errorfound482 | Walla, walla Washington | 04/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection completes the NEW TWILIGHT ZONE run during the '80s (Season 2 & 3 had 51 episodes).
Some of the outstanding episodes were "AQUA VITA" (about a "fountain of youth" w/ side effects), "SHELTER SKELTER" (w/ Joe Mantegna & Joan Allen, an abusive man and his neighbor is trapped in his bomb shelter), "THE HELLGRAMMITE METHOD" (an alcoholic has an alcohol tapeworm in his body which threatens to kill him unless he starves it), "THE COLD EQUATIONS" (an astronaut must decide between ejecting an innocent stowaway into space or risk the lives of the colony which needs an emergency vaccine), among some other gems.
The picture quality may not be HDTV but it's still crisper and more clear than when it was broadcast back in the '80s (and definitely better than even SuperVHS quality.)
SEASON 2 & 3 Episode List: * The Once And Future King * A Saucer Of Loneliness * What Are Friends For? * The Storyteller * Nightsong * Aqua Vita * The After Hours * Lost and Found * The World Next Door * The Toys Of Caliban * The Convict's Piano * The Road Less Travelled * The Card * The Junction * Joy Ride * Shelter Skelter * Private Channel * Time And Teresa Golowitz * Voices In The Earth * Song Of The Younger World * The Girl I Married * The Curious Case Of Edgar Witherspoon * Extra Innings * The Crossing * The Hunters * Dream Me A Life * Memories * The Hellgrammite Method * Our Selena Is Dying * The Call * The Trance * Acts Of Terror * 20/20 Vision * There Was An Old Woman * The Trunk * Appointment On Route 17 * The Cold Equations * Stranger In Possum Meadow * Street Of Shadows * Something In The Walls * A Game Of Pool * The Wall * Room 2426 * The Mind Of Simon Foster * Cat And Mouse * Rendezvous In A Dark Place * Many, Many Monkeys * Love Is Blind * Crazy As A Soup Sandwich * Special Service * Father And Son Game"
Lee Fratantuono | Irving, TX, United States | 04/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Twilight Zone aired on CBS from 1985 to 1986 as a normal Friday primetime series. Though ratings were decent enough to warrant a fullscale renewal, in the fall of 1986 it was obvious things had changed: advertising plummeted, the show moved to Saturdays at 10 (a death knell), and episodes aired infrequently. Still, the second season has some great episodes: "The Storyteller" is haunting and worthy of the original series, "Aqua Vita" was deadly appropriate for the image-conscious mid-80s and still packs a punch, "Nightsong" is an eerie, captivating character study dominated by the always wonderful, understated Lisa Eilbacher. Season 3 was actually a syndicated response to the need to make more episodes in order to sell the show into syndication. Here the quality falls, to be sure, but again, some episodes stand out..."Cat and Mouse" has one of the finest endings of any Twilight Zone. All in all, this is a worthy collection to consider buying. Image Entertainment is to be praised for putting these episodes out: we might have expected never to see them on DVD. The first season was met with a lot of whining about "picture quality" (as if these episodes were digitally perfect in 1985), but these three seasons are worth owning as a worthy part of the Twilight Zone library. Would that we could say the same about the disgraceful 2002 series."
Second and third season of the 80's Zone-revised with new in
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 06/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although the second season was cut short (the series was cancelled by CBS mid-way through the run), there were still enough gems produced to make Rod Serling proud and make this worthwhile for fans. George R. R. Martin's "The Once & Future King" about an Elvis impersonator's encounter with the King himself is quite good. "A Saucerful of Lonliness" adapted by David Gerrold from Ted Sturgeon's story and featuring Shelley Duvall also works quite well. Likewise "The Toys of Caliban" works as an update of Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life". The real gem, though, is Alan Brennert's "Time & Teresa Golowitz" (he also wrote the script for third season gem "The Cold Equations" which was remade as a TV movie for the Sci-Fi Channel).
