Reviews

DVD Releases: ‘The Twilight Zone’ Season One Blu-ray (1959-1960)

★★★★★

Having been available in the States and Australia for some time now, the Blu-Ray release of the first season of The Twilight Zone finally reaches UK shores. However, this isn’t just for Zone fans; this Blu-ray release also means that there is now an opportunity for people who have never seen The Twilight Zone to see what the fuss is about.

So, what is the show about? Each episode is hosted and narrated by the show’s creator Rod Serling and tell self contained stories that all take place in that dimension of imagination – The Twilight Zone. These stories may be sci-fi, horror, suspense or even comedic. But they all more than likely have that now trademark Twilight Zone twist that can seemingly come out of nowhere. I cannot praise this series enough. Although this only the first of a five season run, it holds quite a few episodes that rank among the best of the series tenure. Episodes such as Time Enough at Last, The After Hours and the excellent social commentary laden The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street really highlight why this is such a classic show.

The writing, most of which comes from Serling’s pen, is top notch. The characters in The Twilight Zone are so incredibly well rounded and their dialogue is amazing. The characters you like are genuinely likeable and the characters we are meant to loathe are so horrible you pray they get their comeuppance – and being that this is The Twilight Zone, that is usually the case. All praise on the writing cannot just be brought to Serling’s table, Charles Beumont, who also worked on Alfred Hitchock Presents, provided several original stories and the brilliant Richard Matheson, author of I Am Legend (1954) and screenwriter for Steven Spielberg’s debut movie Duel (1971), also scribed several episodes for the first season as well as submitting his short stories for Serling to adapt. It’s these stories that really bring The Twilight Zone to life.

All of this is beautifully captured with great direction, superb acting from the likes of Burges Meridith and a fantastic and unforgettable score from Bernard Herman. Even people who have never seen the show before will know that infamous theme tune. If you’re a fan of The Twilight Zone, you need to get this Blu-ray just for the special features alone, but if you’re a newcomer and a fan of science fiction, you owe it to yourself to buy and watch this series. There is a reason why it is a landmark show and there is a reason why it is hailed as a classic – because it is.

If you’re a fan or a newbie to the series, I also recommend The Twilight Zone podcast found at dimensionxradio.com.Week by week, host Tom Elliot gives in depth analysis of each episode of The Twilight Zone with sound clips, trivia and expert knowledge from the people who made the show. He is currently half way through season one, so now is a great time to get on board with the show.

Luke Owen