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The Twilight Zone: Season 4 [Blu-ray]

Rod Serling , Robert McCord , Abner Biberman , Alan Crosland Jr.    Unrated   Blu-ray

List Price: CDN$ 119.99
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The Twilight Zone: Season 4 [Blu-ray] + The Twilight Zone: Season 5 [Blu-ray] + The Twilight Zone: Season 3 [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

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Despite major changes in personnel and the ill-advised switch to a full-hour format, Twilight Zone (with "The" removed from its title) began its fourth season on a promising note. Written by series veteran Charles Beaumont, the premiere episode "In His Image" maintained the high standards that Rod Serling had established throughout the first three seasons, and the story--about a man (George Grizzard) who builds an exact robot replica of himself, with dire consequences--fit well into the hour-long format that Serling reluctantly went along with. Twilight Zone struggled with its expanded length, resulting in some episodes that lack the consistent punch of earlier half-hour episodes. Exhausted by three seasons of prodigious creativity, Serling and Buck Houghton vacated their roles as producers (with Serling's involvement limited to script feedback, writing nearly half of the season's episodes, and on-screen hosting), and TV veteran Herbert Hirschman became the new show-runner (departing mid-season, he was replaced by Bert Granet), promising not to tinker with the series' proven success. But Twilight Zone was inevitably becoming a shadow of its former self, and the involvement of proven TZ writers like Richard Matheson, Earl Hamner, Jr., and Beaumont could not entirely compensate for Serling's growing detachment.

Still, these 18 episodes include some fine examples of enduring quality, such as Matheson's "Death Ship," starring Jack Klugman and Ross Martin in a recurring nightmare scenario, and featuring the same spaceship model used in the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet. Beaumont's "Miniature," starring Robert Duvall, was the only hour-long episode pulled from initial syndication (due to a plagiarism lawsuit that was ultimately dismissed), so its inclusion here (along with color scenes from its eventual syndication) is a welcome treat. Serling lampoons the medium of television with "The Bard" (with an early appearance by Burt Reynolds), and his teleplay for "On Thursday We Leave for Home" is the season's highlight, ranking among Twilight Zone's finest science-fiction episodes. It remained clear, however, that Twilight Zone was past its prime, and when the series was renewed for a fifth season in the spring of 1963, a return to its original half-hour format was a belated step in the right direction.

Of course, season 4's overall strengths and weaknesses won't matter to collectors of The Definitive Edition DVD sets, and a wealth of archival bonus features make this a must-have addition to anyone's TZ collection. Image Entertainment and features producer Paul Browstein deserve extra credit for their diligent assembly of supplements that render all previous TZ releases virtually obsolete. Nothing has been overlooked, from the commentary (on "Death Ship") and interview clips by acclaimed TZ expert Mark Scott Zicree to the inclusion of a vintage TZ spoof from Saturday Night Live, radio-show adaptations starring Blair Underwood, Jason Alexander, Lou Diamond Phillips and others, and a vintage Twilight Zone comic book, accessible on computers with Adobe reader installed. There's even a brief Rod Serling blooper taken from a scratchy 16-millimeter print, proving that no stone was left unturned in making this a truly definitive TZ collection. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

18 episodes of the fourth 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!

EXCLUSIVE BLU-RAY FEATURES. 13 New Audio Commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani (Fantastic Television), Twilight Zone writer Earl Hamner, writer William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run), author Bill Warren (Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties), writer/producer Jeff Vlaming (NCIS, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica), writer/producer Joseph Dougherty (thirtysomething, Judging Amy, Saving Grace), authors/historians Scott Skelton and Jim Benson (Night Gallery: An After Hours Tour), and writer/producer Jaime Paglia (Eureka). Vintage Audio Interview with director of photography George T. Clemens. ALSO INCLUDES: Audio Commentaries by Marc Scott Zicree for Death Ship and William Windom for Miniature. Vintage Audio Recollections with Herbert Hirschman, Ross Martin, Burgess Meredith, Pat Hingle, Earl Hamner, Buzz Kulik and Anne Francis. Video Interviews with Morgan Brittany, Anne Francis, Paul Comi and John Furia, Jr. 7 Radio Dramas featuring Blair Underwood, Jason Alexander, Lou Diamond Phillips, H. M. Wynant, Mike Starr, Barry Bostwick and John Ratzenberger. Isolated Scores for all 18 episodes featuring Fred Steiner, Van Cleave, Rene Garriguenc and others. Rod Serling Promos for “Next Week’s” Show. Rod Serling Blooper from He’s Alive. Saturday Night Live Clip. The Famous Writers School Promo with Rod Serling. Genesee Beer Spot. Twilight Zone Season 4 Billboards. Episodes: In His Image, The Thirty Fathom Grave, Valley of the Shadow, He's Alive, Mute, Death Ship, Jess-Belle, Miniature, Printer's Devil, No Time Like the Past, The Parallel, I Dream of Genie, The New Exhibit, Of Late I Think of Cliffordville, The Incredible World of Horace Ford, On Thursday We Leave for Home, Passage on the Lady Anne, The Bard


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  64 reviews
115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Episode guide Oct. 4 2005
By Phillip Oliver - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The 4th season consists of 1 hour episodes. They include:

#1 In His Image

A science enthusiast creates a perfect mechanical man, one who compensates for his own shortcomings. Starring George Grizzard, Gail Kobe, Katherine Squire, Wallace Rooney.

