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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

The Twilight Zone - Season 2 [Blu-ray]

 

(Created by Rod Serling - S2 1960 - 61')

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Television: CBS

Video: Imager Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Random Episode Runtime: 0:25:20.352 

Disc 1 Size: 46,631,240,684 bytes

Random Episode Size: 5,041,557,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Chapters: 4 per episode (29 episodes)

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 16th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 matted to 1.78

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

25 New Audio Commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani, author/music historian Steven C. Smith, author/film & TV historian, Martin Grams Jr., writer/music historian Jon Burlingame, writer Len Wein, writer/producer Joseph Dougherty, writer/producer Matthew Weiner, writer/director Michael Nankin, writer Marv Wolfman, authors/historians Scott Skelton and Jim Benson and writer George Clayton Johnson
Interviews with actors Joseph Ruskin and H. M. Wynant
Suspense episode “Nightmare at Ground Zero” written by Rod Serling
Vintage Audio Interview with director of photography George T. Clemens
Vintage Audio Interview with makeup artist William Tuttle
15 Radio Dramas featuring Daniel J. Travanti, Jim Caviezel, Jason Alexander, Ed Begley Jr., Fred Willard, Jane Seymour, Michael York, Chris McDonald, Henry Rollins, Stan Freberg and others!
Audio Commentaries by actors Donna Douglas, Don Rickles, William Idelson, Bill Mumy, Cliff Robertson, Dennis Weaver and Shelley Berman
Vintage Audio Recollections with Buzz Kulik, Douglas Heyes, Maxine Stuart, George Clayton Johnson and Robert Serling
22 Isolated Music Scores featuring the legendary Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith, Fred Steiner and others!
Sponsor Billboards, - Rod Serling Promos for “Next Week’s” Show

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Product Description: All 29 episodes of the second season of Rod Serling’s classic, groundbreaking series, now presented in pristine high-definition for the first time ever, along with hours of new and exclusive bonus features not available anywhere else! New, Blu-ray exclusive features: new commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, author and film historian Gary Gerani (Fantastic Television), author and music historian Steven C. Smith (A Heart at Fire's Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann), music historians John Morgan and William T. Stromberg, writer/producer David Simkins (Lois and Clark, Dark Angel), writer Mark Fergus (Children of Men, Iron Man), actor William Reynolds and director Ted Post Interviews with actors Dana Dillaway, Suzanne Lloyd, Beverly Garland and Ron Masak Tales of Tomorrow episode "What You Need" Part 2 of the 1978 vintage audio interview with Director of Photography George T. Clemens 18 Radio Dramas 34 Isolated Music Scores Episodes: King Nine Will Not Return, The Man in the Bottle, Nervous Man in a Four-Dollar Room, A Thing About Machines, The Howling Man, Eye of the Beholder, Nick of Time, The Lateness of the Hour, The Trouble with Templeton, A Most Unusual Camera, The Night of the Meek, Dust, Back There, The Whole Truth, The Invaders, A Penny for Your Thoughts, Twenty-Two, The Odyssey of Flight 33, Mr. Dingle, the Strong, Static, The Prime Mover, Long Distance Call, A Hundred Yards over the Rim, The Rip Van Winkle Caper, The Silence, Shadow Play, The Mind and the Matter, Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?, The Obsolete Man.

 

 

The Series:

"The Twilight Zone" is unquestionably one of the greatest science fiction television shows of all time. Generally speaking, most every episode had strong elements of deeply thought out science, imagination, suspense and thought-provoking intrigue. Creator Serling had a unique and distinctive approach to the central themes of the show(s)... and it was a hit, right from its onset. A virtual spring board for many young and talented actors/actresses the original Twilight Zone has run successfully in syndication ever since. Most everyone has a favorite episode. For me The Twilight Zone original series represents pioneering television with a strong nostalgic and noirish-ly dark feel to it. out of

