1 9 5 9 – 1 9 6 1 (USA)
96 x 30 minute episodes
“Explain it? We cannot. Disprove it? We cannot.”
Less well-known than The Twilight Zone, this was a superb collection of paranormal tales, including ghosts, psychic phenomena and alien abductions, hosted (and directed) by John Newland on ABC.
All the stories were supposed to be “based on actual events” and factual documented accounts of the supernatural and psychic phenomena.
One story, If You See Sally, about a ghostly little girl who is given a lift by a sympathetic truck driver, had the unexpected effect of generating dozens of letters from viewers who had had similar experiences. Conversely, Doomsday and Night of the Kill – about the legend of the Bigfoot creature – were presented in such a matter-of-fact manner as to give younger viewers nightmares!
The series – which started out as Alcoa Presents in 1959 – received rave reviews and featured many great actors early in their careers, including Warren Beatty, Charles Bronson, Susan Pleshette, Robert Blake, Yvette Mimieux, Christopher Lee, William Shatner, Elizabeth Montgomery, Agnes Moorhead and Jack Lord.
Although some of the American episodes were shown in Britain in the various ITV regions, Associated-Rediffusion networked a series of 13 half-hour stories that were produced in England, still hosted by John Newland.
One Step Beyond was briefly revived in colour in 1978 as The Next Step Beyond.