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Twilight Zone Season One BluRay


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Season One of The Twilight Zone is re-released on BluRay this week, complete with the pilot hosted by Desi:


You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension, in which your guide to all things twisty and bizarre isn’t Rod Serling but . . . Desi Arnaz? Unquestionably, the highlight of this week’s Blu-ray debut of “The Twilight Zone’’: Season 1 (1959-60) is “The Time Element,’’ a de facto pilot that aired in 1958 on the “Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse’’ anthology hour. The segment’s production owed to convenience and chance. “Time Element’’ was a Serling script that had been nixed by network head-scratching over its unfamiliar, paradoxical story line, in which a low-living schmo (William Bendix) finds himself inexplicably transported from ’58 New York back to the attack on Pearl Harbor. For Arnaz and Lucille Ball, “Playhouse’’ was a vehicle for delivering new “Lucy’’ installments without continuing to make a full-time sitcom commitment. A bargain-price shelved teleplay by Emmy-winner Serling was just the thing to fill an off-week programming slot. Even with the curious sight of Ricky Ricardo handling the black-suited intro, the resonant story feels thoroughly recognizable as “Twilight Zone.’’ (The presentation here also looks sharper than you’d expect for a decades-old “lost’’ episode.) Bendix, who’d demonstrated his character-actor chops in everything from Hitchcock’s “Lifeboat’’ to “The Life of Riley,’’ is at his best as he agonizes over how to warn a doomed USS Arizona sailor and his new bride. “Twilight Zone’’ historian Marc Scott Zicree provides packed, occasionally exhausting commentary, one of 19 new tracks on the set. (Image, $99.98)



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