Blu-ray: Must own
4.5 Stars out of 5
Sale Price 20.9
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Release Date: February 15th, 2011
Movie Release Year: 1961
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

The Twilight Zone: Season 3 (1961)

Review Date February 18th, 2011 by
Overview - 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!
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Must own
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  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: 5-Disc Set
    Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:950
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):1.33:1
    English Descriptive Audio: English Uncompressed PCM Mono
    Subtitles/Captions: English
    Special Features: An overwhelming number of extras!
    Movie Studio: Image Entertainment
    Release Date: February 15th, 2011

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

4.5 Stars out of 5

Loneliness still seems to be the driving character force in the 'Twilight Zone's third season. Still, the show kept going strong. Even if the same aspects of human nature kept popping up throughout the season, Rod Serling and his team still found ways to tell the stories in different ways. Not only do we get a few "one-man" shows here, where characters wander around an empty world trying to figure out what's going on ("Two") we get quite a few episodes where characters are lost in their own psychosis ("The Arrival" and "Nothing in the Dark").

By the end of the season 'The Twilight Zone' had surpassed its 100th episode. There are a few instances during the season where you can tell the team of writers may have been running out of fresh ideas. Even though "Nothing in the Dark" features a young and vibrant Robert Redford, the episode itself seems quite mediocre compared too many of the classic episodes in the first and second seasons.

That isn't to say season three isn't without its merits. Season three is home to quite a few episodes that are considered classics by many, including "To Serve Man" and "Five Characters in Search of an Exit" (an inspiration for 'Toy Story' perhaps?). Famous author Ray Bradbury even lent his talents to the show by writing "I Sing the Body Electric." My personal favorites from the season include "A Game of Pool" where an obsessed pool player is challenged to a game of pool by the ghost of Fats Brown, the best pool player who ever lived, or "The Shelter," which shows just exactly how crazy and selfish people can get when they're faced with destruction. Continuing on with the scare of nuclear war and how people act when they're facing the end, "One More Pallbearer" features a sadistic rich man wanting to get even with people who wronged him in the past.

Season three of 'The Twilight Zone' is an enjoyable addition to the collection, but as I said, there are times where you can see that the show was gasping for original ideas. Still it plowed through, occasionally popping out well-crafted episodes that stayed true to the 'Twilight Zone' aesthetic.

By now you know what you're getting into. Fans of 'The Twilight Zone' will rejoice once season three hits store shelves. Even if it doesn't pack the same punch as the first couple seasons, this is still extremely solid storytelling, backed by some fantastically writing dialogue. I absolutely love the dialogue in "One More Pallbearer." Sure it comes off a bit hammy, but it's introspective nature and the way it's delivered make it perfect.

There isn't much more to say about this release. It's wonderful that Image is going through and fully restoring these seasons to their original glory. Reliving 'The Twilight Zone' on Blu-ray is definitely one of the greatest things about the format!

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

The third season of 'The Twilight Zone' has been packaged together on five 50GB Blu-ray discs. Discs one, two, and five have seven episodes each while discs three and four have eight. Disc five also contains some extra special features that aren't specifically tied to an episode. Like the other seasons, this season is packed nicely into an oversized Blu-ray case that has a two swivel disc hubs that nicely house a disc on the back and front of them, with the fifth disc sitting in its own hub against the back cover. An insert is provided with an extensive episode list, which lists all the special features that can be found with each episode. A slipcover is also provided.

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    5-Disc Set
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:950
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.33:1
    Audio Formats:
    English Uncompressed PCM Mono
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English
    Special Features:
    An overwhelming number of extras!
    Movie Studio: Image Entertainment
    Release Date: February 15th, 2011

Video Review

4.5 Stars out of 5

My oh my! The first season looked astounding on high-def. Absolutely breath-taking. The second season featured a few episodes that were shot on video tape that didn't transfer to the format all that well, but still, the rest of the season was just as solid as the first. Image continues with its fantastic restoration with their 1080p presentation of season three.

Detail is utterly superb. What's truly amazing is that it isn't until now that people have been able to see every single detail that was captured by the show's film. TVs back then obviously couldn't reproduce the kind of clarity they can now. Finally, in high definition we can see every single detail! From the individual beads of sweat that form on Fats Brown's head during "A Game of Pool" to the smooth boyish good looks of a young Robert Redford. Detail is simply amazing throughout the season. Pores, hairs, and smile lines are all completely visible.

Blacks are sufficiently deep. Grays are bold and defined, with whites adding a wonderful contrast. Depth and dimensionality shine here as the black and white photography reveals the detail of the image.

I did notice a few very minor hiccups, however. During "The Arrival" at approximately the 11:37 mark there's a small digital flub that causes random blocking to appear for a brief second as the camera pans across the inside of the plane's fuselage. Also in "The Arrival" along with a couple other episodes throughout the season, tightly checkered jackets pulsate like they're blinking. In "The Arrival" it's Serling's corduroy jacket that throbs relentlessly while he's on screen. Noise does pop up on occasion in the form of white flecks and spots that appear and disappear rather frequently. Even though these specks are apparent through all of the episodes, they never detract from viewing.

