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Category:    Home > Reviews > Anthology > Horror > Thriller > TV > One Step Beyond (Delta)

One Step Beyond (Delta)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Episodes: B-



Continuing our look at Rod Serling Twilight Zone forerunner One Step Beyond, we go from VCI’s amusing collection to a single-disc example of a different set of episodes of the series offered by Delta Entertainment.  Though not filled with as many episodes as the VCI set, Delta is also offering a huge box set with more shows.  To repeat an interesting fact about the competing series, both were shooting at the M-G-M Studios, with each ABC/Alcoa show produced at $55,000 a show.  While Serling hosted and wrote many of his series’ shows, John Newland hosted and directed ALL of his.


While VCI Entertainment’s first double DVD set offers ten of the best episodes from Season Two, this offers five key shows from the very first season.  They are as follows by title, writer, original date of broadcast, plot, and cast:



Night Of April 14 (Collier Young (the series’ producer) and Larry Marcus (script editor for the show), 1/29/59) – This second episode of Season One is one of the most remembered in the series, as a woman (Barbara Lord) keeps dreaming of drowning in frigid waters, accelerated by her fiancée Erick Farley’s (Patrick Macnee) announcement that they have tickets to board the maiden voyage of a ship called The Titanic.  Often confused with Macnee’s 1959 Twilight Zone episode Judgment Night penned by Serling himself, that show too dealt with a sinking ship.  This one is not as good, but is interesting.


The Dark Room (Francis Cockrell, 2/10/59) – Photographer Rita Morrison (Cloris Leachman) goes to France to take a series of photographs, but her employer (Marcel Dalio) may be a strangulation serial killer!  An early genre piece for Leachman, who had made a splash in the great Film Noir Kiss Me Deadly only a few years before.  Now a highly respected actress for her work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Phyllis and remembered as Wonder Woman’s mother form the original Lynda carter pilot, this does offer a rarely seen performance form her that is effective and may even save this show.


Epilogue (Don M. Mankiewicz, 2/24/59) – The great actors Charles Aidman and Julie Adams star as a separated couple, with the wife (Adams) and son trapped in a cave.  A ghostly figure appearing to Charles Archer (Aidman) may save them, leaving Dr. Sanders (the great William Schallert) at a loss to explain what is really going on.  Interesting installment.


The Dream (John Dunkel, 3/3/59) – The Blakelys (Reginald Owen, Molly Roden) keep having the same dream about The Nazis invading England; are they onto a plot through supernatural premonition they can stop before its too late?


The Dead Part Of The House (Michael Plant, 3/17/59) – There are three dolls in a very cold room of the house of a little girl’s aunt.  Do they have any connection to three children who lived and died there not too long ago? 



That may not be as many shows as the VCI set, but they are key enough to be its equal.  Like the VCI set, the 1.33 X 1 full screen, black and white image is average, because it is amazing the materials even survived.  They have been restored as best they could be, but pale in comparison to the recently restored Twilight Zone DVDs, which had not been issued when the VCI set came out.  Since the catalog is split between companies and some shows are covered by copyright, while others are not.  That hurts the possibility they will get the same digital HD treatment, restoration and preservation, so these will be the best copies for a while in the case of both companies.  No Alcoa ad placements this time, sadly.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is not bad for its time either.  Harry Lubin’s music, and especially his theme song for the show, are underrated.  The age and some background limits can be heard, but it is not bad for average.  There are no extras, but this should satisfy those curious about the series and both companies have most of the shows out there.  The lack of extras in both cases is disappointing.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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