As a hardcore “The Twilight Zone” fan who spent his but every new year in front of the television watching twenty four hours of Rod Serling’s iconic series, I have to say that season three of “The Twilight Zone” is among some of the best television ever produced. It’s also some of the most brilliant genre entries you’ll ever find. Let’s face it, there was never anything like “The Twilight Zone” and there never will be again. With stars like Carol Burnett, Cliff Robertson, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Redford, Charles Bronson, Elizabeth Montgomery, and Dean Stockwell appearing in some truly noteworthy installments, this is a season set absolutely worth owning.
The five disc set features one of my top ten episodes of all time “The Shelter” in which a group of friends at a party learn there is a bomb about to drop on the US. What were once a band of buddies become vicious violent enemies trying to fight for a place in their neighbor’s bomb shelter. It all leads to a wonderful ending that shows how deep down we’re all just cave men with fancy clothes. There’s “The Midnight Sun” another top ten spot earner, about Earth falling out of orbit now moving closer and closer to the sun. A young woman tries to cope with the heinous heat while fending off a desperate man trying to break in to her home to take the last of her water. The ending is brilliant and truly a twist worth talking about. “Little Girl Lost” is the episode that helped inspire “Poltergeist” about a little girl stuck in a dimension in her wall and her father’s journey to save her before it closes locking her inside forever.
“A Game of Pool” is a wonderful commentary about the difference between a hobby and an obsession when a talented young pool player is challenged to a game of pool by an undead pro for all the stakes. “To Serve Man” is one of the most iconic episodes of the series, featuring alien visitors that land on Earth requesting the company of human travelers to allow them to be served. As the aliens gain the human’s trusts and garner visitors, a young female cryptographer tries to uncover the meaning behind their mysterious book and what’s inside. The ultimate reveal is still a mind blower, and a wonderful finishing punch to the gut. Another of my top ten episodes is “Nothing in the Dark” about an elderly woman hiding out in her home avoiding the cold touch of death.
When a handsome young man (Robert Redford) appears at her door injured, she must lower her guard or else risk allowing him to die. It’s an incredible look at our grasp with mortality, and how horrifying death is to some of us. It posits the idea that maybe death really isn’t as terrifying as most of us envision it. Perhaps there’s a beauty to it. “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” is a remarkable character study about five people who awaken in dark hole, attempting to figure out how they got there. With explorations in to their personality, the ultimate ending is a brilliant twist and one that really thinks outside the box. That’s only the tip of the iceberg to this fine DVD release, offering up thirty seven excellent installments of “The Twilight Zone.” This is highly suggested for fans of the series.