears about each other when it appears one of them might indeed be an alien from outer space. As they try and determine who it is the paranoia can be sliced with a knife. “A Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” tells the tale of a man who looks out the window of the airplane he is on to see a creature tearing the plane apart in mid-flight but who can’t convince anyone else of what he is seeing. These are some of the more notable episodes that people have discussed for years.
So why talk about this series now? Because it is finally available at a decent price in the best transfer possible. Individual seasons of the show previously released on blu-ray ran anywhere from $40-56 each. At that price being able to afford the entire 5 year series was a bit pricey. Even the earlier version on blu-ray ran high with a $180 price tag. But now you can find THE TWILIGHT ZONE: THE COMPLETE SERIES on blu-ray for just $84. That might still be higher than most would pay for a recording of their favorite show but when you consider you get all 5 seasons, all 156 episodes of the now classic series, it’s honestly a bargain.
No longer will the fan have to wait until SyFy runs a marathon, staying up until the wee hours of the morning to get a glimpse of that favorite episode. Watch it whenever you want and in the best format possible. In addition to the episodes you also get the original pilot, interviews with cast and crew, isolated music scores, audio commentary by author Marc Scott Zicree, radio dramas and more. This makes the greatest gift possible for that hard to find person, the one who loves this series but has held off on buying it.
Fans of the series will delight to find this item under the Christmas tree. Once again it will take them to that fifth dimension, the dimension of the imagination, a dimension knowns as the Twilight Zone. And with any luck while watching, a new generation will have the chance to discover some of the best TV has ever had to offer.
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