Review The Veil (1958)

Doctor Omega

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The Veil is an American horror/suspense anthology television series produced in 1958 by Hal Roach Studios.

The series was hosted by Boris Karloff, who also acted in every episode but one and was allegedly based upon real-life reports of supernatural happenings and the unexplained. Ten of the twelve episodes began and ended with Karloff standing in front of a roaring fireplace and inviting viewers to find out what lies "behind the veil."

Hailed by critics as "the greatest television series never seen" (according to DVD release publicity) The Veil was never broadcast. Troubles within the studio (and the collapse of a preliminary co-production arrangement with National Telefilm Associates) resulted in production being cancelled after only 10 episodes (an additional episode called "Jack the Ripper" had been produced by another studio and was acquired by the Roach Studios; Boris Karloff only introduces the episode). This was considered too few to justify sales to a network or to syndication. In the late 1960s, footage from several episodes was combined to make films that aired on late night television. Ten episodes were released to the public in their entirety for the first time in the 1990s and have subsequently been released on DVD by Something Weird Video. In 1999, "Lifting the Veil of Mystery," a Tom Weaver article on the making of the series (complete with episode guide), appeared in issue #29 of Cult Movies magazine. It was later expanded into the book SCRIPTS FROM THE CRYPT: The Veilwhich featured the scripts of several episodes, the series' history, a chapter on Boris Karloff's career as a TV anthology host, etc. Contributors included Weaver, Dr. Robert J. Kiss and Barbara Bibas Montero, daughter of the series' producer Frank Bibas.

For many years it was thought that only 10 episodes of The Veil were filmed, and two extra titles ("The Vestris" and "Peggy") were "alternative titles". However, in 2008 Timeless Media Group released a 2-DVD set of 12 episodes of The Veil under the title Tales of the Unexplained that included those two. "The Vestris" was an episode of anthology series Telephone Time in 1958, that served as an unofficial pilot for the series.[1] It starred Torin Thatcher, Rita Lynn, and guest star Boris Karloff.


0. (pilot) "The Vestris" (with Torin Thatcher and Rita Lynn (actually an episode of the anthology series Telephone Time (s03e25), but it served as an unofficial pilot for the series))
1. "Vision of Crime" (with Robert Hardy, Patrick Macnee and Jennifer Raine)
2. "Girl on the Road" (with Tod Andrews and Eve Brent)
3. "Food on the Table" (with Kay Stewart and Tudor Owen)
4. "The Doctors" (with Tony Travis and Argentina Brunetti)
5. "The Crystal Ball" (with Booth Colman and Roxane Berard)
6. "Genesis" (with Katherine Squire and Peter Miller)
7. "Summer Heat" (with Harry Bartell and Paul Bryar)
8. "The Return of Madame Vernoy" (with Lee Torrance, Jean del Val and George Hamilton)
9. "Destination Nightmare" (with Ron Hagerthy and Myron Healey)
10. "Jack the Ripper" (with Niall MacGinnis and Dorothy Alison)
11. "Whatever Happened To Peggy?" (with Denise Alexander, Whit Bissell and Olive Blakeney)

There is no actual airing order since the series never aired. The production order above is according to the original video and DVD release.
Note: there are 12 episodes in all in the series entitled The Veil.


Television episodes have been screened at the annual Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Boris Karloff's introduction for the episodes "Destination Nightmare" and "Peggy" were set in a study rather than in front of a fireplace like the others.