A lot of people seem to remember episodes of this series but cant remember the name. Which is too bad since this is one of the rare gems of the 1970s. How could a series produced by William Castle and developed by Richard Matheson go wrong?
The pilot and first season was hosted by Sebastian Cabbot. (Most people remember him from Family Affair)
As for the second season...Cabbot was no longer host and the series name changed to Circle of Fear. Many would say such major changes in a fledgling series wouldnt bode well. But interestingly enough, many of the better stories were broadcasted during the second season.
But alas, for some reason it was canceled. Was it the ratings? Budget? Creative control? Who knows. It seems that any 1970s science fiction/horror series which wasnt geared toward younger viewers werent given much of a chance. (Obviously, times havent changed.)
William Castle Productions
[The above are for all episodes. Do not have complete credits for the Pilot or Episode #18]
Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey (1) Paul Stanley (2, 18), Richard Donner (3), Don McDougall (4, 10, 20, 22), Walter Doniger (5, 13), Leo Penn (6), David Lowell Rich (7), Les Martinson (8), Daryl Duke (9, 18), Arnold Laven (10), Robert Day (11, 14), James Neilson (15), Herschel Daugherty (16), Alex Singer (17), Charles Dubin (21), James H. Brown (23)
Story Consultants: Mark Weingart (2-15), Jimmy Sangster (2-23), Seeleg Lester (16-23)
Film Editor: Frederic Baratta, A.C.E. (2, 5,9, 12, 15, 16, 19, 22), David Wages, A.C.E. (4, 6, 10, 11, 17, 21), John Sheets, A.C.E. (3, 7,8, 13, 14, 20, 23)
Assistant Director: John Anderson, Jr. (5-7, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23), Jack P. Cunningham (2-4, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15), Murray Schwartz (20, 22)
Set Decorator: Joanne Mac Dougall (2-11), Stuart Reiss (12-14, 17), Ralph Sylos (13, 17), Robert Signorelli (15, 16, 19-23)
01. Pilot - The New House
A woman wonders if it was a good idea to move into a house built where gallows used to sit. Not as chilling as some would like but still well done with an ending thats reminiscent of fingers on a blackboard. Parkins is perfectly cast as the whining wife. Strange though that the haunting starts after she buys a statue which looks like the ghost in question. Yet, for some reason, she doesnt even consider getting rid of it.
Richard Matheson: You may not know his name but positively you know his stories. Some of what he has written includes sixteen episodes from the original Twilight Zone, an episode of Night Gallery, the Kolchack The Night Stalker pilots, and the classic television movie Trilogy of Terror. One of my favorite short stories of his is Button, Button from Twilight Zone (1985).
Barbara Parkins: Played another Eileen in an episode of Hotel (Obviously not Mansfield House). She also appeared in the excellent anthology film Asylum.
David Birney: Appeared in the Quinn Martins Tales of the Unexpected, Twilight Zone (1985), and Ray Bradbury Theatre.
Jeanette Nolan: She sure hit the ole anthology jackpot. Her resume includes five episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents/Hour, two episodes of Thriller, two episodes of Twilight Zone, and two episodes of Night Gallery. And on top of all of this she was the uncredited voice of Norma Bates in Psycho.
Sam Jaffe: Appeared in two episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, an episode of Night Gallery, and the excellent story Columbo: Forgotten Lady.
02. The Dead We Leave Behind
A man discovers disturbing images on his TV after he accidentally kills his wife. Turn the lights out and wear headphones. Great ambient noises brings back memories of old-time radio.
Jason Robards: Appeared in the Ray Bradbury film Something Wicked This Way Comes and the well worth seeing Big Hand for the Little Lady.
Stella Stevens: Appeared in an episode of the 1955 and 1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents series as well as the horror/comedy Arnold.
John McLiam: Appeared in three episodes of the original Twilight Zone.
Burr Smidt: Also appeared with Stella Stevens in Kiss Me, Kill Me.
03. The Concrete Captain
A couple celebrating their anniversary find themselves drawn into a nautical legend. If theres anyone who can spin a creepy tale verbally its veteran actor Walter Burke. Unfortunately he gets far less air time then the stars. Whitman and Rowlands both have been in better stuff. This story just seemed a little too soft to be scary.
Jimmy Sangster: Wrote an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
Elizabeth Walter : Wrote a story for Night Gallery.
Stuard Whitman: Appeared in an episode of Ellery Queen, Tales from the Darkside, Tales of the Unexpected and two episodes of Night Gallery. Also appeared in the movies Ruby and The Monster Club as well as being Jonathan Kent on the 1988 Superboy series.
Gena Rowlands: Appeared in four episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents/Hour.
Walter Burke: Appeared in an episode of The Twilight Zone (1959) and Night Gallery as well as two episodes each of Thriller and The Outer Limits (1963).
Lloyd Gough: Appeared in an episode of the The Outer Limits (1963).