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4.1 out of 5 stars38
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 8 November 2006
Night Gallery was creator Rod Serling's follow up to The Twilight Zone. Set in a shadowy museum, Serling would introduce each episode stood in front of a collection of dark, disturbing portraits which related to the stories that followed. Whilst The Twilight Zone dealt mainly with science fiction, Night Gallery saw Serling's unique vision focus upon tales of horror and suspense.

Included in this set is the original pilot featuring three stories starring, amongst others, Roddy McDowall, Joan Crawford and Tom Bosley. There then follows the complete first season (six episodes) and a bonus episode from both season 2 and 3. All in all you get twenty three stories ranging from the wonderful, Serling-scripted, 'They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar', to fillers such as the vampire spoof 'A Matter of Semantics'.

The cast list reads like a who's who of seventies television stars. Larry Hagman, Burgess Meredith, Diane Keaton, Bill Bixby, Al Lewis, John Carradine and the immortal Vincent Price are just a few of the familiar faces that feature. Two of the stories are directed by a young Steven Spielberg.

The picture and sound quality have both been restored to a very high standard. The only criticism I have is, like so many Universal Studio re-issues, the lack of any special features. Would it have been too much trouble to include interviews or commentaries with cast members and/or production staff?

Fans of Rod Serling and classic horror in general should thoroughly enjoy this collection. Whilst not of the same consistent high standard of The Twilight Zone, the majority of episodes are extremely entertaining and definitely worthy of repeated viewings.
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on 19 August 2008
In 1969, 4 years after the final episode of The Twilight Zone was broadcast, the pilot episode of Night Gallery was shown.

Those expecting a show with the same sort of ideas and style as The Twilight Zone will be surprised. Night Gallery has had a bad rap over the years, and it is perhaps something of a shame that it doesn't always get the recognition it deserves.

Let's be honest right from the start: Night Gallery doesn't have the beautiful production and gloss that coated the earlier series. It lack's Twilight Zone's solid production and emotional punch (for the most part), and, in my eyes at least, will always be the inferior of the two. However, there are things that Night Gallery does very well. The scope of imagination is still there, although this time less about social commentary and concentrating more on scares, frights and concepts. At it's best, it utilises the colour medium extremely well and the stamp of early-70's experimental music is all over it. It also has a very different structure from The Twilight Zone. It can tell 2/3/4 stories in an hour episode and this allows the production team to experiment with different narrative styles.

This DVD features the pilot episode and the 6 episodes of season 1. Of all the episodes here, the pilot feels the best rounded. The 1st of the 3 tales here, 'The Cemetery,' is perhaps the least interesting of the 3 but is still riveting and features various horrific twists and turns. The ending, in particular, is brilliantly chilling. The 2nd segment, 'Eyes,' marks Steven Spielberg's directorial debut and is a brilliant piece of television. Dynamic, intriguing and thought provoking, this is Rod Serling at his best. The 3rd and final segment does not disappoint. 'The Escape Route' stars Richard Kiley as a Nazi War criminal on the run in late-60's Buenos Aries. It is fast-paced and intelligently written, with maturity not usually present in modern television.

After the pilot, things get slightly more hit-and-miss, but even the worst segments are entertaining. Particularly good from the series proper are 'The Dead Man,' about a physician's attempts to hypnotise his patient (with horrific results), 'Room With A View,' a 10 minute piece that is brilliant in its simplicity, 'The Little Black Bag,' which features Burgess Meredith as a down-and-out doctor that discovers a medical bag from the future, 'Certain Shadows on the Wall,' in which an avaricious family become cursed by a recent death, and 'The Doll,' an extremely creepy tale about a strange doll that terrifies a British colonial officer. But the undoubted highlight of the season is Rod Serling's superb 'They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar.' A beautiful, haunting, autumnal story, it represents Serling at his most powerful and masterful and features a truly mesmerising performance from William Windom as Randolph Lane.

Also included here is 1 episode of season 2 and 2 episodes of season 3. I'll go into detail about these more as and when the final 2 seasons are released, but the standout tale here is 'The Diary.'

