Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|One Step Beyond Vol 12|
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Before The Twilight Zone there was? One Step Beyond Hosted by John Newland Have you ever sensed that you?ve been some place before, or witnessed a bewildering situation involving the unexplainable or the paranormal? Ha... more »
They saved the worst for last
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 02/20/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Watching the four episodes of One Step Beyond collected in Volume 12, I begin to understand why such a great show ended after only three seasons. The four episodes, products of the second half of that final season, are a far cry from all the marvelous productions that made this series so fantastic.
Things get off to a good start with Dead Man's Tale (original air date: January 17, 1961). A husband and wife at the end of their financial rope check in to a hotel, and the husband becomes fascinated with a gold mining book he finds in the room. In the middle of the night, he unconsciously types up a story about two brothers who went looking for gold, only to turn on each other when they found it. The wife sends it in to the paper, despite the fact that her husband seemingly made it all up, and the husband ends up investigating the story himself after the wife of one of the men shows up at his door.
Next up is Person Unknown (original air date: February 7, 1961). This episode, which didn't exactly bowl me over, does feature an interesting twist: a short interview with the elderly man whose remarkable story is the subject of the presentation. That story involves the malevolent ghost of a gigantic Aztec warrior. An innocent man is blamed for murder, and his story about an unseen killer is not believed - until he and the police are able to examine an unusual artifact of the killing.
Night of Decision (original air date: February 21, 1961) is interesting because it takes us back to the dark days of Valley Forge, where the miserable winter and lack of supplies (and congressional support) threaten to put an end to the colonists' ambitions to achieve independence from Great Britain. George Washington is almost ready to give up and resign his commission, but then something unworldly happens to change his mind. This episode is actually rather strange because it presents the legend of Washington's vision pretty strangely. First it has him encounter the ghost of a former Indian chieftain whose men proved unable to kill him years earlier at the battle of Monongahela, and then it shows him regaining his resolve after experiencing an uncanny dream or vision - barely describing that vision at all. Well, first of all, the story of Washington's Valley Forge vision is undoubtedly a hoax that first appeared well into the 19th century, and, second of all, I find it strange that the presentation didn't really even describe the angelic visitor who supposedly showed the general the future of America - including the conflict and resolution of the later War Between the States. Additionally, I have never heard of any story regarding a dead chieftain appearing to Washington, although I do believe such a former foe - very much alive - did speak with Washington at some point about his miraculous survival at Monongahela. No one can dispute the uncanny facts of that battle, though, which Washington emerged from unhurt - despite having several horses shot out from under him and bearing a number of bullet holes in his uniform and hat. A case can be made that providence did preserve a 23-year-old George Washington that day for some greater, future purpose.
This volume concludes with Midnight (original air date: June 13, 1961). It is a horrible and incredibly strange episode: I almost question whether what I saw actually was a One Step Beyond episode because John Newland made no appearance and the end credits were radically different from the scores of other episodes I have seen. It's all about a writer who pens a story about a horrible woman named Lilith whom the protagonist meets nightly at midnight; Lilith's influence turns him into a criminal and a madman. Guess who the writer bumps into after finishing his story and taking a midnight stroll?
Basically, Dead Man's Tale gets four stars, Person Unknown gets two, Night of Decision gets 3 and a half just because of its subject matter, and Midnight gets one star - barely. Add that up, and it leads me to give One Step Beyond Volume 12 three stars. If there has ever been a volume of this series you can skip, it is definitely this one."