One Step Beyond: Official First Season & 50th Anniversary Special Edition

One Step Beyond: Official First Season & 50th Anniversary Special Edition
In the annals of television history, there are some legendary shows that have earned their place by being hugely influential, and there are those that are overlooked and forgotten. The latter has very much been the case for One Step Beyond. Airing some nine months before The Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond debuted in January 1959 and was allegedly based on true paranormal stories. Every episode was introduced by the show's director, John Newland, who very earnestly set the scene and made it sound like it was going to be the most disturbing thing the viewer had ever seen. Then he'd return at the end just to make sure everyone was suitably disturbed. The show is very clearly a product of the '50s, with every scene delivered so sincerely it makes it hard not to take seriously. The tales of ghostly possession, psychic premonition and other interactions with spirits might not be as scary as they once were but they maintain a disturbing air that's quite impressive for a 50-year-old, half-hour-long television show. The downside is that the 22 episodes explore very similar territory, and therefore are most effective when viewed in isolation. Nevertheless, this release might help re-establish the fact that One Step Beyond was an important show that was somehow overlooked. This set has been remastered from the original 35 mm prints, and it looks remarkably sharp considering its age, although there are still some problems from time to time. The extras are a little on the sparse side, with an extended version of the first episode, some different opening sequences to the show from when it was in syndication and an audio interview with Don Mankiewicz, one of the screenwriters. (Paramount)