Posted: 09/14/2010

 

The Twlight Zone (Original series on Blu-ray)

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen




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There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man, and Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone is great television, whether you watched the original episodes, which aired 1959-64, or even better when you catch the entire first season’s episodes completely remastered on Blu-ray or DVD from Image Entertainment.

The five-disc set packs a wallop with more than 36, 25-minute episodes (more than 15 hours) that analyze man’s affinity to that which is strange and mesmerizing, even though it at times may be dangerous.

In The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine, an aging, former movie star played by Ida Lupino lives and dreams in the past. The starlet just can’t seem to function in the now, so she relies on the past to fill her days. While living in a mansion, obviously the spoils from a bygone, prosperous, joyous era when she was famous, she sits and watches old reels of her in action with various handsome male leads.
Her confidant manager and her maid both see how this behavior is causing her to go further into a deep depression, so he invites one of the old leading men to pay the recluse a visit. The only problem is that the old recluse has aged and is old, something that, in fact, the starlet admits she can’t comprehend.Finally, she figures out a way to fix her life—but the results aren’t as “heavenly” as she imagines.

In another episode, One for the Angels, a street vendor or “pitchman,” as they are called, played by Ed Wynn, tries to beat death, even as a representative of the great demise sits right in front of him, telling him that he has until midnight to surrender his physical life. But there’s a twist, at one point, the game changes, and a young girl will die, in the pitchman’s place. Only the pitchman’s greatest pitch can save her. This episode was both sad and exciting!

Other episodes are just as engaging, as The Twilight Zone is filled with suspense, horror, fantasy and sci-fi, which will keep your eyes glued to the television. Season 1, loaded with new and exclusive bonus features not available anywhere else, including the rare, never-before-released unofficial pilot The Time Element, written by Rod Serling and hosted by Desi Arnaz, is available on Blu-ray or DVD from Image Entertainment September 14.

It’s splendid in sharp, pristine high definition! For more information, visit www.image-entertainment.com.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.



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