- Release Date: September 15, 2009
- Publisher: Paramount
- Price: $36.49 on Amazon.com
- Rating: Not Rated
- Run Time: 561 minutes
- Special Features: Extended Pilot, Promo, Alcoa Opening, Archival Audio Interview with Don Mankiewicz
- Starring: John Newland
- Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Anthology
Paramount has been putting out a lot of older sci-fi anthology series out lately and I’ve liked just about every one of them. “One Step Beyond” is the latest series to get a release and my thoughts on it are pretty much the same. Despite its age, “One Step Beyond” is still a spooky and entertaining show that is definitely worth watching.
For those of you that are probably thinking this show is just a ripoff of “The Twilight Zone,” “One Step Beyond” actually premiered ten months earlier. The concepts of the two shows are pretty similar except for the fact that “One Step Beyond’s” stories were based on reported fact instead of the entirely fictitious “Twilight Zone” stories. Like “The Twilight Zone,” every episode of “One Step Beyond” began with a host (in this case John Newland) introducing a supernatural story that would feature anything from ghosts to a killer who can’t be executed. These stories would feature great guest stars like Cloris Leachman, Julie Adams, Patrick Macnee, and more.
I wouldn’t say that “One Step Beyond” is as good as “The Twilight Zone” but it’s not like it’s that much worse either. Considering “The Twilight Zone” is a classic, it’s a pretty big compliment to mention “One Step Beyond” in the same breath as it. “One Step Beyond” actually does a few things better than “The Twilight Zone.” For one thing, the fact that “One Step Beyond’s” stories are based in reality makes them even creepier than the ones on “The Twilight Zone.” I also think that it’s stories were a little more original. However, “The Twilight Zone” is better written, acted, and hosted and that is why if I had to pick just one of these two shows, I would take it over “One Step Beyond.”
While “One Step Beyond” is a very old show (its even in black and white) and thus can’t compete with today’s shows in terms of video or audio quality, this DVD still looks and sounds much better than the many public domain video releases that have been put over the years. Paramount did spend some time remastering the episodes and it definitely shows. There are a few scratches and pieces of debris here and there but the show looks much nicer than I thought it would. Overall, I’d say the transfers are well above average. The audio is also pretty good.
Unlike most of Paramount’s classic TV show releases, “One Step Beyond: The Official First Season” actually has a few extras included. First up is an extended version of the pilot which contains a prologue to the series by John Newland. There’s also a short promo, the original Alcoa opening, and an audio interview with Don Mankiewicz. Most of these features are short but nice to have.
Even though “One Step Beyond” isn’t as good as “The Twilight Zone” in my opinion, I did still really enjoy the first season and I have no problem highly recommending it for sci-fi and anthology fans.