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October 28, 2011 4:28 PM   Subscribe

A week after Halloween in 1969, the great Rod Serling debuted a new television program. Night Gallery

Like the Twilight Zone before, it was a Serling-hosted anthology of the macabre.

It wavered between the terrifying:
The Caterpillar – (2,3,4)
A Fear of Spiders

And the silly:
Professor Peabody's Last Lecture - Carl Reiner's Cthulu rant.
Hell’s Bells - John Astin as a hipster in Hell.

And while retelling classics
Silent Snow, Secret Snow – a dark take on the Conrad Aiken short story

It also broke new ground with its pilot episode.
Eyes (2, 3) - the directorial debut of Steven Spielberg, starring Joan Craword.

but never forgot the joy of a good scary Halloween story;
Fright Night (2,3)

Night Gallery, the Art of Darkness. is a one hour overview hosted by Leonard Nimoy.(1,2,3).
posted by timsteil (30 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
I was thinking of posting about this at some point -- thanks for saving the trouble with this nice post! If you want more, there's a neat fan site here with episode guides, teleplays, and other behind-the-scenes stuff.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:07 PM on October 28, 2011

Trilogy of Terror: Amelia (The One with the Doll (and Karen Black))

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
posted by maudlin at 5:23 PM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

Thank you for this great post, the few episodes I saw scared the bejeebers out of me as a child. For some inexplicable reason a tv station we could get in the small town I grew up in ran reruns of these on weekend afternoons.
Shows like this, The Nightstalker, and so forth from this era have a real specific tone to them, a mood, that even to this day I am a complete sucker for.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 5:34 PM on October 28, 2011 [4 favorites]

posted by ovvl at 5:43 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

This show scarred me as a kid much much MUCH more than Twilight Zone could ever dream of.

I think I made a post long ago on WolfDaddy about the portraiture Serling used to introduce each vignette of Night Gallery, and the portraits were scary enough in their own right. Long before streaming video was the norm. There is NO WAY I'm clicking on any of those links. I know better. ESPECIALLY NOT THE FUCKING SPIDER ONE DO NOT CLICK DAMMIT.

well I'm not finding said portraiture post. Perhaps I creeped myself out too much to post it back in the day.
posted by PapaLobo at 5:47 PM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh well ovvl has it. Fucker.
posted by PapaLobo at 5:48 PM on October 28, 2011

This post looks like a lot of fun. Can't wait to dig in. Thanks!
posted by Kloryne at 6:18 PM on October 28, 2011

This show gave me nightmares as a young child (I was 7), but I still begged to watch it. Older and wiser, I'm not sure I want to watch it now.
posted by Mittenz at 6:21 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Little Black Bag was my favorite.
posted by SPrintF at 6:44 PM on October 28, 2011

Uh, you have to click the link to get to "The Paintings". Oh, you figured it out.

"Little Girl Lost" was my favourite. But they're all... good...
posted by ovvl at 7:13 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh god, I watched "The Doll" to see if it was as scary as I remembered. Yes, it is.

bitey, attacking dolls, brrr
posted by readery at 7:55 PM on October 28, 2011

"Eyes" has illegal abortion as a plot point!
posted by telstar at 8:42 PM on October 28, 2011

Yeah, I was too young or not born when the Twilight Zone was on, (at least not in reruns), but was 6 when Night Gallery debuted. Oh my god, that show just terrified me. The creepy pictures in the open, and my personal remembered terror from seeing the H.P. Lovecraft inspired, "Pickman's Model".

But they were just all so other-worldly and creepy...
posted by Windopaene at 8:50 PM on October 28, 2011

They did a pretty awesome adaptation of H.P.Lovecraft's "Pickman's Model"if I remember correctly.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:01 PM on October 28, 2011

Pickman's Model
posted by timsteil at 4:40 AM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Great post! All three seasons can be watched on IMDB...which is cool since the third season doesn't seem to ever be coming out on DVD.
posted by snap_dragon at 4:55 AM on October 29, 2011

What an awesome post! I was going to start checking out the links, but since it's still dark outside I'm just going to wait for daylight. Because, um, you know, they'll be easier to see that way.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:59 AM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

A syndicated channel showed these a year or two ago, I set my DVR and watched a new one every day. The one I remember scaring me silly as a child scared me much less as an adult, and I was surprised that some of them were just interminable and dull. And others were great only for the clothes, slang, and dated architecture.

But The Caterpillar still haunts me.
posted by pinky at 5:25 AM on October 29, 2011

I can remember two until this day pretty vivid. One was the sin eater's kid who had to eat the sins of a sin eater when the guy died. The other was the guy who had an earwig crawled in his ear and drove him nuts then crawled out and he was fine until the doctor told him it laid eggs in his head which would hatch sometime soon.

The last word in each script was a blood curdling scream. If I write a horror show I am definitely going for a blood curdling scream as the last line in the script.
posted by bukvich at 6:45 AM on October 29, 2011

I remember the earwig one too. "Twilight Zone" is still my favorite for all the usual reasons, but this series scared the living crap out of me as a kid.
posted by blucevalo at 7:08 AM on October 29, 2011

"The Cemetery" from the pilot episode haunts me to this day.
posted by tommasz at 8:29 AM on October 29, 2011

If you liked the "Silent Snow, Secret Snow" episode, I just did a post about the original short story and its various adaptations. The perfect creepy tale for a snowy night right before Halloween!
posted by Rhaomi at 4:23 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Before or after you've watched your favorite Night Gallery episodes, don't miss the fantastic Rod Serling 10-segment bio-doc in the "Rod Serling" links. I think it's a PBS American Masters doc. I didn't know how much Serling was involved in TV's first golden era, including Patterns and Requiem for a Heavyweight.
posted by marsha56 at 6:48 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

There was an episode with a sculpture that haunted a couple. It would appear at their doorway, when the husband woke up in the middle of the night. Haunted the FUCK out of me for years and years, after seeing it as a kid. I'd be afraid anything vaguely humanoid would follow me, so I'd turn around to make sure that coat on the coat rack wasn't moving...

Looks like this was the episode.

Not ready to watch it again.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:50 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Trilogy of Terror: Amelia (The One with the Doll (and Karen Black))

Part 1 yt Part 2 yt Part 3 yt

maudlin, loved that movie, but it has nothing to do with Night Gallery nor Rod Serling (AFAICT). Frankly, it was a pretty cheesy step below his level of work.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:07 AM on October 30, 2011

I remember that my parents would not let me stay up to watch Night Gallery and I was bummed.
posted by zomg at 9:35 AM on October 30, 2011

What -- really, IAmBroom? I always thought it was Night Gallery. My bad.
posted by maudlin at 10:03 AM on October 30, 2011

But seriously: thanks, I loved the memory revisit!
posted by IAmBroom at 9:53 AM on October 31, 2011

but it has nothing to do with Night Gallery nor Rod Serling

Yep, Trilogy of Terror was from Dan Curtis, the guy who produced Dark Shadows.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:09 AM on October 31, 2011

OK, THAT makes sense, Lentrohamsanin.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:18 AM on October 31, 2011

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