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Greetings, and welcome to CLASSICS ON THE TUBE. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage TV series episodes from the early days of television through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery series. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find an index of episodes reviewed for each television series.

I also cover vintage movies at my sister site, VIEWING THE CLASSICS, so please feel free to check that out as well.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

ONE STEP BEYOND: Twelve Hours To Live

Hosted by John Newland
Guest Stars:  Paul Richards, Jean Allison, Douglas Kennedy, Larrian Gillespie, Lillian Powell
Directed by John Newland
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A struggling lawyer walks out on his wife after an argument, and has a terrible accident and finds himself pinned under his car, with no one around to help, but somehow his wife knows he's in danger.

Strong special effects highlight this installment of the series, as Richards' accident during a rainstorm on a crumbling hill is effectively presented, and his plight at the foot of the cliff under a full-size car is very well-staged.  Although Allison does well in the role of the wife with latent psychic talents, her performance is enhanced by editing and sound effects which show us how she can just barely hear what her husband is experiencing.  The result is another fine episode and a fun one to watch.

Monday, January 25, 2016

ONE STEP BEYOND: The Dark Room

Hosted by John Newland
Guest Stars:  Marcel Dalio, Cloris Leachman, Paul Dubov, Ann Codee, Ivan Triesault
Directed by John Newland
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A photographer on assignment in France is visited by a stranger she presumes is there to sit for his portrait, but he has surprises in store for her. 

We have here another well-acted episode, with Dalio, who's career dates back to the 1930s, according to  IMDB, perfectly cast as the stranger with the expressive face who captivates Leachman's, but whose fascination turns to terror when she has him recall his past.  Her character's headaches are oddly never explained in the teleplay, making me wonder if there were some lines cut from the episode which would have tied these in to some unseen connection between the two actors.  Nonetheless, this is a quality episode, and a fine tribute to Dalio's talent.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

ONE STEP BEYOND: Emergency Only

Hosted by John Newland
Guest Stars:  Lin McCarthy, Paula Raymond, Clark Howat, Ross Elliott, Ann Staunton
Directed by John Newland
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

When a supposed psychic tells a guest at a cocktail party details of a possible tragedy in his immediate future, he's skeptical, until her predictions start coming true.

This is a terrific episode, augmented by good acting and a taut script.  Newland gets the ball rolling and draws the audience in by mingling with the characters at the beginning of the film as if he's one of them, and presenting us with the familiar setting of a cocktail party.  From there on in, we feel part of the experience, and even though we know what's going to happen from the prediction, the details that are left out build suspense until the climax.

Monday, January 18, 2016

ONE STEP BEYOND: Night Of April 14th

Hosted by John Newland
Guest Stars:  Barbara Lord, Isobel Elsom, Patrick Macnee, Gavin Gordon, Marjorie Eaton
Directed by John Newland
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A bride-to-be is plagued by terrible nightmares about her drowning, and is shaken to discover that her fiancĂ© has planned their honeymoon cruise aboard the RMS Titanic.

A bit more unusual than other outings of the series, in that the audience knows from history of the fate of the characters, this is an impressively staged production, with no stock footage used that I can determine.  I enjoyed how the script allowed not only the central character a premonition of the disaster to come, but a number of others as well in effective scenes, topped off by some eerie facts in Newland's epilogue.  There's also a fine collection of character actors in the cast that enhance this episode, including a young Patrick Macnee, before his famous role in TV's The Avengers.

Friday, January 15, 2016

ONE STEP BEYOND: The Bride Possessed

Hosted by John Newland
Guest Stars:  Virginia Leith, Skip Homeier, Harry Townes, Ann Morrison, Janet Hughes
Directed by John Newland
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

While traveling on their honeymoon, the groom is unsettled by the behavior of his bride, who acts as if she doesn't know him, and claims to be a woman who's been murdered.

The pilot episode for John Newland's anthology series dramatizing unexplainable events prepares us for what's to come in the series, and probably features the best showcase Virginia Leith ever had, although she's better known for her role in the notorious film The Brain That Wouldn't Die.  She's quite convincing as the bride here, and the teleplay is well-constructed, building the story slowly by revealing the murdered woman's story bit by bit.