#2 The Thirty-Fathom Grave

A man is haunted by the sounds from a submarine that sank 20 years ago. Stars Mike Kellin, Simon Oakland, David Sheiner, John Considine, Bill Bixby.

#3 Valley of the Shadow

A reporter discovers the secret of a small village but can he escape it? Stars Ed Nelson, Natalie Trundy, David Opatoshu, James Doohan.

#4 He's Alive

A young hatemonger is inspired by the ghost of Adolf Hitler. Stars Dennis Hopper, Ludwig Donath, Curt Conway, Paul Mazursky.

#5 Mute

A young couple experiment with telepathy. Stars Ann Jillian, Frank Overton, Barbara Baxley.

#6 Death Ship

An astronaut refuses to admit that he and his crew may be dead. Stars Jack Klugman, Ross Martin, Frederick Beir, Mary Webster.

#7 Jess-Belle

A girl strikes a deadly bargain with a witch to ensure the attention of a young man. Stars Anne Francis, James Best, Laura Devon, Jeanette Nolan, Virginia Gregg.

#8 Miniature

An introverted young man falls in love with a doll in a museum. Stars Robert Duvall, Pert Kelton, Barbara Barrie, Len Weinrib, William Windom.

#9 Printer's Devil

A newspaper editor who is facing bankruptcy hires a man who claims to be the Devil. Stars Robert Sterling, Patricia Crowley, Burgess Meredith.

#10 No Time Like the Past

A time traveler attempts to change history by warning the victims of impending disasters. Stars Dana Andrews, Patricia Breslin, Malcolm Atterbury.

#11 The Parallel

An orbiting astronaut passes into a strange parallel world. Stars Steve Forrest, Jacqueline Scott, Frank Aletter, Philip Abbott.

#12 I Dream of Genie

A store keeper discovers Aladdin's lamp. Stars Howard Morris, Patricia Barry, Mark Miller, Jack Albertson.

#13 The New Exhibit

Famous murderers from history become the star attraction of a wax museum. Stars Martin Balsam, Will Kuluva, Maggie Mahoney.

$14 Of Late I Think of Cliffordville

A remorseless businessman makes a deal with the Devil in order to go back in time. Stars Albert Salmi, Julie Newmar, John Anderson.

#15 The Incredible World of Horace Ford

A toy manufacturer relives his boyhood. Stars Pat Hingle, Nan Martin, Ruth White.

#16 On Thursday We Leave for Home

The leader of an expedition to a remote asteroid cannot bring himself to face the dissipation of his authority that returning to Earth would bring. Stars James Whitmore, Tim O'Connor, James Broderick.

#17 Passage on the Lady Anne

An unhappily married couple take a cruise to save their marriage. Stars Lee Philips, Joyce Van Patten, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Cecil Kellaway, Gladys Cooper.

#18 The Bard

A hack TV writer conjures up William Shakespeare to act as his collaborator. Stars Jack Weston, John Williams, Burt Reynolds, John McGiver.
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reference level Blu-Ray - The real deal. May 3 2011
By Rift Corbitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
edited May 17, 2011

All Season 4 Episodes were 1 HOUR LONG, thus there is 18 total hours of aired episodes. Which is literally the same amount of hours as 36 half hour episodes. That is why price is the same as the other seasons - THE SEASON 4 SET WILL CONTAIN AT MINIMUM THE SAME AMOUNT OF BLU-RAY DISCS AS SEASON 3, IT MAY EVEN HAVE 1 MORE DISC DUE TO IT BEING MORE HOURS THAN SEASON 3!

KUDOS to the folks at Image for NOT using evil DNR which would have destroyed Mr. Serling's original intent. To those that do not know, grain is an literally part of the physical composition of silver nitrate. Director's chose film stock based on how much grain they wanted their artistic vision to have. Grain=Detail not the opposite. To remove grain no matter how carefully always removes fine detail. So much detail is in this Blu-ray set you can even see the ripples and sheen of Rod Serling's herringbone suits in some of the intro's. That and the tiny lines on actors faces is detail to the MAX. Except for it being black and white, it is like they standing right in front of us. You don't get that when DNR is used, what you do get with DNR is a waxy unnatural look.