The third season although wildly uneven (it existed primarily so CBS would have enough episodes for syndication)does have a handful of memorable episodes. J. Michael Straczynski's "The Wall" and "The Mind of Simon Foster" recalled the (all too brief) glory of the 80's Zone. While the third season doesn't have any extras or commentary tracks, some of the stronger performances, scripts and direction (particularly by Atom Egoyan and Paul Lynch) help make the better episodes here shine. Working with a virtually nonexistant budget, writer/producer J. Michael Straczynski managed to make the third season distinctive because he wrote a lot of the scripts (part of the reason why is he had the ideas for a story but the other reason was because they didn't have all that much money to hire outside writers).
The audio is very good and the video shows a slight improvement over the first season boxed set. Both that season and the second season (I don't know about the third season) were edited on video with effects added in video as well which means that the videotape masters are the only complete versions of the shows. As a result, the image quality varies a bit with some digital flaws. The most glaring, though, is due to something called an interlace problem. This occurs during the telecine process (where video is transformed into a home video format like DVD). You'll notice on an HDTV compatible TV that there will be a momentary visual "wire mesh" that occurs during cuts between scenes. It's distracting but shouldn't prevent fans from picking up the series. This error will be most noticeable when using progressive scan DVD players and HDTV.
I've seen the series in both its original run and in its horrible syndicated cut version where forty-five minute episodes were butchered to 22 minutes and where 15 minute vingettes were expanded to 22 ruining a perfectly good story Since the second second was shot on film and edited on tape, the image quality varies quite a bit. Overall it's pretty solid with nice colors although the image can occasionally be a bit blurry or lacking fine detail. The third season tends to look a bit better primarily because it was shot on 16 mm and edited for film before being transfered. These are the uncut (and unexpanded) original presentations pulled from the original 1 inch videotapes for the series. Image quality is pretty good overall. What's important is that these episodes will be seen (at least for the second season) in their original first run length since they were originally broadcast. This set, like the first set, has a booklet with credits for every single episode and nontating which ones have commentary, deleted scenes, etc. Since the third season had more episodes (but they were designed to fit into a 1/2 hour format)this set runs to 7 discs. It's a pity that Straczynski wasn't asked to do a commentary track for some of the stronger episodes he wrote.
In defense of the third season, I must write a review!
a reader | 08/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The 1980s Twilight Zone never seems to get any respect. It was a truly avant-garde experience. The writing was often times razor sharp and its use of computer effects was pretty revolutionary for the time.
It's too bad this show never really found a safe home. CBS pretty much destroyed this hour long show by like the fourth episode of the second season. It became a half hour show and I get the feeling the creative team of the second season never fully recovered. The writing and editing seems off. Like they had to make a planned 40 minute segment into a 25 minute segment or stretch a 10 minute segment into a 25 minute segment.
The show was canceled and then brought back from the dead for a syndicated third season. I was expecting the last season to live up to its bad reputation, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be almost (Yes, almost!) on par with the first season of this excellent series. I get the feeling they had a lot of time to polish up the scripts a bit. Believe it or not you will find some classic episodes here. My favorite story being "Something in the Walls" which is without a doubt the scariest of any of the Twilight Zones episodes ... classic or modern era! It is one of the most terrifying things ever put to film. Surprised they haven't made a movie about that one. Down below I review every segment.
