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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 90.203.130.164
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2008 - 11:13 pm:   

I've just started devouring this box set so I thought I'd post my thoughts for anyone (Huw, Mick etc) who might be working through the episodes at the moment as well. Favourite stories so far include

'The Boy Who Could Predict Earthquakes' which doesn't promise much at the outset but a seriously bleak ending turns this from being ordinary into something scary and brilliant.
'Phantom of What Opera' which is one of the usually redundant silly two-minuters, actually has a really good punchline that manages to be horrific, sad, and romantic at the same time.
'Class of 99' is Serling doing his angry-at-humankind bit again. It feels a bit ham-fisted now but probably worked better when originally broadcast.
'The Flip Side of Satan' is one of my favourites - a one-hander in which DJ Arte Johnson finds himself trapped in a radio studio where it soon transpires he's not going to get to leave.
'Marmalade Wine' is a Joan Aiken conte cruele given a very stylistic treatment here that works well and wasn't annoying.
'The Academy' has a nice punchline

I've just finished watching episode 5 which has to be the best so far - a double bill of 'The Phantom Farmhouse' - a well-handled romantic werewolf story that I thought was going to be hippy bollocks when it started but it's actually very good, and 'Silent Snow, Secret Snow' from a classic Conrad Aiken short story given a very good adaptation by Gene Kearney. Difficult to do justice in a sentence here but it's an excellent 20 minutes of television that makes excellent use of, amongst other things, Orson Welles as its narrator.

As always there's the usual mixture of episodes that resemble 'Mannix with a shroud', to quote Serling, and a few where you wonder what sort of drugs the writers were on (remember that one with the giant mouse in season one? There's a bloody great cuddly spider straight out of Play School here). But on the whole I'm impressed with this so far.

And the Oscar Cook story is yet to come!
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.159.137.88
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2008 - 11:36 pm:   

Glad to hear you're having fun watching these, Lord P. - I'm nearly at the end of season one, then it's straight on to season two. It's gonna be a good Christmas!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.44.101.224
Posted on Monday, December 01, 2008 - 12:02 am:   

I bought season one last week and just watched ep one with the kids; we loved it. Funny what kids like, isn't it?
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.176.196
Posted on Monday, December 01, 2008 - 08:30 am:   

Glad you enjoyed 'Silent Snow, Secret Snow', Lord P. It's long been one of my favourite short stories and I was glad to see that they didn't make a mess of the adaptation. (I think you'd like this one, Tony.)

I just watched 'The Devil is Not Mocked' based on the Manly Wade Wellman story. It's slight, but fun in a pulpy way.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.44.101.224
Posted on Monday, December 01, 2008 - 11:21 am:   

Just read the synopsis, Huw - made me choke up already!
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Monday, December 01, 2008 - 12:05 pm:   

'The Phantom Farmhouse' (werewolf story) is evidently based on the Seabury Quinn story of the same title and theme when he got away from dapper French occult detectives Quinn could be pretty good. If one appreciates melodramatic 1920s pulp horror. As one does.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.176.196
Posted on Monday, December 01, 2008 - 04:16 pm:   

Tony, I thought of you when I watched it - you would love it, I'm sure. Read the short story too - it's a classic, and is in Fraser and Wises's Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural. Aiken wrote many fine tales, but this is my favourite ('Mr Arcularis' is another good one).

Joel, Del Toro talks about Seabury Quinn at some length in his commentary, which is well worth listening to.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.176.196
Posted on Monday, December 01, 2008 - 04:58 pm:   

*Wise's. D'oh!

I'm looking forward to 'Cool Air'...
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 90.203.130.155
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2008 - 01:11 am:   

I think someone must have given them the 11th Pan Book of Horror Stories to read as two stories from that volume make it to the screen. Just seen 'A Question of Fear' with Leslie Nielsen in the lead. It goes on a bit but the ending's great.

Huw - I thought 'The Devil is Not Mocked' was fun - a bit like an EC story but done better than the Tales From the Crypt TV series would have done it. The only other thing I've seen Francis Lederer is The Return of Dracula (which I like). I wonder if he played anything other than vampires?
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Matt_cowan (Matt_cowan)
Username: Matt_cowan

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 68.79.169.204
Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2009 - 09:50 pm:   

I love this series! I've watched all of the first season and have been watching the second recently. 'Last Rites of a Dead Druid' is pretty good, as is 'The Dark Boy'. I really like most all of the segements except for the really short ones. There's a great book all about the series and all the trouble the studios put Serling through called Rod Serling's Night Gallery An After Hours Tour by Scott Skelton and Jim Benson.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.152.220.65
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 02:47 am:   

http://www.creepypasta.com/the-message/
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.157.112.5
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 12:06 pm:   

Hmm... not sure about Night Gallery. The feel of them doesn't feel like horror, and the points seem a little heavy handed in their delivery. To be honest I'm prefering all the old antho movies at the moment - daft as they are they have a kind of dreamlike dread to them.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.152.203.102
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 12:36 pm:   

Did you hear the latest Man in Black, Tony? Not as good as last week but still nicely ambiguous.
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 90.203.130.197
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 07:56 pm:   

I've just started watching some more of these. Pickman's Model is like a Roger Corman quickie - in a good way - and actually manages some dread atmosphere just through acting and dialogue, but then the monster turns up.

