(The Complete First Season)
first season package consists of 3 DVDs. Each DVD has its own slim-line
case and all three are then slipped inside a cardboard sleeve cover.
For some strange reason, here in the UK, discs one and three are deemed
to be certificate 12 and disc two is a PG. Why? I don't know. I'm just
telling it like it is.
Disc one contains the pilot for the Night Gallery
series, along with episodes one and two. Episodes three through to six
are on disc two. There were only six episodes in the first season and
disc three is all bonus material (episodes from series two and three of
If you have never seen Night
Gallery, let me first explain one or two things about the
series. Night Gallery
was the brainchild of Rod Serling (creator of The Twilight Zone).
Each episode of Night
Gallery contains two or three stories, depending on
length. Some of the stories were written by Rod Serling, but other were
written well known writers such as Richard Matheson and Algernon
Each episode is introduced by Rod Serling, who acts as the curator of
the Night Gallery and presents the viewer with a painting and gives a
brief introductory speech about it. The painting is, of
course, representative of the upcoming story. In the case
of The Doll,
for instance, he shows the viewer a painting of rather unpleasant
looking doll and explains that the doll in the upcoming story is not
one that you would want to play with. Hopefully that gives you an idea
of how things go in the
Roddy McDowell stars as the nephew of
a wealthy old man who, shares a large old house with his
nephew and a faithful butler, Portafoy. The nephew is a little
impatient to get at his uncles money, so he kills him. Then strange
things begin happening with one of the paintings in the house.
Joan Crawford stars alongside Tom Bosly (of Happy
Days fame), under the direction of Steven Spielberg. Eyes is the story
of a rich woman who has been blind since birth. She hears of an
operation that can provide sight to the blind. It has only been tried
on animals, and it was successful, but only offered 11 to 15 hours of
sight. Now all she needs is a surgeon willing to perform the operation
and a donor willing to part with his eyes. Fortunately she has found a
donor (Tom Bosly) who is so desperate for money he is willing to part
with his eyes to pay off his debts. The surgeon has no intention
of performing such an operation though, so his wealthy patient
The Escape Route
A Nazi war criminal tries to escape his
pursuers by attempting to enter a painting in an art gallery. It's a
nice scene. A tranquil scene. A man fishing in a boat and oh how he
wants to be that man in the boat.
The Dead Man
This is a story about a
hypnosis experiment. The doctor has found the perfect subject for his
work. And so what if his subject is a little younger and better looking
than he is, and if he seems a little to friendly with the doctor's
wife. But then the experiment goes wrong and the doctor cannot wake the
young man, who appears to be very much dead to the world.
Larry Hagman stars as a man
with a problem—his wife. She is too cold to him and too warm
with other men. If he leaves his wife though, he also leaves her money
and that would never do. He turns to the black arts in desperation and
uses witchcraft to evict his wife from her body and replace her with
his newly hired housekeeper.
Room With A View
An invalid, who is confined to his bed, manipulates
his unwitting nurse into being the instrument of his revenge against
his cheating wife.
The Little Black Bag
Burgess Meredith (of Rocky fame) stars
as a former doctor who is living on the streets and seeking solace in a
bottle. When a bag from the future appears, containing revolutionary
medical equipment, he uses it to cure a young child and finds a new
feeling of self-worth.
The Nature of the Enemy
Possibly one of the most stupid stories ever to be
featured on Night
Gallery. Mission Control watch, helpless, as the members
of a lunar expedition are picked off by an unseen enemy. I found myself
nearly helpless with laughter when the enemy was no longer unseen and
someone announced: "That's the enemy." To tell you why it was so funny
would be a spoiler though, so enough said.
A rather unusual story about a woman who is
released from a sanatorium and finds herself at the house of her
(recurring) dreams. This story has quite a spooky feel to it and its is
one of my favourites episodes.
Certain Shadows on the Wall
The story of a doctor who murders his
ailing sister so he can inherit her money, but his sister returns as a
shadow on the wall.