Don't watch this series expecting the Twilight Zone. Although you will get faint glimmers, this is pretty much a full-blooded horror anthology show done well, and that's a rarity. For any fans of Rod Serling and anyone that appreciates good, intelligent horror, I highly recommend this. Roll on seasons 2 and 3.

Watch it late at night, turn the lights off, light a candle... and shiver.
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on 26 January 2012
Anyone who enjoys watching a series of short horror stories should definitely add this title to their collection. There are some classic spooky episodes in here, including The Cemetery (a particular fave of mine), where a painting keeps changing to show a buried character rising from the grave. I guess this series may look rather dated now to younger viewers, but the show definitely has atmosphere and is worth watching.
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on 6 February 2010
THE NIGHT GALLERY is most definitely NOT the Twilight Zone. Instead, find herein up to three stories per episode. The quality is uneven; some shine, some do not. But if you love '70s television, and you enjoy horror, then this colection is for you.
Season One contains several standout episodes. "Eyes", Steven Spielberg's directorial debut, and what a debut. It also contains Joan Crawford in possibly her last screen role.
Stars abound in The Night Gallery. Roddy McDowell at his snivelling best in "The Cemetery", Burgess Meredith as a tramp who discovers a magical doctor's case in "Little Black Bag", Ceasar Romero as a very jovial vampire in "Matter of Semantics", Bill Bixby and Vincent Price in "Return of the Sorceror".
Stories are written by Serling, Richard Matheson and Clarke Ashton Smith among others. Some episodes are compelling ("They're Tearing Down Riley's Bar", "The House"), some whimsical ("Professor Peabody's Last Lecture"), some genuinely chilling ("The Doll" and "Diary"). But all are worth a look - even the extremely short "Big Surprise".
If you want polished pieces of fantasy, go back to the Twilight Zone - but if you want to experiment, surrounded by famous faces of the 1970s, then take a stroll down the Night Gallery. You never know what you'll see...
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on 18 May 2015
Brilliant series, just wished seasion 2 & 3 where region 2 as I live in England just don't understand why seasion 1 is region 2 and the other 2 are region 1 witch means I can not complete my collection shame.
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This DVD box set of the first series of Night Gallery is interesting. There are some reasonable ideas in the plots.
After the success of the original Twilight Zone series, Rod Serling came up with this series in 1970. It is ok but just not as good as the Twilight Zone.
Serling introduces the tales from a sort of art gallery. He unveils a painting associated with each story. Some stories are by Serling himself and others are adaptations of ideas from established works. The pilot episode is produced by Steven Spielberg. And the series stars people like Joan Crawford and Roddy Mcdowall
Generally the series is worth looking at but not great. I felt that it was lacking something and it could have been so much better. I also found the DVD menu a bit messy.
If you like stories with a bit of a twist, or stories that are a novelty and easy to follow then this series can offer some entertainment..
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on 26 November 2014
I think Night Gallery is a brilliant horror series. Some great stories with excellent plot twists. Nice to see some big-name actors like Vincent Price, Roddy McDowall, Joanne Petit etc. guest starring too.
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on 24 January 2016
This has some good stories and some that bored me - but that's because our ideas of what scares us differ. I loved 'Eyes', 'The House' and 'Little Black Bag' but felt I was just marking time till the next story while watching 'The Nature of the Enemy' because I perfer psychological spooking to sci fi. The biggest disappointment for me was the one starring VIncent Price, which is a pity because he's brilliant - the story let him down. Not quite a five star collection but well worth a look. And - trying hard to avoid a spoiler here - did anybody else watch 'Little Black Bag' and think 'They're not really going to show him doing that, are they?'
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on 21 December 2014
This was a great series once and one of the better American imports! I watched all the discs and was disappointed when I came to the last one. There should be more like this!.
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on 31 December 2015
This is an absolutely fantastic price for a DVD BOX SET of this quality AND standards. Three discs with all of the first seasons episodes. If unlike me you have never heard of this show, I can let you in on a little secret, it is similar to The Outer Limits? Remember that? NO ???
Well if I say "The Twilight Zone" ??? Ah ha! YES! It's by the man who did those, its really like an old fashioned Tales Of The Unexpected, except with more Hollywood galmour.
Featuring some unmistakeable stars as Joan Crawford and Larry Hagman and others.
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