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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 13 June 2011
This is surely one of the greatest television shows ever created. In 1959, Rod Serling began The Twilight Zone and took millions of viewers on a journey into the land of imagination, and never has a television show excited the imagination like this.

The first series is the show's finest and sees some superb and powerful episodes, such as the touching and emotional 'Walking Distance' in which a man returns to the days of his childhood, the humourous 'Escape Clause', in which a hypochondriac makes a deal with the devil, the gloomy and unnerving 'Judgment Night', and the masterpiece of encroaching fear that is 'And When The Sky Was Opened.'

The amazing thing about the Twilight Zone was its ability to play with mood and instill different emotions, such as the truly creepy 'The Hitch-Hiker', in which a woman travelling cross-country is confronted time and again by the same ominous figure on the roadside. 'Time Enough at Last' is a classically ironic episode showing Serling's writing at its best. Charles Beaumont's 'Perchance To Dream' is fabulous, as is Richard Matheson's intriguing 'The Last Flight'. The clever trickery of the stylish 'The Four of us Are Dying' shows just how far ahead of the times the show was.

Powerful episodes such as 'The Purple Testament' and 'The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street' are balanced with the fun 'A World of Difference' and 'The Fever', the truly terrifying 'Mirror Image' and 'The After Hours' are together with such sentimental episodes as 'A Stop At Willoughby' and 'A Passage For Trumpet'. Superb stuff.

At last The Twilight Zone comes to DVD properly - remastered and with Special Features, this sublime series finally gets the release it deserves. The Twilight Zone is timeless, clever, fun, evocative, thought-provoking, terrifying, funny, gloomy and touching. A true tribute to the genius of Rod Serling.
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on 2 March 2014
It all kicked off in 1959 with Season 1. The first season was a little confused with its title intros, which change a bit over the course of the season. And don't go expecting the infamous title music and the appearance of Rod Serling at the beginning of each episode. Both ideas didn't kick in until the second season.

Season 1 has its highs and averages- for there are no duds in this 36 episode pack. Even when you come across episodes that don't 'bring it' so to speak, the acting and dialogue more than makes up for it. On the production side you will be amazed. Ok so we're talking over 50 years ago- but no stone has been left unturned. The production, unit, locations and sets are absolutely top class. The Twilight Zone never feels like low budget and is of course off set by some of the finest actors of its age, not to mention writers and directors.

The series kicks off with Where Is Everybody? a bold attempt that doesn't quite work, though the DVD does include an alternative version. One For the Angels, is a great first example of the 'magic' of the show and is a treat. Mr Denton on Doomsday mixes a drunk with the wild west, topics that would be repeated on the show throughout its five seasons on air. The Sixteen Milimeter Shrine calls to most of us, with a message of nostaligia and a clear danger of not living in the present. Walking Distance is a much loved episode. Although Rod Serling refers to one scene as the scene that killed the episode- I agree with him, still a heartfelt story though.

Escape Clause is fair enough but has too many plot holes to be taken seriously. The first real classic of the show is The Lonely- about a man left millions of miles from Earth (known as jail) and with a female robot as company. This is followed up by the all time classic, Time Enough at Last starring Burgess Meredith as a man left alone after a nuclear missile destorys the Earth- but he has his books.....

Perchance to Dream is just incredible- very ahead of its time, with its twisted dream sequences. It's actually quite a dark, eerie and brooding episode with a bleak ending. Judgment Night doesn't really work, but And When the Sky Was Opened is a typical piece of classic Twilight Zone entertainment. What You Need and The Four of us Are Dying are both great episodes. Third From the Sun and I Shot An Arrow Into the Air have devilish twists that you won't see coming, both are very good. Then we have two back to back classics in The Hitchhiker and The Fever.

The Last Flight concerns the war, something again that Serling loved and would be repeated in later episodes, and to better effect. Both The Purple Testament and Elegy are competent pieces also. Mirror Image works well for the most part with swift direction. The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street is another famous episode, dealing with human paranoia and the evil human word and suggestion.