Overall though, this is another fine video presentation from the folks at Image Entertainment. They treated this show right with seasons one and two, and they haven't stopped with season three.

Audio Review

4 Stars out of 5

As with the other seasons, Image has offered the choice of listening to either a restored uncompressed PCM mono audio mix, or if you prefer you can listen to the original mono mix.

There are slight differences in the two mixes. The restored mix puts more emphasis on the dialogue, bringing voices to the forefront, and pushing the musical soundtrack to the back. Still, I find either of the options worth listening to. Purists will most likely want to stick with the original mix, while others may opt to listen to the newly restored mix.

Either of the options offers brilliant dialogue reproduction, with the restored track putting a little more emphasis on the voices. Every word uttered comes clearly through the center channel, and never becomes lost in the sound effects and music even though it's all packed into the same channel. Hissing and crackling never pop up to spoil the show.

Just like in the other two 'Twilight Zone' releases this Image release features a wonderfully rich audio presentation even though it's confined to a mono source. It still feels like it's something more than that.

Special Features

3 Stars out of 5

I'm tired of watching the commercials, but I suppose it's nice to see who sponsored the show and provided it the money to create new episodes. Other interviews and assorted clips are also found here.

Disc 1

Episode 66: "Two"

  • Rod Serling Teaser (HD, 27 sec.) - Serling introduces the episode and gives cursory information about the director and the actors that are starring in it.
  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - Commercials for Colgate toothpaste and Wildroot Cream Oil.

Episode 67: "The Arrival"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - Commercials for Oasis cigarettes.

Episode 68: "The Shelter"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 69: "The Passerby"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Mobil gasoline and Vaseline hair tonic.

Episode 70: "A Game of Pool"

  • Audio Commentary - Jonathan Winters played Fats Brown. The commentary is a little thin as Winters just wings it and announces obvious things happening on screen like saying "That's me in that picture." He never goes in depth into anything happening on screen. It's kind of frustrating when we see Fats in heaven being paged and all the balls that he's playing with are black. All Winters says is "All the balls are black. That's interesting." Yes, it is. Tell us why it was that way.
  • Interview with Buzz Kulik and Buck Houghton (1978) - Like all of these older interviews that have been on the other sets this plays as a commentary even though it isn't a commentary. The episode plays as the interview is conducted, but they aren't talking about what's happening as we see it. They talk extensively about Winters and his performance. They also talk about how they needed to use professional pool player stand-ins to make some of the trick shots that are seen in the episode.
  • Jonathan Winters Reads the Alternate Ending (SD, 3 min.) - While clips of the episode play, Winters reads the alternate ending, which doesn't have the same punch that the ending which was used.
  • 1989 Remake Clip - This is a clip from 'The Twilight Zone' remake in 1989. It actually uses the alternate ending that Winters reads, instead of going with the ending that was originally used in the episode.
  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 71: "The Mirror"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 31 sec.) - Commercials for Vaseline hair tonic and Mobil gas.

Episode 72: "The Grave"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 31 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Disc 2

Episode 73: "It's a Good Life"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 31 sec.) - Commercials for Mobil gasoline and Vaseline hair tonic.

Episode 74: "Deaths-head Revisited"

  • Zicree Interview: Buck Houghton (1978) - This interview is like the others, and plays along with the episode like a commentary. Lots of background noise and hissing, but it's an interesting interview in that Houghton talks about the director Don Medford and how he was an action oriented director that put his own spin on this rather "talky" episode.
  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 75: "The Midnight Sun"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Vaseline hair tonic and Mobil gasoline.

Episode 76: "Still Valley"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 77: "The Jungle"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Mobil gasoline and Vaseline hair tonic.

Episode 78: "Once Upon a Time"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - Commercials for Vaseline hair tonic.

Episode 79: "Five Characters in Search of an Exit"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - More commercials.

Disc 3

Episode 80: "A Quality of Mercy"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Swan dishwashing liquid and Vaseline hair tonic.

Episode 81: "Nothing in the Dark"

  • Zicree Interview: Lamont Johnson and George Clayton Johnson (1978) - Playing along with the episode, this interview is like the other interviews. The dialogue is a little hard to hear, and there's a constant hiss going on.
  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 82: "One More Pallbearer"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - Commercials for Handi-Wrap and Contac nasal decongestion medicine.

Episode 83: "Dead Man's Shoes"

  • 1985 Remake Clip: 'Dead Womans Shoes' (SD, 3 min.) - Here's a very 80s clip of the remake of 'Dead Man's Shoes.' I was surprised by the appearance of a young Jeffrey Tambor.
  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 84: "The Hunt"

  • Zicree Interview: Earl Hamner (1978) - Playing along with the episode, Zicree interviews the episode's writer. The discussion the two have in the brand new commentary is much more clear and easier to hear. They go over the same information in both the commentary and the interview however. Hamner recounts the way he came to meet Rod. He recounts the same story in the new commentary for this episode.
  • Sponsor Billboard (HD, 17 sec.) - Commercial for Contac nasal decongestant.

