Writer producer Alan Brennert (The Law of Los Angeles, Beyond the Reel) posted interesting comments on the Amazon description of the colors series Twilight Zone (The Fifth Dimension with us). And it explains why the picture is so mean on dvd. The entire post-production of the series was on video, so there is no negative mounted episodes and thus the only existing source for the future is a video, much more difficult to restore.
The problem also arises with Star Trek: The Next Generation a post production experts were also on video. So it seems unlikely that this sort of day in HD. This would require that all
visual effects to be repeated as for Star Trek Classic. With 179 episodes on the clock, I wish good luck to the people of CBS / Paramount.
Here is the full Brennert About Alan:
“As one of the writer-producers who contributed to this series, I’m posting this to correct some misapprehension concerning the picture quality of this DVD set. This is NOT a “bad transfer.” 1985-87 The Twilight Zone was shot on film, but edited on video. In other words, the raw footage was 35mm film, which was then transferred to videotape. Editing, dubbing, special effects-everything was done on video. (We were in fact the first drama series on television to do this.)
So unlike the original Rod Serling TZ, there are no original film negatives from which Image could strike new prints for transfer. All that exist are the old one-inch master tapes, and the unfortunate reality is, some videotape does deteriorate over time. Image has, in my opinion, done a superb job packaging our series, and it is to them that I award the five stars in this review! If not for their interest in bringing this show to DVD, those one-inch masters might eventually have eroded into so much static (as my 3/4-inch tapes of the show already have). If you enjoyed this series, just be grateful it’s been preserved! “