Gary W. Tooze


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Episodes range from about 4.5 - 5.5 Gig in size - yes, like Season One they are in 1080P with about 20 Mbps video bitrate. There are instances of noise, a few speckles and compression artefacts but they may look even better than the first Season rendered to HD. That is, except for the six episodes that were taped on video -"The Lateness of the Hour", "Static," "The Whole Truth," "The Night of the Meek," "Twenty Two," and "Long Distance Call" (see sample below). The look very poor - very akin to Kinescope (filming the picture from a video monitor). For the other 23 episodes though you can move from a simple upgrade to an impressive one dependant on the scene. Overall it's quite good. Outside of the six 'video' episodes - perhaps contrast is a shade visually superior to the Season one Blu-ray set. The transfers occasionally show some nice grain and there is no chroma evident.  There are 4 dual-layered disc in the set with 7-8 episodes per Blu-ray. I should note that some of Serling's next week intros (he is often smoking here) are from an interlaced source (ex. at the conclusion of The Most Unusual Camera and Back There).

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking normalcy in Eye of the Beholder

 

 

A favorite - William Shatner and his new bride are tempted by a diner's fortune-telling table gimmick in Nick of Time (penned by iconic Richard Matheson)

 

 

 

One of the six episodes ("The Lateness of the Hour", "Static," "The Whole Truth,"  "Twenty Two, "Long Distance Call" and below "The Night of the Meek") shot on video tape.

 

 

Russell Johnson aka "The Professor" time-traveling in Back There

 

 

Another Matheson written episode gem; "The Invaders"

 

 

Dick York is a man who can read minds in A Penny for Your Thoughts

 

 

Mr. Warmth

 

 

Burgess Meredith plays a man who has the strength of 300 men in Mr. Dingle, the Strong

 

 

Using telekinesis Buddy Ebsen helps his friend, a compulsive gambler, in The Prime Mover

 

 

John Astin in A Hundred Yards over the Rim

 

 

John Hoyt in Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?

 

 

Audio : Audio offers a choice of original and restored. There is linear PCM (lossless) available and while the DVDs sounded tinny - this is clear and quite consistent showing some perceived depth but no range. It's a nice bonus being able to hear the isolated scores - especially the Herrmann's and Goldsmith's.! Like Season One the subtitle font used is larger and higher up on the screen than usual but I do appreciate them being positioned under the speaker. They are English SDH only. My Momitsu has identified the package as containing all region 'A'-locked discs - as we expected.

 

Extras :

Frankly, I'm not completely through the first seasons extras - and the 19 included commentaries - from 2 months ago. This Season 2 package is similarily STACKED - it duplicates the supplements from the old DVDs plus has 25 new audio commentaries!, featuring Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani, author/music historian Steven C. Smith, author/film & TV historian, Martin Grams Jr., writer/music historian Jon Burlingame, writer Len Wein, writer/producer Joseph Dougherty, writer/producer Matthew Weiner, writer/director Michael Nankin, writer Marv Wolfman, authors/historians Scott Skelton and Jim Benson and writer George Clayton Johnson. On the last disc there is the Suspense episode “Nightmare at Ground Zero” written by Rod Serling from that series last season - but not looking especially good. There are video interviews (with actors Joseph Ruskin and H. M. Wynant) and audio only interviews with DoP George T. Clemens and makeup artist William Tuttle plus 'recollections by Buzz Kulik, Douglas Heyes, Maxine Stuart, George Clayton Johnson and Robert Serling. You get a whopping 15 Radio Dramas featuring Daniel J. Travanti, Jim Caviezel, Jason Alexander, Ed Begley Jr., Fred Willard, Jane Seymour, Michael York, Chris McDonald, Henry Rollins, Stan Freberg and the aforementioned isolated music scores (22 in total) and what really puts you in the vintage mood - sponsor billboards, commercial adverts and Serling promos for “Next Week’s” show.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
There are a lot of great episodes here - too many to name. The Blu-ray now feels like the only way to see this show in your home theater. There is so much value here it seems... essential for a digital library. Now, I know that some Blu-ray players had trouble with Season One but I didn't - and I expect this fault is 'fixed' as Image Entertainment don't want a bunch of returns again. Despite the, almost unwatchable, 6 'video tape' episodes this is still incredibly desirable for fans of the series. Twilight Zone Season 2 looks and sound better than ever before and the package offers an unreal amount of extra features. Absolutely recommended!!

 

 

Gary Tooze

November 9th, 2010

 

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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