The World of the Unexplainable – One Step Beyond

by Guy Belleranti
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Ten months before The Twilight Zone came to television there began another series of the weird and unknown. Its name was One Step Beyond.

Originally titled Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, with the corporate sponsor's name in the title, this program went beyond the twisty and mysterious fictional tales of Rod Serling's famous series.

For One Step Beyond's episodes were all based upon true unexplainable events of the paranormal.

The host of each episode was John Newland. He would begin with the following introduction: "What you are about to see is a matter of human record.

Explain it: we cannot. Disprove it: we cannot. We simply invite you to explore with us the amazing world of the Unknown ... to take that One Step ... Beyond."

Each of the 96 docudramas were eerie. From premonitions of death and disasters to ghosts, poltergeists, ESP and more One Step Beyond did, indeed, provide spooky tales. The stories never offered solutions either, but they did provide plenty of food for thought.

The musical score by Harry Lubin added to the mood of the program. So did the black and white cinematography with its shadows and interesting camera angles.

The episodes featured both veteran and soon to be stars. Among them were Robert Loggia, Charles Bronson, Cloris Leachman, Warren Beatty, Pernell Roberts, Jack Lord, Christopher Lee, Elizabeth Montgomery, Donald Pleasence, Suzanne Pleshette, Ross Martin, William Shatner and Mike Conners.

Newland also directed some of the episodes. The producer was Collier Young (he also produced the television programs The Wild Wild West and Ironside), and the series creator was Merwin Gerard. Gerard, Young and many others did the writing for the series.

When no more programs were being produced One Step Beyond went into syndication where it was seen for many years. And today, many of the episodes are available on DVD.

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