Great men are forgiven their murderous wives!
I've screened this new Blu ray set, and it's a big improvement over the previous DVD set in all respects, except one, something which, apparently no one else has noticed, which I find hard to believe, but I guess not everyone has a truly sharp eye for detail. In several of the episodes the image darkens at various junctures, as if someone had just turned the brightness down about 10-20 levels. Some of these lapses in image brightness are only momentary, but others, as in "Tourist Attraction", "The Mutant" and "The Special One", go on for several minutes. I noticed this same problem in the DVD set, but I wasn't expecting it from high definition Blu ray discs, in fact I didn't think this sort of problem would occur with Blu ray, but obviously it does. I haven't seen the Twilight Zone Blu ray set, but I'm betting that you don't see that image darkening with TZ. I hate to think it, but I suspect that money was a bigger object here than we were led to believe would be the case. I'd like to think that this darkening is an unavoidable consequence of the digital processing of old film, but I don't think it's as cut and dried as that. Looking at the entire package, I see some cost cutting. There are no interactive menus, no chapter selection, which even the DVD set had, in fact virtually all films on DVD and Blu ray have that feature, and the cardboard case is flimsy and not fitting for this release. To be fair, some of the episodes which looked terrible on the DVD set look spectacular now, including "The Architects of Fear", "Don't Open Till Doomsday", "The Bellero Shield", "The Children of Spider County", "Fun and Games" and "The Chameleon". A few shows, like "Nightmare" and "The Mutant" seem to lack the high definition "pop" of most of the shows. For "A Feasibility Study", they used the same tired old print that had previously been used for the videotape and DVD releases, you can ascertain that from some telltale print damage which is visible right after Simon Holm exclaims "God help us!" near the end of act two. I was hoping for a mint, crisp new print for this episode, which would really have improved visibility during the outdoor fog scenes, but in fairness to MGM/UA, this is probably the best surviving print of this show that they have, and maybe the only print they have.
Some interesting tidbits about the new Blu ray release which might not get mentioned elsewhere; in all previous home video releases of The Outer Limits, The Galaxy Being episode would begin first with the control voice intro, followed immediately by the teaser, a short scene of Cliff Robertson gazing in wonder as the being begins to appear on his viewer screen. But in the new Blu ray set, the sequence is reversed; first comes the teaser, then the intro. Evidently the episode was originally edited both ways, and I'm guessing that this Blu ray version is the way the show originally aired on ABC, while the intro-first version is what was seen in syndication. Also, at the end of The Hundred Days Of The Dragon, we are now given a preview clip, showing footage from Tourist Attraction, Specimen Unknown and The Man Who Was Never Born. This was an original ABC promo that was included when the episode aired on ABC, and was never seen again until now. A similar clip exists at the end of The Galaxy Being original broadcast print, but strangely it was not included for the new Blu ray set.