The Twilight Zone: Season 1


The Twilight Zone: Season 1 does a spectacular job of demonstrating why this 50-year old TV series had such a lasting impression on all who watched it. Hosted by creator Rod Serling, this half-hour sci-fi anthology series lived up to its promise of transporting its adult viewers to ‘a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man… This is the dimension of imagination’, one where anything could happen and usually did. What stands out today (about from how well made the show was) is how marvellously subversive it all was, mixing its thrills and chills with liberal doses of social criticism that somehow bypassed the TV censors of the time.

Picture: Wow! I had some pretty high hopes after first hearing that the production team had gone back to the original 35mm camera negatives for this Blu-ray release, but they don’t even come close to what has been delivered. The restored 1.33:1 black and white episodes look absolutely spectacular in 1080p, better than some movies of the same vintage that have also made the jump to Blu-ray. There’s a sharpness and clarity to the image that simply hasn’t been seen before – and importantly it’s not down to digital manipulation in the form of edge enhancement or DNR scrubbing. There are some minor issues across the 36 episodes (some compression artefacting here, a little banding there), but it’s hard to imagine that this release will ever be topped.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: The show’s audio has also received a bit of spit and polish for this hi-def release, resulting in a lovingly restored uncompressed LPCM mono track for each episode. Okay, so it’s not really going to stretch your speaker setup, but given the limitations of the source material it sounds absolutely gorgeous, pleasingly textured and crystal clear, not to mention completely free from tape hiss and other distortion.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: This five-disc Blu-ray set is packed to the rafters with bonus features that will keep you going long after you’ve exhausted the 36 episodes of the show itself. 19 of the episodes feature audio commentaries (sometimes more than one – many new to this release), while all but two also feature DD2.0 dual mono isolated scores. There’s the original ‘unofficial’ 54min pilot for the series, The Time Element, the original unaired version of the official pilot episode Where is Everybody, radio dramas, Rod Serling promos, audio-only lectures from Serling that work as additional commentaries for four episodes, extensive interviews, Emmy Awards footage, vintage sponsor ads and more.
Extras rating: 5/5

We say: Enter the fifth dimension of hi-def entertainment with this stunning release.

Fremantle, All-region BD, £50 approx, On sale now