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This series has 3 very important things going for it:
1. It has 17 episodes. "So what" I here you cry. Well, 17 must be magic numeral because The Prisoner is the only other classic 60s show to have that number of episodes and just like McGoohan's masterpiece, once bitten you'll not escape the charms of "Journey to the Unknown". These are 17 slices of classic telly folks...
2. IT HAS THE BEST TITLE SEQUENCE IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION. PERIOD.
3 "The New People" episode is the "Rosemary's Baby" of TV (only much better) It is, along with The Prisoner's "Girl Who Was Death", the single best televisual segment of the 1960s. You probably don't believe me. Seek it out, prepare to be amazed...
It may have sprung from the Hammer horror stable, but this feels more like The (original)"Outer Limits" meets "UFO" meets, well, "The Prisoner"!. There's no silly costumes and Kensington gore here- this stunning batch of mystery thrillers, ghost stories and frighteners was a U.S. co-production produced by Hitchcock's close associate Joan Harrison (who produced Alfred Hitchcock Presents). Consequently, and uniquely, this TV production is of a markedly higher cinematic quality than any of the big screen outings Hammer produced. Indeed, many episodes were cut together for cinema distribution in the early 70s with linking narration from the likes of Joan Crawford and...Patrick McGoohan (umm..). Oh sure, the reliance on obligatory American guest stars in the (very) British settings is somewhat quaint, and the acting is often, ahem, variable. But the sheer force of imagination on display here commands your attention. A rare treat indeed.
I was just surfing through this site and stumbled across the title JOURNEY
TO THE UNKNOWN . Sounds familiar I thought , then I read the comments " Oh
yeah I remember it now " I told myself " That`s the series with the opening
title sequence of someone whistling , stepping through the deserted twilight
fair and going on the big dipper " . Maybe not a classic title sequence
compared to THE PRISONER or DOCTOR WHO but still very impressive and if
memory serves me right ( I haven`t seen the show since the Spring of 1983 )
a very impressive fantasy series
There`s two episodes that stick out in my mind . One is Eve which stars a young Dennis Waterman as Albert who works in a fashion store and falls in love with a showroom mannequin who appears to him as a living teenage girl and which ends with a twist in the tale . The other episode ( Did someone say it`s titled Beautiful Dreamer ? ) starts with an American draft dodger with his girlfriend in a cafe where a waitress approaches warning them not to leave . The girlfriend doesn`t heed the advice and is killed in an accident moments later . The boyfriend realises the waitress can tell the future and decides to profit from this . Again there`s another twist at the end . In fact I can`t remember the details but I think every tale closes with a twist in the tale with varying degrees of success
The production values are absolutely superb , always as good as or sometimes better than movies made at the time . The reason was that the show was funded by American money ( As were the latter series of THE AVENGERS ) which meant filming in colour and showing an American audience how cool and swinging London is , a London Brits living there at the time probably wouldn`t recognise . It also explains why every episode had an American character in the narrative somewhere ( It`s for the benefit of audience identification )and why the opening caption " In Color " is spelt the American way
I can still remember it , and remember it more fondly than those other twist in the tale shows like TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED . Having said that I haven`t seen it for over twenty years and there`s a nagging doubt that my memory might have cheated on me same as it cheated with VAULT OF HORROR , THEATRE OF BLOOD and THE CREEPING FLESH
I have the entire series on video, taped mostly from Sky (Europe) broadcasts. After 35+ years, the show still holds up well. Each show featured an American actor in the lead with British supporting players. Some of my favorite actors in the series included George Maharis, formerly of Route 66, and Barbara Jefford, a British actress. Ms. Jefford played an evil aunt to a boy made to wear dresses and pose as a girl. It would be great if the series would be released on DVD but I'm afraid it's one of the countless short-run series that are very fondly remembered but will never make it to disc. This would be a great series for Encore Mysteries to run.
