Wednesday, May 4, 2011

TZ News Flash: Twilight Zone Season Five Blu-ray Announced!

The fifth and final season of The Twilight Zone has just been announced for release on blu-ray. It's coming August 30. Here's the scoop, shamelessly copied from Image Entertainment's website:

Synopsis: All 36 episodes of the fifth and final 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!


• 20 New Audio Commentaries, featuring The Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, author/film historian Gary Gerani (Fantastic Television), Twilight Zone directors Ted Post, Richard Donner and Robert Butler, writer Earl Hamner, actors George Takei and Peter Mark Richman, author/historian Martin Grams, Jr. (The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic), authors/historians Jim Benson and Scott Skelton (Rod Serling's Night Gallery: An After Hours Tour), author Bill Warren (Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties), writer Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Coraline), writer/director Michael Nankin (Battlestar Galactica, CSI) and radio host George Noory (Coast to Coast AM).

• Conversations with Rod Serling

• Vintage Audio Interview with director of photography George T. Clemens

• 22 Radio Dramas featuring Louis Gossett, Jr., Adam Baldwin, Peter Mark Richman, Beverly Garland, Adam West, Bill Erwin, Luke Perry, Mariette Hartley, Ed Begley, Jr., Kate Jackson, Mike Starr, Stan Freberg, Jason Alexander, Jane Seymour, James Keach and Karen Black


• Audio Commentaries by Bill Mumy (In Praise of Pip), Mickey Rooney (The Last Night of a Jockey), June Foray (Living Doll), Mariette Hartley (The Long Morrow), Marc Scott Zicree (Number 12 Looks Just Like You), Alan Sues (The Masks) and Martin Landau (The Jeopardy Room)

• Video Interviews with Richard Matheson, George Clayton Johnson, Earl Hamner, Bill Mumy, June Foray, Carolyn Kearney, Michael Forest, Nancy Malone and Terry Becker

• Isolated Music Scores featuring the legendary Bernard Herrmann, Van Cleave and Rene Garriguenc

The Mike Wallace Interview (September 1959)

• Netherlands Sales Pitch

• Excerpt from Rod Serling's Sherwood Oaks Experimental College Lecture

• Alfred Hitchcock Promo

• Rare George Clayton Johnson Home Movies

• Rod Serling Promos for "Next Week's" Show

Twilight Zone Season 5 Billboards

• And much more!

Initial thoughts:

OH MY GOD, they carried over the Mickey Rooney commentary track from the DVD set. If you haven't heard it.... well, you're in for a bizarre and uncomfortable experience.

The blu-ray editions of seasons 1 and 2 feature isolated music tracks for most of the episodes. Seasons 3 and 4, meanwhile, feature isolated music tracks for EVERY episode (in fact, their respective press releases make a point of mentioning this). For season five... well, we don't know, do we? It's pretty vague this time around. The Definitive Edition DVD release of season 5 had a paltry 10 isolated scores (out of 36 episodes), so color me concerned. I'll continue to hope that the scores NOT offered last time (the five originals in particular, which include two by Nathan Van Cleave) won't be MIA.

The Definitive Edition DVD set for season five featured an awesome bonus disc ---- Submitted for Your Approval, the feature-length American Masters documentary on Rod Serling. It isn't mentioned anywhere in the blu-ray press release, so until we're told otherwise, we should probably assume it's NOT included.... which is a real shame. Maybe Image couldn't get their hands on a high-definition master, I dunno. I'd argue that it should still be included regardless, even in standard definition. It's a really great documentary.

The color scheme this time is yellow. Or is it gold? Brown? Sepia? In any case, it's better than season 4's ridiculous purple. I'm a bit disappointed that they went with the door for the graphic icon. I was hoping for the eyeball...

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