Produced at the same time as the more well-known Twilight Zone, this series fed the nation's growing interest in paranormal suspense in a different way. Rather than creating fictional ...
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Anthology series hosted by Boris Karloff that originally told ordinary tales of crime and mystery, but later became a showcase for gothic horror stories, many of which were based on works ... See full summary »
A horror anthology about a family of monsters watching a different horror story every week on their TV. Each tale is separate, often cautionary with occasional dark humor and irony and features various deadly creatures.
Pamela Dean Kelly,
Michael J. Anderson
Produced at the same time as the more well-known Twilight Zone, this series fed the nation's growing interest in paranormal suspense in a different way. Rather than creating fictional stories with supernatural twists and turns, this program sought out 'real' stories of the supernatural, including ghosts, disappearances, monsters, etc., and re-creating them for each episode. No solutions to these mysteries were ever found, and viewers could only scratch their heads and wonder, "what if it's real?" Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
"What you are about to see is a matter of human record. Explain it: we cannot. Disprove it: we cannot. We simply invite you to explore with us the amazing world of the Unknown ... to take that One Step ... Beyond."
Through an oversight, Worldvision didn't renew the copyrights on most episodes of this series when they expired in the late 1980s, and they thus fell into the public domain. Since royalties didn't have to be paid to Worldvision, the result was a revival of the series on UHF and cable television and on VHS and DVD. Since well-worn syndication prints were and are typically used by those media, the results often leave something to be desired, quality-wise. See more »
Next week, and every week, we'll be bringing you the personal records of the rarest kind of human experience: man's adventure in the world of the unknown, that mysterious psychic world beyond our five senses. This is your invitation to take with us that astonishing... one step beyond.
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I'm a huge fan of "One Step Beyond". I've been watching it since the early 70's in syndicated reruns and own all 96 episodes on VHS. I can safely say, adjusting the rocks in my head of course, that "OSB" is easily televisions greatest supernatural series.
I don't want to knock "The Twilight Zone" because, while that show was not scary or nearly as eerie and atmospheric as "OSB", it certainly deserves it's place in television history. To say however that "OSB" was merely a "spook" show and that "TZ" was the trend-setter, well that is just as inaccurate as it is crazy. That's just looking at things through "TZ" colored glasses. Putting aside the fact that "OSB" premiered 10 months before "TZ" and putting aside the fact that when "TZ" finally started airing it was trounced in the ratings by "OSB" and putting aside the fact that Rod Serling called John Newland to meet him for lunch to explain that he was doing a show like Newland's and that it would be purely fiction and not a rip-off of Newland's already established hit, consider this, or better yet, think about the following.
Watch "OSB's" "The Vision" which aired 3/24/59 and then take a look at Serlings "The Purple Testament" which aired 2/12/60. Watch "OSB's" "The Devil's Laughter" which aired 3/31/59 and then watch Serlings "Execution" which aired 4/1/60. Or, in one of the more blatant "coincidences", take a look at "OSB's" "The Haunted U-Boat" which aired 5/12/59 and then watch Serlings "The Thirty-Fathom Grave" which aired 1/10/63. See what I am getting at folks? Seems that a lot of "TZ's" stories have a striking resemblence to episodes aired a lot earlier on "OSB". And these are just a few of many examples. Hmmm! Rod, where did those ideas come from afterall? Watch "OSB's" "The Burning Girl" and tell me that it isn't a dead-on, early version of Stephen Kings "Carrie"! Again, I don't mean to knock "The Twilight Zone" but my point is that "One Step Beyond" was much more then a "spook" show or some golden age TV fodder. It was truly the father of all supernatural television series that followed and the true trend-setter. And obviously, an inspiration to all the shows that followed, "TZ" included. Those who don't know about "OSB" simply aren't true television fans.
This "spook" show television sidebar, as "TZ" maniacs call it, boasted some great talents in lead roles. Some veterans and some soon to be stars. Cloris Leachman, Warren Beatty, Jack Lord, Christopher Lee, Elizabeth Montgomery, Donald Pleasence, Ross Martin, William Shatner, Robert Loggia, Mike Conners, and Charles Bronson, just to name a few. How about writers like Don M. Mankiewicz, Charles Beaumont(yes, the very same), Larry Marcus and Collier Young. Surely talent like this elevates this program from "spook" show status. There isn't a person I have come across that doesn't remember it. And the key is that this is a show who's episodes stay with you for a lifetime and that, to me, is one of the marks of excellence.
John Newland was not only the perfect host, but a very gifted and talented director. The use of light and shadows to create an intense feeling of unease, spookiness and a downright eerie feeling. The inventive close-ups and overhead shots. Quite simply, Newland and this show were quite ahead of it's time. Take a look at "Ordeal On Locust Street" and tell me straight faced that you don't see "The X-Files". Watch "The Hand" and tell me you don't feel like your watching a film noir. Just fantastic. Quite simply, there wasn't anything like it before and nothing like it since.
If your looking for a real, honest to goodness spooky half-hour, look no further then "One Step Beyond". Just goes to show that true commitment, love and doing something you believe in can produce something unique and magnificent.
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