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6 Degrees Entertainment

'One Step Beyond: The Official First Season'
(John Newland, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / (1959) 2009 / CBS - Paramount)

Overview: Before The Twilight Zone, there was 'ONE STEP BEYOND,' the groundbreaking 1959 series landing on DVD for the first time ever September 15 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.

DVD Verdict: Some have called this show a forerunner of "The Twilight Zone", but that is not exactly true. Each segment in this series was based on paranormal events or situations that defied logical explanation. In that sense, this show was much more similar in style to "The X-Files", except without the long story arcs.

"The Twilight Zone" episodes, on the other hand, were pure fiction, often written to explore some current social issue that, due to the conventions of the times, would have been impossible to talk about in a straightforward manner without igniting a controversy. Also, this show ran in parallel with "The Twilight Zone" rather than preceding it, running for three seasons from 1959 until 1962.

I first saw this series in the 1980's when it was running on the then-new "Nick at Nite", and I was fascinated by it. I have one of the old public domain packages that has about half of the total 97 episodes in it. The video and audio were passable, but you got what you paid for. The one episode that really sticks in my mind is "Father Image", which is actually from season two.

This episode concerned a man whose father has left him some property, including an old boarded-up burlesque house. Nobody can understand why he never sold the place, until an accident causes the son to see images from his dead father's life that include his murder of a girl he was having an affair with and the disposal of her body in the burlesque house, which he closed shortly after the murder and left abandoned.

The son finds the body, and would have some explaining to do to the police if it was not obvious that the girl had died years before the son was born. The episode dealt with the issue of children inheriting memories from their parents. I just mention this episode as an example of the interesting episodes that occurred in every season of the show.

You'll notice lots of guest appearances by not-yet famous stars such as Elizabeth Montgomery, Charles Bronson, Jack Lord, Warren Beatty, and Pernell Roberts. I highly recommend it. This great show has too long been in the public domain and it will be wonderful to have a restored copy. [Calvin] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Extended pilot: "The Bride Possessed"
Promo; Alcoa opening; Main title sequence (1990s version)
Archival audio interview with Don Mankiewicz