Disc News: Twilight Zone‘s Last Two Seasons Up Ahead

Anthology TV series seem to be a hit or miss proposition as far as quality goes. There are dozens of them that have lost their luster over the decades. Show that might have had a few key performances, but aren’t worth the effort of running in the night owl slots on digital substations. One anthology show has never had an issue with remaining on the air is The Twilight Zone. Thanks to quality writing and performance, the series continues to be beloved by generations of TV viewers. The Twilight Zone has always dazzled since it began airing in 1959. Host Rod Serling remains a TV icon thanks to endless reruns. The Twilight Zone: The Complete Fourth Season is slated to be released on August 6 with The Twilight Zone: The Complete Fifth Season following on September 3. Both boxsets are just the episodes without any bonus features.

The fourth season was a major change from the first three. After the third season, The Twilight Zone had lost its sponsor. The scramble to find a new corporation for the advertising minutes, led it to be bumped from the fall schedule. The new season wouldn’t start January 3, 1963. The delay really changed things in the production since CBS wanted the half hour series to fill an hour slot. They didn’t want two half hour Twilight Zones so Serling and his main writing crew of Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont expanded the scripts. Because of the hour long length, season four episode aren’t normally run as part of the syndication package. These episodes might be rather new to a casual viewer. The guest stars on the 18 episodes include Bill Bixby, Burgess Meredith, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Jack Klugman, Jack Weston, James Best, Ann Jillian, Anne Francis, James Whitmore, Martin Balsam and Robert Duvall.

Pre-order the fourth season at Amazon.com.

The fifth season had the show return to the 30 minute format. The pacing is back to the original three seasons. All you need to know is that this is the season that gave us William Shatner in “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” The stars of the 36 episodes include Jack Klugman, Jackie Cooper, James Coburn, Lee Marvin, Martin Landau, Mickey Rooney, Shelley Fabares, Telly Savalas and George Takei. This would also be the last season of the show before it was revived in the ’80s.

Pre-order the fifth season at Amazon.com.

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