No such problems with Cool Air which Rod Serling turns into a lovely morbid piece on lost love, and the same episode's Camera Obscura from the Basil Copper story, which is great little piece of nightmarish TV. Some of the stories, though, are awful- like Little House on the Prairie but with the word 'ghost' mentioned.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.185.134
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 08:33 pm:   

I loved 'Camera Obscura', Lord P! I didn't think much of the monster in 'Pickman's Model', though, and the love angle in 'Cool Air' annoyed me a little at first. I'm finding the series uneven in quality, but enjoyable, on the whole, with a few real standouts ('Silent Snow, Secret Snow', 'Camera Obscura', etc.).
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.16.76.166
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 10:24 pm:   

All said, I think on the Richter-scale of horror (i.e., its scariness) - for all the many series that have spanned both countries (U.S. & U.K.), going all the way back to the beginning - the best series of all, remains: "The Outer Limits" ('63-'65).
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.160.91.69
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2009 - 11:56 pm:   

...the best series of all, remains: "The Outer Limits" ('63-'65)

You may very well be right, Craig. I have the lot on DVD and there're some real gems in there.
You needn't have put the years though; there's not much chance of anyone thinking the same of the recent "Outer Limits"!
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.160.91.69
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2009 - 12:00 am:   

"Franzini"!
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.177.84
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2009 - 07:34 am:   

Craig, I think I'd agree with you that Outer Limits is probably the most consistently scary of the SF/horror shows like Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.
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Adriana (Adriana)
Username: Adriana

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.230.239.233
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2009 - 04:52 pm:   

D and I have been re watching all of the Twilight Zone. As my all time favorite show, I thought it was time we own it all... mwahahahaha

Just in heaven. And damn pleasantly surprised that the ratio of good to bad is much higher then I'd remembered... Wonder why that is.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 79.70.123.126
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2009 - 06:14 pm:   

Outer limits, got it - must watch it tonight or A Chinese Ghost. You decide.
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Steve Bacon (Stevebacon)
Username: Stevebacon

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 90.209.220.47
Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2009 - 09:41 am:   

I have vague memories of The Outer Limits repeats on BBC 2, from when I was a kid.

I always preferred The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, as science fiction left me a little cold when I was younger (although I've since grown to like it), but I may have overlooked some good horror hidden in the sci-fi premise of the show.

I have Night Gallery season 1 on region 1 DVD, but my multi-region player is knackered at the minute. I don't ever remember seeing the show when I was a kid.
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 90.199.0.119
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2009 - 02:43 pm:   

I have the entire Outer Limits run still sealed up on the shelf. I had planned to watch them after TZ but I'm still only halfway through Season 4

Latest Night Gallery episodes have been disappointing in their bumbling tweeness, but have still managed to give me the odd strange idea
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.48.249
Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 - 01:08 am:   

My Night Gallery season one is hitting ebay. It's crashingly dull. :-(
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.0.235
Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 - 01:16 am:   

Break out the Outer Limits John. You'll enjoy both if you alternate back and forth.

I got the Columbo boxset and it was a chore thinking I'd have to watch them chronologically, but I bounce between the 70s and the 80s series and it's like time travel. You appreciate both more. Fight the OCD!
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 - 02:52 am:   

You know, Tony, you bring something to mind:

TV right now, don't know if anyone else has noticed or agrees, is really going through a kind of renaissance. The quality, in all areas (scripted drama, scifi, police-procedural, horror, sitcom, even reality to some degree), is through the roof in relative terms. I think it's partially a reason why feature films are suffering so greatly, and seem to be (astonishingly!) on the decline.... There's actually too many good TV shows to keep up with!

So... isn't it time for a new scifi/horror/thriller anthology series to appear? If the quality stays equal, man oh man... imagine what one could be like!...
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.61.240
Posted on Friday, September 14, 2012 - 09:39 pm:   

Well, there was Fear Itself, but I found that pretty underwhelming overall, even the episodes by directors I'm a fan of.

Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror could also count, though it was only three episodes.

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