2 August 1999 | Marta
A fantastic series that CBS deliberately threw away
I'm a big fan of the original Twilight Zone, and just as big a fan of this reworking of the 1960's anthology series. My family was thrilled in 1985 that the series had been resurrected. We watched it faithfully every week, no matter what strange day or time slot CBS moved it to and they moved it around to a new time slot each and every week it seemed. It was not a retread of the original show but an updated, modern incarnation that stood on its own. It featured amazing shows which were adaptations of short stories by acclaimed writers.
In the wasteland of 80's TV it stood out for its ingenuity and originality. Alan Brennert's "Her Pilgrim Soul" was, for me, the single best episode produced for weekly series TV since the original went off the air. For my husband it was "Profiles in Silver", a "what if?" for JFK fans. "Nightcrawlers" was a true imaginative nightmare that no one forgot once they watched it. "A Message from Charity" is the second favorite episode for most of the people I talk to. But with the network moving the show around to different days it became hard to find in the listings, and people gradually stopped looking for it because it was too difficult to keep track of. In short, CBS never gave this series the chance it deserved, and it sank into oblivion where the final insult was badly butchered episodes thrown into a syndication package. But despite this the series refused to fade away in fans' memories.
Finally, the first two seasons and the syndie third season (which for the most part is completely forgettable) are out on DVD. They are virtually uncut; some music has been replaced, and there are a few other anomalies. These wonderful stories haven't been seen in their entirety since the series aired over 20 years ago, until now. There are commentaries by Alan Brennert, Harlan Ellison, Phil DeGuere, actors, directors, writers, etc.
This is a must-have for all fans of the Twilight Zone no matter what incarnation, and Night Gallery as well. In many respects this show is a blend of the spirit of the original Twilight Zone and Night Gallery; it uses quality stories by many of the classic sci-fi and horror writers of the past forty years. TV in this new millennium is a wasteland of garbage and nauseous reality TV, and we could use stories and writers like this today. The 1980's Twilight Zone deserves to be seen as the classic it is, and this DVD release does it justice.