Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Unlike its TV-series "contemporary" The Twilight Zone, the weekly, half-hour supernatural anthology One Step Beyond did not deal with science fiction or fantasy. Rather, its stories were inspired by actual occult and paranormal occurrences, all accepted as fact (or at least based on fact) by acknowledged experts in the field. Host/narrator John Newland directed all of the episodes, and appeared as himself in a handful of stories, notably a two-parter based on the experiences of celebrated psychic Peter Hurkos. The plots covered a wide variety of phenomena throughout the world, sometimes involving such confirmed historical events as the Lincoln assassination and the sinking of the Titanic. Newland never came out and insisted that the playlets were true, but instead left them open to intelligent speculation. The series' producers invited viewers to send letters recounting their own brushes with the paranormal, and reportedly some of these were filmed for the show. Debuting January 20, 1959, on ABC, One Step Beyond was filmed in the Hollywood studios of MGM during its first two seasons, and featured such prominent American actors as Skip Homeier, Cloris Leachman, Patrick O'Neal, Suzanne Pleshette, Jack Lord, Robert Loggia, Joan Fontaine, and Warren Beatty. During the series' final season, production shifted to Great Britain, where 13 of the final 14 episodes were produced. Throughout its original network run (which lasted until October 3, 1961), the 96-episode series was officially titled Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond in honor of its sponsor, the Aluminum Company of America. In 1977, the property was revived for syndication as The Next Step Beyond, again with John Newland as host/director.