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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

The Twilight Zone - Season 4 [Blu-ray]

 

(Created by Rod Serling - Season 4 - 1963)

 

 

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: 0:52:21.513 

Disc 1 (of 5) Size: 47,044,624,488 bytes

Random Episode Size: 10,069,662,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Chapters: 7 per episode (18 episodes in total)

Case: Standard (thick) Blu-ray case

Release date: May 17th, 2011

 

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:

New, Blu-ray exclusive features:

13 New Audio Commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion, Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani (Fantastic Television), Twilight Zone writer Earl Hamner, writer William F. Nolan (Logan's Run), author Bill Warren (Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties), writer/producer Jeff Vlaming (NCIS, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica), writer/producer Joseph Dougherty (thirtysomething, Judging Amy, Saving Grace), authors/historians Scott Skelton and Jim Benson (Rod Serling's Night Gallery: An After Hours Tour), and writer/producer Jaime Paglia (Eureka).
Vintage Audio Interview with director of photography George T. Clemens
Audio Commentaries by Marc Scott Zicree for Death Ship and William Windom for Miniature
Vintage Audio Recollections with Herbert Hirschman, Ross Martin, Burgess Meredith, Pat Hingle, Earl Hamner, Buzz Kulik and Anne Francis
Video Interviews with Morgan Brittany, Anne Francis, Paul Comi and John Furia, Jr.
7 Radio Dramas featuring Blair Underwood, Jason Alexander, Lou Diamond Phillips, H. M. Wynant, Mike Starr, Barry Bostwick and John Ratzenberger
Isolated Scores for all 18 episodes featuring Fred Steiner, Van Cleave, Rene Garriguenc and others
Rod Serling Promos for “Next Week’s” Show
Rod Serling Blooper from He’s Alive
Saturday Night Live Clip
The Famous Writers School Promo with Rod Serling
Genesee Beer Spot
Twilight Zone Season 4 Billboards

 

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Product Description: All 18 episodes of the fourth 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: In His Image, The Thirty-Fathom Grave, Valley of the Shadow, He's Alive, Mute, Death Ship, Jess-Belle, Miniature, Printer's Devil, No Time Like the Past, The Parallel, I Dream of Genie, The New Exhibit, Of Late I Think of Cliffordville, The Incredible World of Horace Ford, On Thursday We Leave for Home, Passage on the Lady Anne, and The Bard.

 

 

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.
 

The 18 Episodes are now double the length at about 52-minutes each (unsyndicated) and take up about 10 Gig in size - with 4 episodes per dual-layered disc. With this longer-episode format bitrates are higher than the previous 3 seasons ranging around 20 Mbps. There  is not much noise and look very impressive. Unlike Season Two I didn't see any that were taped on video. All episodes are consistent with strong grayscale. This is probably in advance of Seasons one and Two Blu-ray editions and probably as good as Season Three in the new format. The transfers occasionally show some nice grain and there is no chroma evident.  There are 5 dual-layered disc in the set with the last having only 2 episodes and more supplements.

 

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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

Dana Andrews in 'No Time Like the Past'

 

 

Mike Kellin in The Thirty-Fathom Grave!

 

 

Jack Albertson seeking safe haven in The Shelter

 

 

James Doohan (yes, 'Scotty'!) in Valley of the Shadow

 

 

Stalwart TV actor Ed Nelson

 

 

Dennis Hopper in 'He's Alive'

 

 

Percy Helton in Mute

 

 

 

 

Jack Klugman in Death Ship

 

 

Robert Duvall in Miniature

 

 

William Windom (oft remembered as Commodore Matthew Decker in TOS)

 

 

Burgess Meredith in Printer's Devil

 

 

Jack Albertson in 'I Dream of Genie'

 

 

Martin Balsam in 'The New Exhibit'

 

 

Julie Newmar (memorable as 'Catwoman') as Miss Devlin in 'Of Late I Think of Cliffordville'

 

 

James Whitmore in 'On Thursday We Leave for Home'

 

 

 

 

Lee Philips in 'Passage on the Lady Anne'

 

 

Burt Reynolds in 'The Bard'

 

 

Audio : Audio is offered in a linear PCM (lossless) available and while some of the DVD transfers sounded tinny - this is clear and quite consistent showing some perceived depth but no range. 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). Isolated scores are available and sound solid. 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 new commentaries - but enjoyed the Saturday Night Live Clip and Blooper from He’s Alive. Plus there is so much more with interviews including vintage audio clips, 7 Radio Dramas (I look forward to the Jason Alexander, Barry Bostwick and John Ratzenberger ones), etc. It's stuff I like to investigate over time - but like the past 3 seasons on Blu-ray - it is, undeniably, stacked with stuff you can investigate at your leisure.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:


Truly there are only maybe 2 or 3 'mediocre' episodes here... the rest are excellent. On Thursday We Leave for Home, Passage on the Lady Anne, Of Late I Think of Cliffordville, The New Exhibit, The Parallel, No Time Like the Past, Printer's Devil, Miniature, Jess-Belle, Death Ship, He's Alive, Valley of the Shadow, The Thirty-Fathom Grave and In His Image, - are all way above-average television. It's nice to see so many familiar faces in the casts. These sets continue to hold a lot of value. The Blu-ray package has a very high recommendation. Those who own the previous sets know what they are in for - hours and hours of some of the best TV of all time. Step away from 'Reality' shows and sink back into the elaborate world of human imagination - with all pistons firing! The fourth season is impressive and we very strongly recommended!

 

 

Gary Tooze

May 7th, 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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