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The Twilight Zone: Season One (1985)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: (details not yet known, but participants at least include Wes Craven, Philip DeGuere, Alan Brennert, Bradford May, James Croker, JD Feigelson, William Hu, Harlan Ellison and Greg Bear) Rating:9.5/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by frankasu03 on September 19th, 2015:Find all reviews by frankasu03
There are well over 20 commentaries that accompany this season in the '80s rendition of "Twilight Zone." The solo tracks from infamous curmudgeon Harlan Ellison, and the show runner/ exec producer Philip DeGuere provide interesting insight into the world of short-fiction and anthology TV in the decade. A particular standout is the short "Examination Day" track from DeGuere. It serves as a fine summation of the challenges, and frankly dark, subject matter that this edition of 'Zone' brought to Primetime network TV in 1985-1986. DeGuere also serves as the point man in the numerous group commentaries that are present here. The passing of Horror-icon Wes Craven led me back to his non-Horror offerings, namely the 7 "Twilight Zone" installments he directed. All get a fine commentary from the writers and crew (with Craven). "Shatterday" finds Craven working with a nascent Bruce Willis, and Wes humbly admits being a bit intimidated finally working within the apparatus of a major television show: "My first work with rain machines." DP Bradford May (of "Monster Squad") helpfully points out the different lighting elements used to capture the doppleganger aspect of the lead protagonist. "Her Pilgrim Soul" hits very close to home as Wes describes one of his finer points in direction: giving his actress the note that "aging is where everything hurts.." This group track is the clear standout. Very emotional, with some interesting trivia about Danica Mckellar's first work. "A Little Peace and Quiet," and "Wordplay" finds Wes at his most playful. Working with Melinda Dillon was a highlight, as was tackling the technical duties of wrangling child-actors and pulling off that last, haunting portrayal of a "frozen" cityscape. The origin story of Craven's involvement in "Twilight Zone" is best captured in the "Chameleon" commentary. A shared agent between Craven and DeGuere led to the partnership, and allowed Craven to finally create something his mother could watch. Some great anecdotes and praise about one Terry O'Quinn accompany this track as well. I'd also add the track for "NightCrawlers" to the "honorable-mention" category. Director of Photography Brad May is very candid about his interraction with William Friedkin, and DeGuere makes for a fine storyteller, especially when it comes to the infamously intense Director's near destruction of a soundstage, via explosion. DeGuere joins other showrunners like Paul Simms (NewsRadio) and Glenn Caron (Moonlighting) who manage to hold court on their respective shows, and deliver informative, cogent, and very entertaining commentaries about each installment. Highest ranking for a diverse and expansive set of tracks that enrich Season 1 of the '80s "Twilight Zone." 10/10