My rating system is
Excellent ... Classic segment
Acceptable ... Worth seeing if despite a few flaws segment
Poor ... Bad segment
"The Once And Future King" Acceptable "A Saucer Of Loneliness" Acceptable "What Are Friends For?" Acceptable (It spooked me out when I was a kid) "The Storyteller" Excellent "Nightsong" Acceptable "Aqua Vita" Excellent (Too bad the second season didn't have more stories like this) "The After Hours" Acceptable (In some ways both better and inferior to the orginal) "Lost and Found" Poor "The World Next Door" Poor "The Toys Of Caliban" Acceptable (Kind of like a cheap "It's a Good Life) "The Convict's Piano" Acceptable "The Road Less Travelled" Excellent (One of the most critically acclaimed segments) "The Card" Poor (The logic in this is really, really bad) "The Junction" Poor "Joy Ride" Poor "Shelter Skelter" Acceptable "Private Channel" Poor "Time And Teresa Golowitz" Acceptable (This one is a tad bit over-rated if you ask me) "Voices In The Earth" Excellent "Song Of The Younger World" Acceptable "The Girl I Married" Acceptable "The Curious Case Of Edgar Witherspoon" Excellent "Extra Innings" Poor "The Crossing" Acceptable "The Hunters" Acceptable (Interesting premise) "Dream Me A Life" Acceptable "Memories" Excellent "The Hellgrammite Method" Excellent "Our Selena Is Dying" Acceptable "The Call" Excellent (Breathes new life into a familiar type of TZ adventure) "The Trance" Excellent "Acts Of Terror" Acceptable "20/20 Vision" Poor (Why do TZ episodes like this keep on getting written?) "There Was An Old Woman" Acceptable "The Trunk" Acceptable "Appointment On Route 17" Acceptable "The Cold Equations" Excellent "Stranger In Possum Meadow" Poor "Street Of Shadows" Acceptable "Something In The Walls" Excellent (Awesome! The best episode of this box set) "A Game Of Pool" Excellent (Every bit as good as the orginal) "The Wall" Acceptable "Room 2426" Acceptable "The Mind Of Simon Foster" Excellent "Cat And Mouse" Excellent "Rendezvous In A Dark Place" Excellent "Many, Many Monkeys" Excellent "Love Is Blind" Excellent "Father And Son Game" Excellent (Very thought provoking) "Special Service" Acceptable (must have been the inspiration for the Truman show) "Crazy As A Soup Sandwich" Acceptable "
Could have been a 5-star DVD, but buy it anyway :-)
Torsten Kracke | Rotenburg, Germany | 08/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First things first: I'm extremely happy these Seasons finally are available to own. They have never been released commercially anywhere in the world before, so it was about time. It's also great to have commentary tracks on some of the highlight episodes of Season 2 and deleted scenes from three episodes ("Road Less Traveled", "Time and Teresa Golowitz" and "Nightsong") that would have otherwise been lost forever. Also hats off to the producers for finding most of the stereo-tracks of these episodes for the DVD. Sadly though this item is not as good as it could have been with just a little more effort. It would have been nice to have some commentaries for Season 3, there are some good episodes in there that would have deserved them. Most glaring however is that three of the stories included are not the originally aired versions (I compared them to nearly 20 year old VHS-copies of the original CBS-versions from 1986):
"After Hours" is missing the whole opening narration by Charles Aidman (just audio missing) and missing 30 sec at end.
"Lost and Found" is missing full 3 minutes of this 8-minute story!
"World Next Door" is actually about 45 seconds longer than the aired version, which mostly is differently cut stuff at the very beginning. Also the ending is missing the music over the end-credits (the bit before the usual credits start)
These versions were created when the show was going from full-hour to half-hour format as they were also shown on European TV back then. This was still years before the stories got yet another cut for syndication. Perhaps the original master-tapes of these stories couldn't be found anymore, CBS was known to keep a lousy archive of this show. However most of the damage could have been repaired by taking the missing scenes from the syndicated versions of these stories, which are intact for the most part, as the stories were grouped together differently there.
As it stands the DVD-producers probably didn't even notice something was missing before the DVD was released, which could have been prevented by comparing old VHS-recordings of the original aired versions.
However this should not keep anyone from purchasing this otherwise great DVD-set. Naturally every fan would like a "Definitive Edition", but given that this series is a small gem and sadly not nearly as well known as the original series, this will probably be the only way to get these episodes for a long time to come."