18. Way Out

Air Dates: March 31, 1961 - July 14, 1961
Network: CBS
Best Episode: "Soft Focus" (July 7, 1961)

Roald Dahl strikes again. Whereas Tales Of The Unexpected worked horror into its predominantly sentimental vibe, the short-lived Way Out, which preceded Tales by 18 years, was the prolific author at his most cynical and baleful.

Acting as the show's host, Dahl introduced the anthology series' unhappy episodes with straight-faced poise, a dryly comedic approach that never distracted from the stories themselves. That's a good thing, too, because Way Out's 14 installments never skimped on extraordinarily unsettling visuals. In “Soft Focus”, half of a guy's face gets erased, and the demented “Side Show” wins points with headless bodies strapped into electric chairs.

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