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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

The Twilight Zone - Season 3 [Blu-ray]

 

(Created by Rod Serling - Season 3 - 1961 - 62')

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Television: CBS

Video: Image Entertainment

 

Disc:

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

Random Episode Runtime: 0:25:47.754 

Disc 1 Size: 38,985,873,764 bytes

Random Episode Size: 4,069,662,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 12.99 Mbps

Chapters: 4 per episode (37 episodes in total)

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 15th, 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:

19 New Audio Commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani (Fantastic Television), authors/historians Scott Skelton and Jim Benson (Rod Serling's Night Gallery: An After Hours Tour), Twilight Zone writers Earl Hamner, George Clayton Johnson and John Tomerlin, writer William F. Nolan (Logan's Run), author/historian Martin Grams, Jr. (The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic), writer Marv Wolfman (creator of Blade and New Teen Titans), writer Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Coraline), writer/producer Jeff Vlaming (NCIS, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica), writer Mark Fergus (Children of Men, Iron Man) and writer Len Wein (creator of Swamp Thing, Wolverine, New X-Men)
• Interview with actor Edson Stroll
• Original Laugh Track for Cavender Is Coming
• Vintage Audio Interview with director of photography George T. Clemens
• 19 Radio Dramas featuring Don Johnson, Blair Underwood, Ernie Hudson, Morgan Brittany, Adam West, Ed Begley, Jr., Jason Alexander, Shelley Berman, Michael York, Bruno Kirby and more
• Isolated Scores for all 37 episodes featuring the legendary Bernard Herrmann, Van Cleave, Fred Steiner and others
• Audio Commentaries by actors Bill Mumy, Lois Nettleton, William Windom, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Cornthwaite and Cliff Robertson
• Audio Commentary by Jonathan Winters for A Game of Pool, plus Winters reads the Alternate Ending from the original script
Clip from the 1989 remake of A Game of Pool, featuring George Clayton Johnson’s original ending
• Clip from the 1985 remake of Dead Man’s Shoes, featuring Helen Mirren in Dead Woman’s Shoes
• Vintage Audio Recollections with Buzz Kulik, Buck Houghton, Richard L. Bare, Lamont Johnson and Earl Hamner
• Rare Rod Serling appearances as a guest on The Garry Moore Show and Tell It to Groucho (15:11) and as host of the popular game show Liar’s Club (21:34)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Product Description: All 37 episodes of the third 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! Episodes: Two, The Arrival , The Shelter, The Passerby, A Game of Pool, The Mirror, The Grave, It's a Good Life, Death's Head Revisited , The Midnight Sun, Still Valley, The Jungle, Once Upon a Time, Five Characters in Search of an Exit, A Quality of Mercy, Nothing in the Dark, One More Pallbearer, Dead Man's Shoes, The Hunt , Showdown with Rance McGrew, Kick the Can, A Piano in the House, The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank, To Serve Man, The Fugitive, Little Girl Lost, Person or Persons Unknown, The Little People, Four O'Clock , Hocus-Pocus and Frisby, The Trade-ins, The Gift, The Dummy, Young Man's Fancy, I Sing the Body Electric, Cavender Is Coming , The Changing of the Guard.

 

New, Blu-ray exclusive features: new commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani (Fantastic Television), authors/historians Scott Skelton and Jim Benson (Rod Serling's Night Gallery: An After Hours Tour), Twilight Zone writers Earl Hamner, George Clayton Johnson and John Tomerlin, writer William F. Nolan (Logan's Run), author/historian Martin Grams, Jr. (The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic), writer Marv Wolfman (creator of Blade and New Teen Titans), writer Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Coraline), writer/producer Jeff Vlaming (NCIS, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica), writer Mark Fergus (Children of Men, Iron Man) and writer Len Wein (creator of Swamp Thing, Wolverine, New X-Men) and more...

 

 

The Series:

"The Twilight Zone" is unquestionably one of the greatest science fiction television shows of all time. Generally speaking, most episodes had strong elements of deeply imagined science, 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 4.0 - 5.5 Gig in size - yes, like Season One and Season Two they are in 1080P but the video bitrates are a bit lower at around 15 Mbps. There are instances of noise, a few speckles and compression artifacts but generally look impressive. Unlike Season Two I didn't see any that were taped on video. All 37 episodes are consistent with strong grayscale. Perhaps contrast is a shade visually superior to the Season one Blu-ray and equivalent or a small notch below Season Two. The transfers occasionally show some nice grain and there is no chroma evident.  There are 5 dual-layered disc in the set with 7-8 episodes per Blu-ray.

 

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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

 

Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched) and Charles Bronson (Death Wish) in "Two" as the last 2 people on earth!

 

 

Jack Albertson seeking safe haven in The Shelter

 

 

James Gregory in The Passersby

 

 

Jack Klugman plays against a legend in A Game of Pool directed by Buzz Kulik (Riot)

 

 

Peter Falk as a revolutionary leader in The Mirror

 

 

Lee Marvin in The Grave

 

 

Cloris Leachman in It's a Good Life

 

 

Buster Keaton in Once Upon a Time (written by Richard Matheson)

 

 

Dean Stockwell and Leonard Nimoy in A Quality of Mercy

 

 

Robert Redford in Nothing in the Dark

 

 

Barry Morse in A Piano in the House

 

 

Andy Devine in Hocus-Pocus and Frisby

 

 

Cliff Robertson (Three Days of the Condor) in The Dummy

 

 

Phyllis Thaxter (Jim Thorpe -- All-American) in Young Man's Fancy (another written by Richard Matheson)

 

 

Donald Pleasence in The Changing of the Guard

 

 

Audio : Same as the previous seasons on Blu-ray - audio offers a choice of original or 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 Bernard Herrmann ones! Like the previous - the subtitle font used is larger and higher up on the screen (see sample above) than usual but I do appreciate them being positioned under the speaker (like Universal does). They are English SDH only. My Momitsu has identified the package as containing all region 'A'-locked discs - as we expected.

 

Extras :

Frankly, I've only sampled some of the 19 included commentaries - and skimmed the Tell It to Groucho and Liar’s Club shows. Plus there is even more with interviews, an original Laugh Track (for Cavender Is Coming), vintage audio interviews, 19 Radio Dramas, remake clips etc. It's stuff I like to investigate over time - but like the past 2 seasons on Blu-ray - it is, undeniably, stacked.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
There are some mediocre episodes here... and plenty of great ones. Two, The Arrival , The Shelter (wonderful!), A Game of Pool, The Grave, It's a Good Life, Death's Head Revisited , The Midnight Sun, Five Characters in Search of an Exit, A Quality of Mercy, Nothing in the Dark, One More Pallbearer, Dead Man's Shoes, The Hunt , Kick the Can, To Serve Man, - are all excellent television. It's nice to see stars of days gone by like Elizabeth Montgomery, Charles Bronson, Carol Burnett, Jack Klugman, Peter Falk, Lee Marvin and even Buster Keaton is in a Richard Matheson penned episode. We continue to state what we did in with the first two seasons - the Blu-ray now feels like the only way to see this show in your home theater. There is a lot of value here - I'm really glad I own them.

 

Now, I know that some Blu-ray players had trouble with Season One that I didn't - and I expect this fault is 'fixed' as Image Entertainment don't want a bunch of returns again. Twilight Zone Season 3 looks and sound fabulous offering an unheard of amount of extra features. This classic TV show in 1080P is absolutely recommended!!

 

 

Gary Tooze

February 4th, 2011

 

 

 

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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