A number of new features also look at the film’s creation and creators. “The Making of TDTESS” is a 24-minute featurette that interviews cast, crew members, and historians. It’s less than a third of the 80-minute documentary that was a 2002 DVD extra. The writers get a better spotlight than usual with the following: “The Astounding Harry Bates” wrote the original story. It can be heard on “Farewell to the Master: A Reading by Jamieson K. Price of the Original Harry Bates Short Story,” 97 minutes that bring to mind a radio drama. The screenwriter gets his 15 minutes of fame with “Edmund North: The Man Who Made the Earth Stand Still.” Nuclear proliferation was an important topic to North, so also included is “Race to Oblivion,” an interesting 1982 P.S.A. about nuclear disarmament hosted by Burt Lancaster, who speaks to a woman who survived the bombing of Hiroshima.
And that’s not all. There's “Decoding ‘Klaatu Barada Nikto:’ Science Fiction as Metaphor,” which looks at the film in the context of its time. “A Brief History of Flying Saucers” is a serious look at the subject of U.F.O.s. There’s audio from Kenneth Arnold’s 1947 incident at Mt. Ranier; discussion of Roswell, New Mexico; and some alleged footage. It is interesting to hear how some believe the contactees have spoiled the notion, but the feature’s inclusion is questionable as it really doesn’t fit with the film.
The Blu-ray exclusives couldn’t be more different. “Interactive Theremin: Create Your Own Score” is a great feature where you get to select eight one-second notes and one rest to create 30 seconds of music to accompany Gort’s first appearance. “Gort Command! Interactive Game” is a complete waste of time where you look out of Gort’s visor, moving around to shoot people and vaporize them.
Don’t stand still. Get The Day The Earth Stood Still into your video library. Serious fans of the film will at the very least want to rent this to see the new features.