Review One Step Beyond (1959)

Doctor Omega

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Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond

Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond (also known as One Step Beyond) was an American anthology series created by Merwin Gerard. The original series was broadcast for three seasons by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from January 1959 to July 1961.


Overview

Created by Merwin Gerard and produced by Collier Young, One Step Beyond was hosted by John Newland, "your guide to the supernatural" (also credited as "Our guide into the world of the unknown"). Newland, who also directed every episode, presented tales that explored paranormal events and various situations that defied "logical" explanation. Unlike other anthology programs, the ABC network series episodes were presented in the form of straightforward thirty-minute docudramas, all said to be based on true events. Initially, the program included the corporate name of sponsor Alcoa as part of its full title.

Among its varied tales, One Step Beyond dealt with premonition of death ("The Lincoln Assassination") and disaster ("Tidal Wave", "Night of April 14th"); astral projection ("The Long Call"); the existence of ghosts ("The Last Time"); and wildly improbable coincidence ("The Glider", "Death on the Mountain", etc.).

"The Sacred Mushroom"

A January 1961 episode, "The Sacred Mushroom", deals with the discovery of mind-altering drugs. . Although the subject matter (the enhancement of psychic powers) accorded with the rest of the series, this episode was somewhat controversial and was omitted from the syndication; it has been seen only rarely since its original broadcast. However, according to Newland, it was the most popular episode of the series. A complete transcript of this episode is reproduced in chapter seven of The Sacred Mushrooms of Mexico by Brian Akers.

Guest stars

Many famous and some not-yet-famous actors appeared in episodes of the series, including the following:

Production notes
The last 13 episodes of the third season were filmed at MGM Studios in Borehamwood, England, due to a suggestion by Newland. According to Newland, "I thought it would give a little boost to the show because Great Britain offered good actors, good situations, and good settings. We sought permission from Alcoa, and they okayed it."

Music
Harry Lubin composed the music for the series with a soundtrack album, Music from 'One Step Beyond' released by Decca Records during 1959.




Despite the public domain status for most episodes, the series' remaining copyrights belongs to its distributor CBS Television Distribution. CTD is the successor to the series' previous distributors, which include ABC Films successor Worldvision Enterprises and CTD's predecessor Paramount Domestic Television.

Episodes are currently broadcast by the Retro Television Network available as a digital subchannel in some US markets. Full episodes are also available for digital streaming on several web sites at no cost, and on the Hulu and Hulu Plus applications.

DVD release

During 2007, Mill Creek Entertainment released a 4-disc Region 1 DVD set entitled The Very Best of One Step Beyond. The set contains 50 episodes. The quality varied drastically from episode to episode (the picture is often jittery), and many of the episodes fail to play properly at all.

On September 15, 2009, CBS Home Entertainment (distributed by Paramount) released One Step Beyond - The Official 1st Season on Region 1 DVD.

The Film Chest Media Group released the series in a six Disc Collector's Box on April 7, 2015.[5] The box features only 70 Episodes of the series however (mostly episodes from the first two seasons). Very few of the third-season episodes are on this set.

A number of bootlegged box sets exist that contain all three seasons complete, but the quality varies from episode to episode (as the episodes all seem to have been copied from varied sources, and don't even have the same initial titles from show to show.)

The Next Step Beyond

During 1978, the series was revived partly by Gerard and Young, with John Newland hosting and directing most of the episodes; the new series was named The Next Step Beyond. The series was broadcast for one year, 25 episodes, 14 of which were remakes of One Step Beyond episodes.




 

Doctor Omega

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A good friend recommended this episode to me - and it is a memorable one; not least for a guest appearance by one Roger Delgado!

THE FACE

14 Mar. 1961



From early childhood Stephen Bolt has frightening dreams of a man's ominous face. Later he sees that the man's hand threatens him with a knife. Stephen knows the dreams are a premonition of his death, but his family are unsympathetic.


 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
An enjoyable episode that studies the whole concept of fate and the decisions we make, to avert or ensure our destinies.
 

ant-mac

Administrator
Staff member
I've completed season one and am now working my way through season two.

I find ONE STEP BEYOND to be a slightly more gentle and grounded TV series than THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

I've enjoyed every moment so far.
 
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