1 9 7 2 – 1 9 7 3 (USA)
23 x 60 minute episodes
This Friday night supernatural anthology series from NBC was introduced by Winston Essex (bulky British character actor Sebastian Cabot) – a mysterious rich man who has turned his family mansion into an exclusive New York hotel called Mansfield House.
Essex would then disappear into his brandy snifter for 50 minutes or so and return at the end to help you pull yourself together.
The series – produced by veteran Hollywood horror producer and director William Castle (Rosemary’s Baby) – went out between 9:00 and 10:00 pm from September 1972 and featured stories of ghosts, vampires, witches and various other manifestations of the supernatural.
The mixture of classic stories and accomplished new scripts was further strengthened by the performances of familiar names such as Janet Leigh, Martin Sheen, Helen Hayes, Tab Hunter and Barry Nelson. The show was a hit with both audiences and reviewers.
Unwisely, as it transpired, the series changed its title to Circle of Fear on 5 January 1973.
The Essex character was no longer part of the show and very few of the stories now dealt with supernatural themes.
Within five months the series was only a memory.