Sunday, January 4, 2009

Going `One Step Beyond'




"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."


Actually, the name of the show was Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, and it, like The Twilight Zone, is a well remembered page from late 1950's television history.



Unlike the Twilight Zone, which was basically a fantasy . . . all of the episodes of One Step Beyond were supposedly based on `actual events'.


At least, that was how things were represented.    Of course, this was long before came along, and one man's `facts' are often another man's exaggeration. 


Still . . .  the episodes were well done, often chillingly so.  


The stories dealt with the supernatural. The unexplainable.  Psychic visions, ESP, curses, witches . . . you name it.


In one infamous episode from 1961, `your host' John Newland travels to Mexico to experiment  with `sacred mushrooms', which reportedly would give the user `ESP and Clairvoyant powers'.


Most of the episodes, however, were 30-minute docu-dramas, featuring a great many up and coming actors and actresses, along with some well established ones. 


Star watchers will catch performances by the likes of Christopher Lee, Cloris Leachman, Mike Conners, William Shatner, Charles Bronson, Robert Blake,  Louise Fletcher, Patrick O'Neal, Robert Loggia, Suzanne Pleshette, Pernell Roberts, Patrick Macnee, Edward Binns, Jack Lord, Ross Martin, Donald Pleasence, Elizabeth Montgomery, and even Warren Beatty.


The series ran for three years, from 1959 through 1961, and 96 episodes were filmed.    In the 1980's the owner of the show allowed the copyright to lapse, and now many of the episodes are in the public domain.


John Newland, the host of the series, signed with Warner Brothers after World War II, but was cast only in minor roles.   He appeared in Nora Prentiss (Uncredited, 1947) and Gentleman's Agreement ( again, uncredited, 1947). 


After that, he appeared on live television in shows like Studio One, Kraft Television Theatre, and Tales of Tomorrow and numerous episodes of Robert Montgomery Presents between 1952-57.

He became host, and director, of One Step Beyond in 1959. 


After OSB ended, Newland continued directing television shows, including episodes from Naked City, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Star Trek, Harry O, and Police Woman.    


He attempted a revival of One Step Beyond in 1978, but it only ran for one season.   Newland passed away in 2000, from a stroke.  He was 86.


The Internet Archive has more than 50 episodes of OSB available for viewing, or download.   I've listed about 20 of them, but you can follow the link at the bottom to see their entire selection.  It is possible that more episodes will be added over time. 




[movies] Where Are They?

[movies] One Step Beyond : The Riddle

[movies] Night of April 14th 

[movies] The Dark Room
The Dream
The Dead Part of the House
The Vision
The Devil's Laughter
The Return of Mitchell Campion
The Secret
The Aerialist
The Captain's Guests

[movies] Front Runner
Ordeal on Locust Street
The Inheritance
The Open Window



Additional episodes can be found using this search LINK.

1 comment:

istersay said...

thank you, I have been looking for these for a long time.