Review: Night Gallery
DVD: Night Gallery (1969 – 73)
Night Gallery, hosted by The Twilight Zone’s Rob Serling was an American anthology series that aired on American television from 1969 to 1973, and not unlike The Twilight Zone it told of stories of horror and of the macabre. Serling served both as the on-air host of Night Gallery and as a major contributor of scripts and viewed Night Gallery as an extension of The Twilight Zone, but while The Twilight Zone‘s offerings were primarily science fiction, Night Gallery focused on horrors of the supernatural. Boasting Directors such as John Astin and a very young Steven Spielberg, and just about every pre-1973 star you could shake a stick at (From Joan Crawford to Diane Keaton).
Rob Serling introduces each episode with a ‘Good evening, and welcome to a private showing of three paintings, displayed here for the first time. Each is a collector’s item in its own way—not because of any special artistic quality, but because each captures on a canvas, suspended in time and space, a frozen moment of a nightmare’. So that sets the picture – literally to a VERY late 60s, early 70s American TV show.
The show gave the audience adaptations of classic fantasy tales by authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, as well as original works (many of which were by Serling himself). The wonderful Fabulous Films have released the box set of all 3 series of Night Gallery, now I don’t remember this being on British TV (Was it? Do you remember it?) so I settled down to watch selected episodes.
The first story featured 1969 floatiness, a sort of middle class hippy chick in designer floaty chiffon clothes, floats about dreams about a house, a dream house. Her Psychiaitrist tells her not to look for the house, she then looks for the house and buys it, there is a loud knocking on the door, she runs to answer it (out of shot) then runs back in the most floaty way possible, and rings her doctor to tell him SHE is the ghost haunting the house. Huh?
The second story is an Edgar Allen Poe take on a family of 3 sisters and their brother, who is a doctor. The eldest sister is infirm in bed, the other 2 float (more floating) around taking care of their brother, the eldest sister dies and her ‘shadow’ appears on the wall…. Yes you can guess… He killed her. The other sisters then kill the brother and HIS shadow appears on the wall. They are a family once more.
This series is very much of its time. Not scary at all, but rather an episodic single story series, rather like The Streets of San Francisco, McCloud and Kojack. It has a real look and feel of those great American television programmes of my childhood. Also the clothes are ‘far out man’.
Another great release by Fabulous Films and a must for fans of the series as well as those who have never seen it before.