This series barely lasted one season, yet I still remember several episodes after nearly 40 years. It was intelligent, thought provoking and yes...a bit on the creepy side. The episode with Stefanie Powers is still my favorite of the series. It was well written and a bit on the sappy love story side, but again it lingers in my memory. Like the Twilight Zone, this series took ordinary people and put them in extraordinary situations. Also, like the Twilight Zone, The opening theme is very catchy and I still can "hum" it after all of these years.I hope it is available on DVD someday, as I would like to add it to my collection.
The dark, empty amusement park. The roller coaster. The music. Chills up
down my spine! I honestly can't remember an episode (though seeing it over
might jog my mind) but the intro to this tv program has NEVER left my
Given the number of episodes, this one seems perfect for release on dvd. I would LOVE to see that! If there is anyone I can email or anyway to generally support that happening, let me know.
This under-appreciated British anthology series, is, as many other
posters have noted, a highly effective, beautifully produced and
flashily photographed supernatural program of the first water.
Produced by Hammer in association with Twentieth Century Fox, it features a bevy of well known American names in addition to solid British supporting characters.
Though the series is not confined to London in setting, the overall look and feel of the program is very much Carnaby Street mod. Thus, we see a profusion of strobe lit discotheques, and mini-skirted Judy Geeson type girls, (though Miss Geeson herself doesn't appear).
The real distinguishing characteristic of the show, however, is in the extremely daring, provocative story lines, with dialog and situations that amaze, given that these were shot prior to 1970, (some programs do exceed the boundaries of propriety--were the censors off duty?).
Notwithstanding, these shows not only chill they often disturb--such as the Robert Reed program, the finale of which is genuinely unsettling, not to mention the terrifying, "Matakitas is Coming," in which Vera Miles is trapped in the public library with the ghost of a homicidal maniac.
These are definitely not for the children! Performances are also of the first rank, and we would single out Mr. David Hedison who delivers a very layered and complex performance in the episode concerning a disastrous, (literally) sense of premonition. Episodes featuring Carol Lynley as a department store mannequin, Chad Everett as a house party guest, and Patty Duke as a nervous breakdown patient also merit honorable mention.
The opening sequence in a deserted amusement park beautifully conveys the dislocated mood the series seeks to convey. Seek this one out!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not to be confused with the B.B.C.'s 'Out Of The Unknown', this was
Hammer's first - and best - attempt at a television anthology series.
The eerie title sequence featured a silhouette creeping into a deserted
fairground late at night, which suddenly lit up, an effect as startling
as it was memorable. The whistling theme tune was by Harry Robinson.
The series itself played like a British 'Twilight Zone'; in 'Eve' Dennis Waterman plays a nerd who falls in love with a shop window dummy, 'Paper Dolls' concerns identical boys linked by a psychic bond, 'Somewhere In A Crowd' has David Hedison noticing the same five people present at major disasters, and in 'The Madison Equation' a computer is used in a murder plot. It was unnerving rather than scary.
Because it was funded by 20th Century Fox, each episode had to have an American guest-star, but this enhanced the show rather than detracted from it. There were some notable British performers involved too, such as Edward Fox, Allan Cuthbertson, Michael Gough, and Roddy McDowall.
Only seventeen episodes were made, yet 'Journey' continued to crop up irregularly on late-night British T.V. well into the '80's.
a excellent TV series from hammer in the late sixties,which had a different story to it every episode,the show was based on people who found themselves in bizarre situations.the opening segment to the show still sends shivers down my spine, a deserted fairground somebody entering it you don't see the person at all,also a haunting theme to add spice to the matter?and the opening titles are then just put into the viewers face?powerful stories, like faces in the crowd, which stars Jane asher, David Henson,which one the scariest have seen,Stephanie powers in Jane browns body,which is cult viewing,plus chad Everett, in a story called poor butterfly, another a good ghost story. why the show has not made it to DVD, is beyond me. this excellent series,still holds good today.
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