Episode 85: "Showdown with Rance McGraw"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 31 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 86: "Kick the Can"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - Commercials for Contac nasal decongestant and Vaseline hair tonic.

Episode 87: "A Piano in the House"

  • Zicree Interview: Buck Houghton and Earl Hamner (1978) - More interviews from Zicree, this time he's cornered producer Buck Houghton and writer Earl Hamner. As the interview plays along with the episode we find that this is one of the tougher interviews to hear with the hissing even louder than before. Background noise of papers flipping around also hinder the hearing of the dialogue. Houghton takes up much of the time talking on and on about getting the episode made and the business side of things.
  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Disc 4

Episode 88: "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Contact congestion medicine and Vaseline hair tonic.

Episode 89: "To Serve Man"

  • Zicree Interview: Richard L. Bare (1978) - Zicree interviews Richard L. Bare, the director of "To Serve Man." Sounds like they're conducting this interview in a busy restaurant or cafĂ© because you can hear plates clanging around and people chatting in the background. They have a friendly chat about the episode with Zicree responding with girlish giggles and "Yes, yes" exclamations. Zicree does talk to Bare about things he knew nothing about like voices and makeup. It doesn't make for a great interview if the interviewee doesn't know what you're talking about.
  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 90: "The Fugitive"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Vaseline hair tonic and Pepsi.

Episode 91: "Little Girl Lost"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 92: "Person or Persons Unknown"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 17 sec.) - Commercial for Polident denture cleanser.

Episode 93: "The Little People"

  • Zicree Interview: Buck Houghton (1978) - Producer Buck Houghton joins Zicree once again for an interview. This is a pretty short interview, but they talk extensively about getting the scale building right for the episode to make it look realistic.
  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 94: "Four O'Clock"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 33 sec.) - Commercials for Rise shaving cream and Pepsi.

Episode 95: "Hocus-Pocus and Frisby"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Disc 5

Episode 96: "The Trade-Ins"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for Arrid deodorant and Polaroid 10-second camera.

Episode 97: "The Gift"

  • Sponsor Billboards Sponsor Billboards - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 98: "The Dummy"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 31 sec.) - Commercials for a Polaroid camera and Contac decongestant capsule.

Episode 99: "Young Man's Fancy"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 31 sec.) - Commercials for Chesterfield cigarettes.

Episode 100: "I Sing the Body Electric"

  • Zicree Interview: Buck Houghton (1978) - Buck Houghton talks about how they had to do almost a full reshoot of this episode, which is why two directors are listed. The first shoot as Houghton says, just didn't work at all.
  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 31 sec.) - Commercials for Nair hair remover and Polaroid cameras.

Episode 101: "Cavender is Coming"

  • Original Laugh Track - 'The Twilight Zone' with a laugh track? Too weird.
  • 'The Garry Moore Show' clip (SD, 9 min.) - Rod Serling appears from the fog on 'The Garry Moore Show' in a comedy called the 'Twi-night Zone.' Some pretty funny stuff here.
  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - More commercials.

Episode 102: "The Changing of the Guard"

  • Sponsor Billboards (HD, 32 sec.) - Commercials for headache medicine and Arrid deodorant.

Additional Bonus Material

  • 'Liars Club' (SD, 21 min.) - Rod Serling hosts this gameshow called the 'Liars Club.' It's pretty cool to see a really young Betty White on the show. The contestants have to recognize who is telling the truth and who isn't.
  • 'Tell it to Groucho' clip (SD, 15 min.) - Rod Serling appears on Groucho Marx's TV show interview show.
  • The Famous Writers School promo (SD, 4 min.) - Rod Serling does advertising for the Famous Writers School that teaches people how to write well and successfully.

Final Thoughts

Fans of 'The Twilight Zone' will once again be pleased with Image's treatment of the source material. It's just amazing how great these episodes look and how well the film holds up. This third season isn't as packed with classics as the first two seasons, but it has its fair share of memorable episodes. This is an extensive set, featuring more special features than you can care to remember. Still, the features that have been compiled here, with special attention paid to Blu-ray exclusive commentaries, is astounding. Any fan will be ecstatic to pick this one up. This is a must own release, as are the previous two seasons.

Sale Price 20.9
Buy Now
3rd Party 40.95
In Stock.
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  • Editors Note

    Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of Dunkirk on Blu-ray. This post features unique Vital Disc Stats, Video, and Final Thoughts sections.

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    5-Disc Set
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:950
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.33:1
    Audio Formats:
    English Uncompressed PCM Mono
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English
    Special Features:
    An overwhelming number of extras!
    Movie Studio: Image Entertainment
    Release Date: February 15th, 2011