The Twilight Zone

Small Screen Specials, Series and Direct-To-Video
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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by ShyViolet » August 31st, 2020, 5:11 pm

Random question: Why wasn’t Season 4 of the Serling version (the hour-long eps) made available on Netflix/Hulu/iTunes etc...Has it ever been available on DVD? What about CBS: AA?

Also, I know they used to show it many years ago during the yearly marathons. I‘ve watched a few (“He’s Alive!” and “Miniature”) and thought they were ok, though not mind-blowing. Was it a legal thing? I’m just curious.
Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

I think so, Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, wouldn’t we sort of look like weasels?

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by EricJ » August 31st, 2020, 7:00 pm

ShyViolet wrote:
August 31st, 2020, 5:11 pm
Random question: Why wasn’t Season 4 of the Serling version (the hour-long eps) made available on Netflix/Hulu/iTunes etc...Has it ever been available on DVD? What about CBS: AA?
Likely because they fell out of Viacom/CBS's half-hour syndication packages, as the syndie reruns couldn't be cut up like the Carol Burnett Show.
It's available on DVD/Blu (S4 may be out of print, but it's part of the Complete Series), at one point, when I watched it, was streaming on Hulu, and dear gods, it's awful.

Okay, the dramatic Serling episodes, "He's Alive", "Death Ship" and "On Thursday We Leave For Home" are classic Serling, and Earl Hamner's "Jess-Belle" proved he was only good at the backwoods episodes--
But the others are either messes that would still be lame at a half hour ("The Thirty-Fathom Grave", "The Parallel"), horribly unfunny comic episodes ("The Bard", "I Dream of Genie"), ramble for an hour without any trace of a point ("Passage on the Lady Anne", "No Time Like The Past") or give us protagonists ("The New Exhibit", "The Incredible World of Horace Ford") who are utter, pathetic, unidentifiable, irredeemable losers.
(Qv. Robert Duvall's character in "Miniature", who was just scripted to be a poor picked-on working shlub, but he took the "Mental hospital" plot point too seriously, and ruined the story by playing him like Norman Bates.)

Even Serling reportedly came back to his producer humorously on bended knee saying "I've just killed the Twilight Zone!", and repaired his shark-jump with the fifth season.
But then he wanted to turn the sixth season into "Night Gallery", so it's good they got out when they did.

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by ShyViolet » September 1st, 2020, 8:05 am

Thanks! :). That’s pretty interesting. And yeah thank God Rod went back to the half-hour ones for S5. (Although I thought “He’s Alive!” was kind of tedious and predictable, I still thought it was well-done as kind of a “mini-movie.” Dennis Hopper was quite good.)
Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

I think so, Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, wouldn’t we sort of look like weasels?

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by Daniel » September 2nd, 2020, 3:26 pm

Basically, they were forced to make it an hour long which ruined the rhythm of the show. Zone was canceled after season 3 to free up airtime for an hour long comedy called "Fair Exchange", starring Judy Carne. It turned out to be a dud so was pulled from the lineup leaving around 18 hours that needed to be filled, ergo they called Serling and the show returned as a mid-season replacement.

I would say about half of them are rewatchable and contain some of my favorites. "Miniature" probably ranking the highest.

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by ShyViolet » September 3rd, 2020, 9:37 am

Ah. That’s certainly interesting to know. And that’s very true about interfering with the rhythm of the show. (Which was always like a one-act play, especially with eps like “It’s a good life”, “The Dummy”, and “To Serve Man”.)

Episodes like “He’s alive!” were less like a one-act play and much more like a “chapter” in an ongoing dramatic series that was too long to be a Zone but too short to be an actual film. Basically a hybrid that just didn’t “fit” this kind of a series.

Kinda makes you wonder why the new series decided to go for that. :? Maybe because practically every TV/Streaming series in the last 20 years has been an hour long. (Serial format of one ongoing story throughout a season; basically the opposite of what Zone was intended to be.)
Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

I think so, Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, wouldn’t we sort of look like weasels?

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by Daniel » September 3rd, 2020, 2:43 pm

Different times. TV formats are different, audiences are different. The length actually varies, not every episode of the reboot is an hour. The second episode of the first season for example, "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet", clocks in at 37 minutes.

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by Ben » September 3rd, 2020, 4:37 pm

Still an hour with commercials, or at least it was here, so it still felt flabby. And odd!

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by Daniel » September 3rd, 2020, 5:27 pm

Probably, as I don't remember many commercials on the actual All Access site.

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by Randall » September 5th, 2020, 9:22 am

80s Zone was an hour, too, but then they had multiple (2 or even 3) stories per episode. Obviously, they had mixed success.

I haven't watched much of Season 4 yet, but do like Jess Belle, as I recall. Hour-long episodes can certainly work - no reason why they can't, really, if the story is right for it - but they definitely have a different feel/rhythm.

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by Ben » September 5th, 2020, 3:43 pm

The 80s Zone we got here were standard 22 min eps for a half hour slot...?

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by Randall » September 5th, 2020, 7:04 pm

That's how the first season was later chopped down and syndicated. Of the three seasons, the first originaly aired one-hour episodes, while the last two seasons were half-hours.

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by ShyViolet » September 8th, 2020, 5:20 am

Very rare, vintage footage from behind-the-scenes of the ‘83 Zone film. (Promo from before film was released.) Wisely, they don’t spend much time discussing the first segment (three deaths occurred, won’t get into it here).

But there’s GREAT footage from the making of Spielberg, Dante’s and Miller’s segments. Spielberg’s Kick the Can has some positive qualities—I thought the kids acted well. And Scatman was awesome! The only thing I hated was the paint-by-the numbers story of that neglected grandfather character who misses his chance to be young again but then recovers by playing said title on the Rest Home’s front lawn. :roll:

Dante’s is hands-down my favorite, even with that fake ending. So scary. Miller’s plane story is ok, but I always thought it was a bit overrated. Much more funny than scary. I loved the little girl saying: “You big silly! You used to be a normal person!” :P


https://youtu.be/cS3EMDP5l6o


(And oh my God....anyone who thinks practical effects were never scary obviously hasn’t seen that killer rabbit from hell pop out of that magician’s hat....! :shock:)
Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

I think so, Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, wouldn’t we sort of look like weasels?

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by Ben » September 8th, 2020, 5:24 am

Do you want to see something *really* scary...? ;)

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by ShyViolet » September 8th, 2020, 5:43 am

The “National Geographic” song was the best part of that opening. :). “Look at those two apes, this must be where they lived!”
Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

I think so, Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, wouldn’t we sort of look like weasels?

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Re: The Twilight Zone

Post by EricJ » September 8th, 2020, 6:36 am

ShyViolet wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 5:43 am
The “National Geographic” song was the best part of that opening. :). “Look at those two apes, this must be where they lived!”
It was a perfect-storm (rise of cable, new channels needing syndie programming, the rise of 50's Boomer nostalgia, Nickelodeon spinning off Nick at Nite and marketing TV-nostalgia humor), but I submit that the "TV theme" scene in the TZ Movie, like the movie itself, may have been the very shot-heard-round-the-world BEGINNING of the early Mid-80's Rerun Renaissance.
("But didn't the mid-80's Boomer craze start with 'The Big Chill'?" That was five months later.)

It was rare that you heard anyone even joke about TV themes before then, let alone TZ's, and the late 70's had just shrugged off classic reruns as local-station filler.
Apart from some Star Trek fandom, it just didn't occur to us to analyze The Brady Bunch or Gilligan's Island as cultural relics.

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