Thursday, April 12, 2012

Titanic's 100th: The Titanic goes "One Step Beyond"!

Although everybody confuses it with either The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Thriller or even Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the neat little half-hour spooker One Step Beyond has its own unique niche in mid-century TV.  Each of its episodes purported to be based on a true story, and after hearing host John Newland (above) set the circumstances before each tale, you believed it!  Also known as Alcoa Presents (for the aluminum company which sponsored the series), One Step Beyond (it ran from 1959 - 1961) served up neat and chilling stories of hauntings, extrasensory perception, strange possession, psychedelic mushrooms, Gef the talking mongoose, Fortean rock falls from the sky, and other assorted anomalies.  Great fun!

The second of its ninety-six episodes dealt with history's favorite downed oceanliner, with a story involving a newlywed's eerie premonitions which turn out to be deadly accurate.  The episode is titled "Night of April 14th" and stars Patrick MacNee (the brilliant Mr. Steed from The Avengers) and Barbara Lord (Patrick "Puddy" Warburton's real-life mother). 

We'll have to talk more about One Step Beyond here at a future date; it's a fascinating collection of interesting acting talent and genuinely unusual stories that has continued to delight audiences for decades.  But for now, settle yourselves back in to January 27, 1959 as One Step Beyond presents a Titanic adventure called "The Night of April 14th".   Enjoy!

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