The Twilight Zone – Season 3 Disc 1 Review

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The Twilight Zone

The Complete Definitive Collection

Season 3

“You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop…the Twilight Zone.”

Disc 1

#66Two

Season 3 Episode 1

Original Air Date: September 15, 1961

Writer: Montgomery Pittman

Guest Stars: Elizabeth Montgomery, Charles Bronson

Synopsis: Two soldiers survive a nuclear war. One is male, the other female. They fought on opposite sides, and are now the only people alive.

Impressions: A love story in The Twilight Zone. I can deal with this one, in fact I like it. This episode is a two person play fitting an unlikely Adam and Eve together by chance. They have no garden. Instead their setting is an urban jungle of decay and destruction. It’s great start for the new season.

Rating: 4/5

 

#67The Arrival

Season 3 Episode 2

Original Air Date: September 22, 1961

Writer: Rod Serling

Guest Stars: Harold J. Stone, Fredd Wayne (2nd of 2 appearances), Noah Keen (1st of 2 appearances)

Synopsis: A plane lands at an airport following standard procedure. The plane happens to be empty. FAA investigator Grant Sheckly is brought in to solve this mystery.

Impressions: This is a mystery, both in subject matter and conclusion. This falls under the psychological thriller banner. I think. I liked the episode, but I’m not sure I understand the ending. Not that there wasn’t a twist. We had one. As I said I enjoyed this episode. I just can’t wrap my mind around it. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be, or it could just be me.

Rating: 3/5

 

#68The Shelter

Season 3 Episode 3

Original Air Date: September 29, 1961

Writer: Rod Serling

Guest Stars: Larry Gates, Jack Albertson (1st of 2 appearances)

Synopsis: Friends and neighbors turn on each other with the threat of a UFO attack.

Impressions: This episode has the same theme as The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street from the first season. It’s science fiction, but not science fiction. This is more of an observation and study on human behavior. A look at how humans act and react in the face of terror while trying to survive. Like Monsters, the theme is a moral outlook on human psychology, and lies underneath the story. A subtle, true look at the human psyche.

Rating: 5/5

 

#69The Passersby

Season 3 Episode 4

Original Air Date: October 6, 1961

Writer: Rod Serling

Guest Star: Joanne Linville

Synopsis: A Confederate widow and Confederate soldier realize everyone walking down a road in front of her home is dead.

Impressions: In a sense this another love story. I’ve always been into Civil War stuff. I like this episode for the setting and the subject matter. It’s not a bad episode, better than average. There is a twist at the end. Rod Serling did a fine job of writing. He builds the story a piece at a time, making you think without spoiling the ending.

Rating: 4/5

 

#70A Game of Pool

Season 3 Episode 5

Original Air Date: October 13, 1961

Writer: George Clayton Johnson

Guest Stars: Jack Klugman (2nd of 4 appearances), Jonathan Winters

Synopsis: Jesse Cardiff asks for and receives a game of pool against the legendary Fats Brown. Fats is dead, and Jesse is too if he loses.

Impressions: I’ve seen this episode a few times before. Each time I’ve enjoyed it. This is another two person play, and the actors make it better than it could have been. The story is well written, and would work as a radio drama or in print. Watching two guys play pool might not be exciting, but the facials and body posture are subtleties that add to the viewing.

Rating: 4/5

 

#71The Mirror

Season 3 Episode 6

Original Air Date: October 20, 1961

Writer: Rod Serling

Guest Star: Peter Falk

Synopsis: Ramos Clemente, a poor Central American farm worker, leads a revolution against a tyrant.

Impressions: This is Cold War propaganda, completely undisguised. Rod is honest about it, in fact he admits it in the closing. It’s anti-Cuba, anti-Castro, anti-communism. Perhaps this is what people wanted, or needed to see in 1961, but not in 2015. Not one thing in this episode resembles anything from The Twilight Zone. The first poor showing of the new season.

Rating: 1/5

 

#72The Grave

Season 3 Episode 7

Original Air Date: October 27, 1961

Writer: Montgomery Pittman

Guest Stars: Lee Marvin (1st of 2 appearances), James Best (1st of 3 appearances)

Synopsis: Pinto Sykes dying words is a warning for bounty hunter Conny Miller. If Miller sets foot on his grave, Sykes will reach out and grab him.

Impressions: I love a western. This an above average episode. The ending is the best part. You think you might know it. You can guess at it. Then the twist comes right before the credits roll.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

#73It’s a Good Life

Season 3 Episode 8

Original Air Date: November 3, 1961

Writer: Teleplay by Rod Serling, based on a short story by Jerome Bixby.

Guest Stars: John Larch (3rd of 3 appearances), Cloris Leachman, Don Keefer (1st of 3 appearances), Billy Mumy (2nd of 3 appearances)

Synopsis: Meet young Anthony Fremont. He’s a six year old boy from Peaksville, Ohio who can read minds.

Impressions: In 1997 this was rated #31 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. This is one of those “iconic” episodes. The short story comes recommended as well. There is one scene near the end that has the perfect image to sum up all that is good, and should be in The Twilight Zone. It’s a good episode. A really good episode.

Rating: 5/5

Twelve discs down, 16 more to go. What did we get? Seven out of eight being a 3/5 or better is a disc I’ll take any day. When it has episodes like this where five out of the eight 4/5 or better, let’s say it was a joy to watch. I can’t wait to start on the next disc and see what awaits. If the first disc is this good, I hope the rest of the season is just as good. I don’t see how the quality could lower, but it might. I don’t think it will. This disc has the appearance of a series that is entering its prime. Of these eight episodes, which one is your favorite?

Copyright © Drew Martin 2015

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