This debut season really is filled with classics and much promise. Though I didn't care too much for the following episodes: A World of Difference, The Big Tall Wish, Nightmare as a Child, Mr Beavis, The Mighty Casey and for me the worst episode on the season- A World of His Own. The episodes either played their card too early or struggled to fill up five mintues, let alone twenty three. A Nice Place to Visit, though predictable is a very good episode. Exection was done better later on, though passes the test. Long Live Walter Jameson is all about the acting and comes off very well. I was slightly let down by another infamous episode People Are Alike All Over, save from its final damning message, this seemed to plod along at an pedestrian rate holding little interest. A Stop at Willoughby will remind some of the earlier episode, Walking Distance. The Chaser seems like an episode that Tales From the Crypt modelled itself on. A Passage for Trumpet is memorable for Jack Klugman's performance but little else. And rounding off, The After Hours is another classic.

From its 36 episodes I found 10 to be classics, and enjoyed a further 14 episodes, which though not classics were very good and entertaining enough. 12 episodes didn't really hit the target for such a great show- however one cannot deny the quality in acting and dialogue.

All in all Season 1 very nearly is worth five stars, but misses out, four stars, and it's clear that even though Season 1 may not be the best season, the show had opened up with a bang and more importantly a statement.

Here are my TOP 10 episodes from Season 1:

1. Time Enough at Last
2. The Hitchhiker
3. Perchance to Dream
4. And When the Sky Was Opened
5. The Fever
6. What You Need
7. The After Hours
8. The Lonely
9. A Nice Place to Visit
10.The Four of us Are Dying
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I remember being a very young girl and staying up late (past two am) to catch re-runs of this when television only had four (count it, people, FOUR!) channels. Regardless of how young I was, the mystery and the edge of this series has remained with me.

It was shows like this that really paved the way for programmes such as X-Files and Fringe to come out and unlike any of the shows of today, The Twilight Zone boasted a numerous collection of short stories that did NOT connect with each other, nor involve a set main cast to follow from episode to episode. There is no 'will they won't they' romance to try to keep up with, no killing off favourite characters then replacing with unlikeable ones throwing you completely off and no ever evolving going nowhere making no sense story arc (that we know the writers are definitely writing on the sly from episode to episode with no idea of where they're going either).

For those of you who have never seen The Twilight Zone before, the premise is very simple. Each episode is a one-off short story, generally about the unknown which can cover as many topics as heaven and hell, ghosts, aliens, time travel, war, madness, etc. Each story is unique; sometimes there will be a twist at the end and sometimes the story is as straight as a road and lead you to where you expected it to lead.

It wasn't until more recently (after the re-release of these) that I learned some of these episodes were written or based on ideas by such noteable names as HP Lovecraft and Richard Matheson...and now knowing this, it should have been obvious why these stories are still so timeless and so extraordinary.

This box set is timeless, and it is definitely some very atmospheric and moody entertainment that you will be hard put to find anywhere else in this day and age.
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on 3 July 2013
As a long time fan of the classic twilight zone series I've found it difficult locating DVDs for them for a good price. This DVD Box set is perfect and well worth the money, it's region free so will play anywhere and each episode is of superb quality.
a must have for any sci-fi fan.
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on 12 June 2016
Exceptional acting and writing. The picture has been remastered and looks in great shape.

16 hours of quality television. A great deal of the horror element is psychological horror, people doubting their sanity, losing their identity, in many ways far more terrifying in reality than a zombie movie. The horror element is definitely there though and many of the episodes are really freaky. Inside the Twightzone weird supernatural things happen, there's no attempt to rationalize them, the emphasis is far more on why something is happening rather than how it is happening. Each episode usually has a specific theme and also a message. For instance in the episode Mr. Denton on Doomsday, a strange twist of fate causes two wild west gun slingers to injure their hands while joining. The wiser of the two realizes they are both lucky that they will never again be able to draw their guns and likely die as the result. The themes are deep and poignant, loneliness, alienation, denial, addiction, self destructive behavior, alien abduction, atomic war...
One of the primary strengths of the series is that each episode features a very small cast and each story is unique and different to the others.

One of my favourites I recommend watching first is 'And When the Sky Was Opened' which tells the story of 3 astronauts who have a lucky escape and return to earth. One by one the each have a feeling creeping up on them that they shouldn't have made it and that they no longer belong. As they start to disappear what is truly frightening is that each of their entire existence is erased from memory. The episode makes a powerful point that so much of what we need to stay sane depends on our perception of reality and our reliance on our memories being accurate and correct.