The folks at Image should also be proud for giving us unaltered, uncompressed sound as an option. For those of us who despise unnatural processed modern digital sound and this is a blessing of blessings. Coupled with the pristine video which totally unmarred thankfully due to no DNR this Blu-ray set is nearly as good as a pristine 35MM print. This set showcases Mr Serling's genius rather than try to conceal it in a shoddy revisionist modern manner. This and all the Zone sets are true reference quality.

To the people at Image please produce all your Blu-Ray using the same level of quality and professional effort as your Zone sets!!!!!

Many company's could learn valuable lessons on proper Blu-Ray mastering from the people at Image who worked on these zone sets.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Than the Critics Assert Oct. 26 2005
By James Wierzbicki - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I realize the traditional point of view is that the fourth

season of Twilight Zone was the beginning of the decline of

the series. I won't argue with that point of view, but I do

take issue with those who would regard the fourth season as

poor quality or even trashy writing.

Although it was a network gimmick, it is a good thing that

Twilight Zone expanded to one hour. It represented the best

kind of artistic challenge to Serling and his excellent team

of writers. There are episodes here that simply could not be

done in the half-hour format. They require too much character

development and subtle nuances of detail. I'm talking about

"In His Image," "Jess-Belle," "Miniature," and "The Incredible

World of Horace Ford," among others. These episodes belong

with the best Twilight Zone ever produced.

While Season Four certainly indicates a television series past

its prime, it is definitely not chopped liver! Longtime fans

of the series will be able to appreciate the artistic output of

Serling et. al. in the hour format. They will also appreciate

the fact that they can view the hour-long episodes--rarely seen

in syndication--at their leisure.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unappreciated Endeavor from Mr. Serling! Oct. 19 2005
By Glenn M. Schoditsch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As the penultimate Season Four transitioned to the undesired hour long format, most episodes from this season rarely made it to syndication, aside from the SciFi Channel. As I've gone thru "Season 4 (The Definitive Edition)" it's like viewing an entire "lost" string of episodes from the genius of Rod Serling. They are all wonderful but I am drawn particularly to "Mute", "The Parallel", "No Time Like the Past" & "Passage on the Lady Anne" as my personal favorites.

Some intriguing artifacts are the colorized scenes from the syndicated version of "Miniature". While this is an interesting aspect of the storyline and gives a nice "over the rainbow" effect to the story, it also demonstrates why the dreaded colorization process of original Black & White films should NEVER be applied. But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Great Sixties Television" March 5 2011
By Terrance Richard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
Thanks to the wonderful invention of Blue Ray we fans of "The Twilight Zone" can now enjoy the series in beautiful, pristine condition. In this set all 18 episodes of season 4 (BLUE RAY RELEASE ON MAY 17, 2011) have been restored from their original studio prints. I have both the entire series on DVD and have compared them with the Blue Rays that have already been made available and the difference is noticeable: the print is even more vibrant and eye-catching and it's as if the characters come right at you on the screen. Another great asset to buying the Blue Rays are the extra bonuses that are not included on the DVD editions.

Season four of "The Twilight Zone" began in January, 1963 after being cancelled by CBS in the spring of the previous year. It replaced the show that it had been cancelled for called "Fair Exchange". In order to fill the one hout time slot CBS brought "The Twilight Zone" back in one hour installments, so although fewer episodes of season four were filmed they were extended beyond their normal thirty minute running time. Creator Rod Serling hated the new one hour format as he felt the writers had to write stories way beyond their worth in order to fill an hour of primetime programming.

The list of special bonuses for this particular Blue Ray include 13 new audio commentaries by "Twilight Zone Companion" writer Marc Scott Zicree and other followers and critics of the series. All of the DVD bonuses are also included here and include interviews with guest-stars like Anne Francis and Morgan Brittany; 7 radio dramas; isolated scores for select episodes; and much more.

The following is a list of Season 4 "Twilight Zone" episodes along with their airdates;

1. "In His Image", Jan. 3, 1963
2. "The Thirty-Fathom Grave", Jan. 10, 1963
3. "Valley of the Shadow", Jan. 17, 1963
4. "He's Alive", Jan. 24, 1963
5. "Mute", Jan. 31, 1963
6. "Death Ship", Feb. 7, 1963
7. "Jess-Belle", Fe. 14, 1963
8. "Miniature", Feb. 21, 1963
9. "Printer's Devil", Feb. 28, 1963
10. "No Time Like The past", Mar. 7, 1963
11. "The Parallel", Mar. 14, 1963
12. "I Dream of Genie", Mar. 21, 1963
13. "The New Exhibit", April 4, 1963
14. "Of Late I Think Of Cliffordville", April 11, 1963
15. "The Incredible World of Horace Ford", April 18, 1963
16. "On Thursday We Leave For Home", May 2, 1963
17. "Passage on the Lady Anne", May 9, 1963
18. "The Bard", May 23, 1963

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