Never mind that you can see the show every day on the Sci-Fi Channel. The Twilight Zone‘s arrival on DVD is still cause for cultists to celebrate — not just because the digital remastering makes the series look better than ever, but because the episodes themselves are an event. At least they are in the first of several scheduled volumes, Treasures of The Twilight Zone, which boasts a couple of shows that you haven’t been able to see every day.
Fittingly, the first disc begins with Rod Serling’s premiere ”Where Is Everybody?” an eerie study in human isolation starring Earl Holliman as an amnesiac U.S. Air Force officer wandering through a deserted town, an episode not seen in nearly 40 years. The other two episodes, however, have rarely aired since they were shown during Zone‘s final season. ”The Encounter” is a coiled psychodrama about a bigoted WWII vet (Neville Brand) and an angry Japanese American (Star Trek‘s George Takei) who get locked in an attic together, while the haunting ”An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” based on the Ambrose Bierce story, is one of the series’ most unique installments. Tracking a Confederate spy (Roger Jacquet) who survives a Yankee lynching (or so he thinks), this nearly silent French film is the only Twilight Zone episode not produced in-house.
Though it lacks such rarities, volume 2, More Treasures of The Twilight Zone, draws from the vault of all-time faves, including ”The Eye of the Beholder,” in which a woman swathed in facial bandages awaits the results of one last surgical attempt to alter her hideousness, and its thematic inverse, ”The Masks,” about greedy relatives forced by their wealthy, dying patriarch to wear masks that reflect their inner ugliness. To tweak the appeal of these oft-seen segments, the DVD offers the customary extras. Some, like the scrolling commentary by Twilight Zone Companion author Marc Scott Zicree, are extraneous; others, like a 1959 Mike Wallace interview with Serling, truly are treasures. Watching Serling discuss his hopes for his new series is like witnessing the very genesis of The Twilight Zone. The series: A The extras: B