21. One Step Beyond
Air Dates: January 20, 1959 - July 4, 1961
Best Episode: "The Image Of Death" (May 19, 1959)
One of the lamest marketing tactics perpetrated by folks in the horror movie business is the always annoying ploy of “based on true events.” The better, more honest phrasing would be, “based on a minor anecdote someone once told us that we decided to manipulate into our own ridiculous story.”
There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and One Step Beyond qualifies in this case. One of TV's first anthology shows, the John Newland-hosted series presented its weird tales as real-life happenings under dramatization; when you're watching an episode about astral projection (“The Long Call”), however, it's difficult to buy into any sense of realism.
Through the power of on-point storytelling, though, One Step Beyond nevertheless holds up as an often creepy little property. It's also one of the lighter shows of its kind, frequently wrapping episodes up with little to no body-counts. If you like that sort of happy-go-lucky thing.