Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tales From The Disembodied Head





Narrator Frank Gallop



Several times over the past 18 months I’ve featured radio shows from one of the best remembered of the Horror genre – Lights Out.   In The Horror Of It All (Oct 2008)  I wrote of the history of the show, from its inception with Wyllis Cooper, to the Arch Obler period, and provided links to more than a dozen episodes. 


Arch Oboler and Tommy Cook (ca.) 1936

Arch Oboler and Tommy Cook (ca.) 1936


Lights Out was still popular radio fare more than a decade after it was introduced, and so it quite naturally became one of the earliest TV shows as well.


In 1946, NBC produced 4 Lights Out TV specials, and while a critical success, NBC did not launch it as a regular series until 1949.   The show was modestly successful, and ran until 1952.

These tales of horror were live productions (like most early TV), and suffered from low budgets, non-existent special effects, and the limitations of `stage bound’ productions. 


Still, the writing was often pretty good, and we get intriguing looks at a great many young actors and actresses (and some old pros) as they plied their craft in this fledgling medium.


While radio’s `Theater of the Mind’ was probably a better venue for the horror genre,  Lights Out on TV still managed to chill spines for three seasons.  Here then are a half dozen episodes from The Internet Archive, of Lights Out.


Lights Out - I Spy
Lights Out - Season 4, Episode 8 - 15th October 1951


Lights Out - Strange Legacy
Lights Out - Season 3, Episode 26 - 19th February 1951


Lights Out - The Faceless Man
Lights Out - Season 3, Episode 50 - 6th August 1951


Lights Out - The Mad Dullaghen
Lights Out - Season 3, Episode 32 - 2nd April 1951


Lights Out - The Man with the Watch
Lights Out - Season 3, Episode 51 - 13th August 1951


Lights Out - The Passage Beyond
Lights Out - Season 3, Episode 44 - 25th June 1951

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