Another highlight for me was 'The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine' which largely avoids supernatural elements in favour of working in practical elements. The centre of the story is a washed up actress from the 1930s era of Hollywood now living in the 1950s but unable to move on with her life and accept the fact she has aged.

The most personal and poignant episode is 'Walking distance' about a 36 year old business man stressed and fed up with modern life. He yearns to return to his youthful home to walk in the park and listen to the band music. His request is instantly granted and he finds himself back in the 1930s wandering his childhood neighbourhood. Jubliation turns to sorrow as days turns to night. His parents of course do not recongise him and his clumsy attempts to warn his younger self to enjoy this time only make things worse. The score and black and white cinematography are gorgeous during this episode, the use of lighting and dutch angles help emphasis the distortion and isolation. At the end our protagonist has a heart to heart talk with his father, as a viewer it's sad to see the father's melchony at discovering how unhappy an adult his son has grown up to be. The tone is emotional as the father informs his son that we only get one chance in life and we can't live in the past forever, he urges him to look forwards instead. Returning back to the 1950s our character drives off to an uncertain future. The episode is a powerful warning against the dangers of nostalgia and trying to recapture the former gloery of our youth, to return to how we remember things used to be.
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on 3 April 2013
Looking these old shows you realize how our world has changed. In a time with limited technical resources, talent and imagination were the most important.

Those short stories hook you from the beginning without CGI or any kind of visual effects. Just good tales well explained. Even the need to work in Black & White is well exploited adding a kind of surreal ambient that becomes more an advantage than a limitation.
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on 13 January 2014
Some of these episodes were remembered from seeing them on British TV years ago, while others were new to us. They're each entertaining in their own way, and the video quality is excellent.

At first we had trouble playing it but an internet search gave us the answer: we'd set the DVD recorder to record timed TV programmes and needed to delete all future recording requests before the DVD would play, because of the difference in formats. I hadn't come across that problem before, but at least it had an easy answer.

We've been whiling away stormy winter evenings by watching each DVD in one go: the episodes are only about 20 minutes long and it's easy going.

I got this for my spouse for Christmas, and we like it enough to order the other series later.
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This is a classic and incredibly excellent, television series. It truly is a fabulous example of how a TV series should be made. This first black and white series was created over fifty years ago in 1959 and it is slightly dated, but it is also a master class of a production. The series is still entertaining today.
The Twilight Zone was a labour of love for one man, Rod Serling.
An Emmy award winning playwright, Serling not only created and produced the series, he also wrote most of the stories. He also appeared on screen as host and narrator. He created an original idea of half hour stories each with a curious and sometimes shocking twist of a conclusion. The stories offer a mixture of reality and illusion. There are intriguing ideas and concepts. Some offer a moral message. Some are subtle human parables. Some are spooky. The fact that the show was made in black and white should not put you off because in a way the black and white format helps to give it a spooky or sinister edge.
Each episode is long enough at half an hour to gain your interest and yet not over long that it becomes a chore to watch.
The production is outstanding for its time. There are very little special effects but it does not need them. The production stands up without them. This show is a classic example of just how far ahead the Americans were in terms of production values. Their experience of TV programme making shines through. Admittedly it was financially hard for British TV companies to produce a programme of this standard, and admittedly there were excellent British programmes in their own right. But there were far more American shows of this standard by 1959.
The production is tight with some large studio sets both indoors and outdoors. There are frequent scene changes and no time wasting.
Each episode begins with the same narration introduction by Serling. He says, "There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition. And it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge.
This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone"

There is a host of stars of the era including Roddy McDowall and Buster Meredith. There are some excellent stories and the whole series is very enjoyable. There are plenty of episodes to work through and I highly recommend this complete DVD set of the first series of a classic show.
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on 30 December 2016
An American classic TV show from the 1960's. I have always been a fan of Rod Serling's work and I am delighted to see the whole season contained in this box set. Each self contained episode ranges from lighthearted comedy, to the darker, more disturbing side of the supernatural. This is a must-have for any fans of the genre
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on 28 September 2016
Great series, I remember looking at these when I was a kid and they are even better now, old but amazing,
there is a story, no cursing, just good acting and a good story, the modern film makers could learn a lot,
instead of bad language and explosions there are people speaking good English. These Twilight Zones
are so much better than most of the programmes on TV nowadays. I know I sound like a proper prude
but there are many that agree with me.
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