The Twilight Zone
Radio Dramas
10-CD Collection - Vol. 3

Starring: Various
Falcon Picture Group
RRP $39.99 (USA only)
ISBN 1 59171 102 9
Available now

unknown creature hidden in the shadows - apparently monstrously large and immensely powerful - terrorises a young woman and a state trooper. But is this gargantuan invader really what it seems to be?...

The Fear is a well paced episode that builds the tension to a nail-biting conclusion. Guest stars Jane Seymour and James Keach are perfect as the snobby city woman and the local state trooper who are trapped in the middle of nowhere while an apparent giant goes on the rampage. The conclusion is well conceived, if a little silly. But this is still a great audio production.

After a botched flight, Astronaut Robert Gains finds himself back on Earth in a world very similar to, but not quite his own. Even his wife and daughter seem to be strangers to him...

The Parallel stars Lou Diamond Phillips as an astronaut who returns to an Earth that is slightly different from the one he left. Is he going mad, or has he returned to a parallel version of his home planet. At first it is only small things that seem out of place - like a small picket fence that is outside his house, a fence he doesn't remember. But other things are totally out of place - no one has heard of the current president, John F Kennedy.

This is a well acted episode, and well paced, with an interesting conclusion.

The year is 1847. A wagon train has made the cross-country trek from Ohio to the deserts of Arizona and beyond - all the way into another century...

A Hundred Yards Over the Rim gets off to a very slow start, which is a shame. This is by far the weakest of the stories in this collection. At around 40 minutes this story feels very stretched and would have worked better as a 10 minute script.

A street corner salesman cleverly eludes Death. But if he lives, a little girl must die in his place. Only the salesman's greatest pitch can save her...

One For the Angels is a touching story. It's a spin on the much told tale of a man who attempts to trick Death out of his latest prize. But how far will a good man go in order to stay on this planet? As it happens, not very far. Being a good man, he can't stand the thought of one close to him being sacrificed in his place - and that's just what Death has in mind.

This audio drama is well produced and Ed Begley Jr is well cast as the salesman who is desperate to make that one big pitch before he is called to judgement.

The Earth's orbit has suddenly changed, drawing ever closer to the Sun, promising eminent destruction... or has it?...

The Midnight Sun is an interesting story - the conclusion of which is unexpected and ingenious. Kim Fields turns in a fantastic performance, but sadly this is a little over long. If ten minutes had been shaved off, this would have been a lot more riveting. It's still an interesting tale.

Four master thieves put themselves into suspended animation for 100 years after hiding a fortune in gold bars. But even in the future, wealth is still beyond their reach...

The Rip Van Winkle Caper is a great little story which is extremely engaging. It includes all your usual clichés when suspended animation pods are used. It seems to be a sci-fi law that at least one of the pods will malfunction leaving behind a skeleton. The relationship between the four crooks is amusing (paying homage to the Ealing Comedy's The Ladykillers) and the whole production seems to be over before you know it. The only slight complaint is that one of the villains is supposed to be British and never, since Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, have I heard such a ridiculous accent.

Apart from that, this recording is very entertaining.

Two thieves discover a camera they have stolen takes pictures of the future. But not every photo develops as might be expected...

A Most Unusual Camera is a great story. However, I could work out whether Mike Starr was the small time crook, or the relative who had escaped from prison.

It doesn't take long for the three twisted low lifes to start using the camera in order to benefit from the future. But, this being the Twilight Zone, it's not long before things start to go wrong. Another cracking episode.

Liz Powell is terrified by a recurring nightmare involving the number 22. Her doctor assures her that this is just a bad dream... but is it?...

Twenty Two is probably the best story in this collection. Andrea Evans turns in a great performance as Liz Powell, a woman who thinks she is loosing her mind. Why does she keep dreaming that she wakes up in the night and gets in a lift which takes her to a floor with a mysterious door?

The mystery deepens as Powell is admitted to hospital and the dreams seem to reveal that maybe she is being drugged at night and that the dreams are actually very real events. The tension builds well over the duration and the final scene is worth the wait - it caught me off guard.

Well acted, scripted and paced - certainly my favourite episode in this collection.

A frazzled ad executive learns you can't go home again after he steps back in time and meets his mother, father and youthful self...

Walking Distance illustrates beautifully why we should never wish to revisit our past. Back to the Future fans will warm to this story immediately. Chelcie Ross is perfect in the role of the man who visits his home town and finds everything exactly as he remembers it from his childhood. It soon becomes apparent that he has travelled back in time.

It is interesting that he didn't notice the fact that everyone was wearing clothes that were years out of date - this is an episode that only really works as an audio production. This is another first rate production.

On the road home from the Civil War, a confederate soldier meets a widow and together they learn that the road they are travelling might not lead home at all...

The Passersby is very predictable and if you haven't worked out the ending in the first 15 minutes then you are a little slow on the uptake. However, that is the intention - you are supposed to unearth what is happening fairly early on so that you can appreciate the widow's predicament. The question of what has happened to her is supposed to be the twist in the tail, but it doesn't quite work as such.

The acting is impeccable, the stock music is great and the overall story is engaging but for some reason it doesn't gel as it should.

All the episodes contained here are from original scripts by Rod Serling and these new recordings go to show how timeless these stories really are. As well as a fantastic supporting cast these tales are brought up to date with some impressive sound effects and beautiful scores, that help to set the mood.

Three of these episodes have previously been released on the company's four story collections. But this 10 CD collection is worth buying - even if you already own the other collections - mainly due to the fact that all of the annoying house ads that peppered the previous releases have been removed. The only ad now is for the Twilight Zone website, but that is placed after the story has been told, and will come in useful for those who want to be kept up to date on all future audio releases.

Yet another fantastic collection - I really can't recommend it enough.

Pete Boomer

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