Tuesday, 28 February 2017

One Step Beyond!

Image result for madness one step beyond

Yes, 'One Step Beyond' is the title of an instrumental hit single and an album by much-loved British ska-influeced popsters Madness. But they took that title from a TV series so obscure that, to my shame, I'd never heard of it before it popped up on YouTube. It is not brilliant, but has some good moments and certainly qualifies as an interesting curiosity.

The resemblance to The Twilight Zone is apparent. This is, I think, largely down to the fact that the TV formats of the time were fairly rigid. The host gently ushering the viewer into the story and then offering some thoughts at the end is precisely what Rod Serling didn't want to do in TTZ. Too hackneyed. But he gave in to network pressure and did it, so that now a lot of other guys look as if they copied Serling.

Anyway, here are a couple of supernatural tales that have lasted reasonably well. First up is no less a horror legend than Donald Pleasence, in a British-based episode.

Meanwhile, back  in the states, everyone is talking cool and hep and so forth. Get with the beat, Daddy-O. But the central conceit of 'The Hand' could be straight from the notebooks of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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