I find myself, now and again, looking back at old syndicated shows and wondering why I was ever not a fan of them.
During my formative years, Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone was already in syndication and I cannot recall why I did not latch onto it during those times. Perhaps I was too young, already committed to the mass consumerist titles like G.I. Joe and Transformers. Shows like The Twilight Zone often signaled the end of the after-school cartoon run. Had I given Serling's show more of chance in those days I might have become weirder, sooner, delving into those dark and twisted tales at an earlier age. But now that I have been given the full box set to make my way through, I find watching this show, many of these episodes for the first time, immensely enjoyable.
Now, there will likely be a no more thorough dissection of the series than the work conducted by our own Peter Martin and the lads over at Film School Rejects in their series Exploring the Twilight Zone (See FSR link below). So I do not have to go through each and every episode, lest we be here all day. But I have checked out at least one episode from each of the twenty-five discs. And with some morbid fascination I watched all the episodes that were shot on video during the second season. But all in all we are talking about some 75 hours of broadcast television to make one's way through.
With exception to those six episodes shot on video, the rest of the shows look fantastic. The image above represents screen captures from film on the left and video on the right. I would have never thought that a show that aired when my parents were just entering their teen years would be so well preserved. And it feels very peculiar to watch an episode, then see a spot for Gunsmoke or The Andy Griffith Show at the end of some episodes. I can only presume that these are presented as they were broadcast on their original air dates.
Sadly, what this box set is missing are extra features. Any at all. Hence it is called the Episodes Only box set. If you want a more exhaustive collection for your library, then you should consider the Blu-ray set, also offered by Image Entertainment. And with the recent announcement of the moratorium of collections like The Twilight Zone: The Complete Definitive Collection Box Set and the individual Definitive Edition volumes, the Episodes Only DVD set and the Blu-ray set will be the only way, for now, that you can own this terrific television series.
If I had to sum up this package it would be as so: It is everything I need. Unfortunately it is not everything I want.
But if you are not one to hung up on the nagging thought that you are missing some context to the series or an episode and a featurette or two would ease your suffering, then this box set is for you!
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