1 9 6 2 (UK)
13 x 50 minute episodes
Fresh from his success as host of the US anthology series Thriller, Boris Karloff crossed the Atlantic to his native England to act as the host for the original British sci-fi anthology, made by ATV and based on works by sci-fi masters such as Isaac Asimov and Philip K Dick.
The man who played a major part in paving the way for such shows in the UK was Canadian-born producer Sydney Newman who had made his name putting on live dramas for CBS and was then hired to come to England in 1958 to produce Armchair Theatre.
Over the next three years, he revolutionised the production of plays on television, and his interest in fantasy lead him to sanction the making of Out Of This World, and later – when he moved over to the BBC – inspired him to create the long-running Doctor Who series.
Newman was also responsible for bringing Irene Shubik, a former academic historian, into the British ABC as a story editor – where one of her first assignments was Out Of This World.
Recognising a good thing when she saw it, Shubik replicated the formula with Out Of The Unknown in 1965, this time for the BBC.