Last year my mom gave me the first season of One Step Beyond (OSB). When we had been out visiting her, then, we watched a couple of episodes she had on her own discs, but now that I have my own DVDs, I’ve been watching them, and, man, how I’d forgotten about that show! OSB was created by Merwin Gerard, and the original series ran for three years on ABC, from 1959 to 1961, premiering on January 20, 1959. The Twilight Zone, by contrast, premiered on October 2, 1959. “Weird” didn’t just cover OSB—all its episodes were well-documented and real. They had all actually happened.
The host, John Newland (November 23, 1917 – January 10, 2000), was a director, actor, screenwriter, and TV producer. Very much like Rod Serling (December 25, 1924 – June 28, 1975), he introduced the episodes and closed them out. I wonder if there had been any (gentlemanly, I hope!) rivalries between the two. Anyway, and according to Wiki, once OSB was over, Newland had also hosted a short-lived counterpart, called The Next Step Beyond, in 1978. I think I actually remember something about this, as a kid. Following the termination of One Step Beyond, John Newland directed one of the early 1964 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. shows—I remember loving this show (seen in reruns by my très young self), starring Robert Vaughn.
The opening and closing themes (the opening theme, titled, “Fear,” above, the closing, titled, “Weird,” below) from One Step Beyond were both done by an orchestra conducted (and its music composed by) Harry Lubin. And if you like these, you gotta also listen to these two Science Fictiony efforts.
In the creation of these themes, Lubin used a Theremin, an electronic instrument invented in 1928 by its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, that is played by moving one’s hands around and near two antennas to control frequency oscillators with one hand and volume amplification with the other. One never actually touched the instrument when playing it. What creepy atmosphere it creates!
While the “official” first season DVDs are available here, I was unable to find any of the remaining two seasons, yet. Since the first one was released in 2009, hopefully the remaining two years will be shortly released! One Step Beyond is also available on Hulu.com.
So, however you manage to catch and revisit the chronicles of One Step Beyond, enjoy!
- The Night Gallery (fpdorchakrealitycheck.wordpress.com)
- Twilight Zone – My 25 Favorite Episodes! (fpdorchakrealitycheck.wordpress.com)
- NG on Me-TV: A Cavet (fpdorchakrealitycheck.wordpress.com)
- The Twilight Zone – An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (fpdorchakrealitycheck.wordpress.com)
- The Mystic Seer’s Words of Wisdom (fpdorchakrealitycheck.wordpress.com)