The Twilight Zone - The Complete Series

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday October 11, 2016

CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution have quite the treat for "Twilight Zone" fans this coming holiday season with an array of re-releases of the original classic series.

The slate of offerings include a Blu-ray release of "Fan Favorites" (19 episodes) as well as a re-release of the Blu-ray edition of the complete series. The DVD selections are more extensive, including re-releases of "Essential Episodes" set (17 episodes originally released as a "55th Anniversary Collection), "Fan Favorites" and "More Fan Favorites," "Classic TV Beginnings" (the fist ten episodes of the series), "Classic Christmas Episodes" (two of the original series' holiday offerings, including the Art Carney-starring "Night of the Meek"), and the "Definitive Edition" (as a complete series box set or five standalone season sets). For the completist, there's also the 41-disc limited Edition Box Set comprising the entire run of both the original series and the 1980s revival on DVD. (Super-completists will have to wait for the day the original series, the 1980s revival, and the short-lived 2002 revival are all available in one thoroughly comprehensive set... though by then there might be still more "Twilight Zone" out there, if rumors of a new "interactive" TV series come to fruition.)

There's also the subject of this review: "The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series," a 25-disc set on DVD that beings together all 156 episodes of the show's five-season run. This is essentially the 2006 "Definitive Collection," though stripped of extras.

The new reissue of the DVD set is packaged in a space-saving "Epik Pak" single case, and though the DVDs are a little hard to get off their spindles without undue flexion -- which you want to avoid, as flexion can cause the disc's plastic layers to separate, leading to corrosion of the inner digital data-bearing layer, which can eventually render discs unplayable -- it's a relief not to have bulky or unwieldy packaging to contend with.

If you've bought the complete series set on DVD or Blu-ray before, this set won't be for you; unlike the "Definitive Collection" release of the full series there are no special features (radio plays, audio interviews) on this collection. The set is a bare-bones edition of the episodes, which do not look to be the remastered versions: There's a fair amount of vital noise and the image is not as crisp and sharp as one might wish. (This being the DVD format, you wouldn't expect the Blu-ray set's gorgeous hi-def transfer, but still.). Even so, for the bargain-conscious collector (or gift giver) this is an exciting release, presenting all the episodes in their uncut glory (including Rod Serling's "next time on" teasers at the end of each episode, and the quaint CBS "aperture eye" logo).

The packaging offers an amusing extra feature of its own, though: In addition to a list of the contents of each disc, there are listings of select notable guest stars and which episodes they appear on.

"The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series"
DVD
$79.99

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.