Make Me Laugh
This story was directed by Steven Spielberg. It is
the story of a failing comedian. He is so bad, in fact, that I found it
uncomfortable to watch his act dying on stage. Tom Bosly makes a return
appearance to the Night
Gallery as the comedian's manager, who runs out on him. In
desperation the comedian turns to a miracle-working-guru. The guru is
not perhaps the best at his craft and things don't exactly turn out how
the funny man expected.
Clean Kills And Other Trophies
A wealthy man has an obsession with big-game
hunting, but his son does not share his love of bloodshed and is a
constant disappointment to him. In an effort to try and 'make a man' of
his son, he adds a clause to his will: either his son kills a deer, or
he looses his inheritance. It's a nasty trick, thought up by a nasty
man, but his own fate is equally as nasty.
This story has a cast of just two: Phyllis Diller
and John Astin (who played Gomez Adams in the original; Adam's Family
series). Astin plays Jonathan, who has murdered his wife, but even her
death fails to rescue him from Pamela and her horrible, nagging voice
that goes on and on and on and . . . . This is one of Rod
Serling's stories. It is only short, but it is one of my favourites and
when the twist came at the end it took me completely by surprise.
When a ship encounters a small lifeboat with an
unconscious man in it they stop and pick it up. They think it strange
when they read the name on the boat. It says Titanic. Even stranger is
the fact that three years had passed since the Titanic went to its
watery grave, and yet the man in the lifeboat seems in surprisingly
good health, and that is as impossible as the boat's name.
Possibly one of the most chilling stories in the
series. If Barbie looked anything like this doll Ken would have changed
his name and gone into hiding a long time ago. The Doll is the
story of an army officer who returns home from India to discover his
niece has a new doll. It arrived in a parcel from India and the nanny
believed that the Colonel had sent it, but this is not the case and the
army man appears quite distressed to see it.
They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar
This episode of Night Gallery was
nominated for an Emmy Award in 1971. It is the rather sad story of a
sales executive whose career—like his life—has seen better days. After
25 years with the same company his secretary appears to be the only
person who is aware of his anniversary—or to appreciate him. Tim
Riley's Bar holds a lot of memories for him and he has just found out
that it going to be pulled down. As he talks of the bar it is hard not
to think that he is comparing the bar with his life and the old will be
replaced with the new, much as his younger assistant is snapping at his
heels and trying to replace him.
The Last Laurel
A crippled athlete is confined to his bed. With his
body no longer of use to him, he decides to exercise his powers of
astral projection and use them to take revenge on his wife.
Bonus Episdodes From
An actress gives her enemy a diary as a
gift, bu it seems to record events that will be rather than
what has happened and nothing good seems to be on the horizon.
Matter of Sematics
The short and silly tale of Count Dracula's visit
to the blood bank. It is more of a joke than a story, it is not
particularly funny, and the punch-line is obvious long before it
I didn't really understand the ending of this one,
but I enjoyed it anyway. It is based on a story by Richard Matheson.
Three young boys are on their way home from school when a strange old
man calls one of them over. He gives the boy some directions and tells
him to dig in a certain place. If he does, he will get a big surprise.
Bonus Episdodes From
Return Of The Sorcerer
Vincent Price stars alongside Bill Bixby (of Incredible Hulk
fame). Price plays a sorcerer who hires Bixby to translate an ancient
text for him. He is willing to pay top money for Bixby's services and
seems rather anxious for the translation. There are strange noises in
the sorcerer's house and it seems to worry him deeply.
A young Sally Field stars as a woman who
allows spirits to share her body. An equally youthful Dean Stockwell
plays her husband, who is worried that this time the spirits want to
I enjoyed watching the Night Gallery first
season package, but some stories were better than others. The Doll was truly
chilling and The House
was also very good, but was more haunting than chilling. The Cemetery and The Escape Route
were both very good too and I would have to say that I liked the
biggest part of the collection. Every rose has its thorn though and I
found one or two of the stories very disappointing. The two main ones
to come to mind are The
Nature of the Enemy and Matter of Sematics.
I found both to be very stupid. Overall though, I would say that I
found The Night Gallery first season package to be very entertaining
and definitely worth the money.
6 hours 24 min + 1 hour 38 mins (extras)
& Rental Options~