Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Please Pass the Fingernails

The complete October 6, 1972, episode of Ghost Story, “Bad Connection,” starring Karen Black and Michael Tolan.

This is the sort of news that fills me with hope of other under-appreciated small-screen programs someday being made available in stores: The blog TV Shows on DVD reports that the 1972-1973 NBC series Ghost Story will be released in a six-disc set this coming May. It also supplies some background on that show:
Horror movie maestro William Castle (The Tingler) followed his role model Alfred Hitchcock into TV with this anthology series of suspense and shudders, though he ceded the hosting chores to Sebastian Cabot (TV’s Family Affair) as “Winston Essex” for the first part of the series. A mid-season name change (to Circle of Fear) and a no-host format were intended to boost ratings, but this quirky, chilling and fascinating series only lasted one season. All 23 hour-long episodes are included, with outstanding guest stars like Jason Robards, Helen Hayes, Melvyn Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Jodie Foster, Angie Dickinson, Geraldine Page, Patricia Neal, Martin Sheen, Stella Stevens, Karen Black, Rip Torn, Carolyn Jones, Mariette Hartley, William Windom and many, many more. This is a must-have for lovers of thrillers and classic television alike! Newly remastered.
Many years have passed since I last gave a moment’s thought to Ghost Story, but I remember watching that spooky weekly drama during the period when Cabot played host. (It was broadcast on Friday nights at 9 p.m., just before the Robert Forster period private-eye series, Banyon.) Ghost Story debuted on September 15, 1972, with an episode titled “The Dead We Leave Behind,” starring Jason Robards “as a man haunted by television ... a man whose life is strangely--and tragically--proscribed by scenes on a TV set he can’t control,” according to that week’s write-up in TV Guide.

TV Shows on DVD explains that Ghost Story (a.k.a. Circle of Fear)--The Complete Series “will be available as part of Sony’s manufacture on demand (MOD) program. Which means it won’t be in stores; you’ll be able to purchase it online from places like Amazon.com’s CreateSpace service, or the WBshop’s Warner Archive program.” There’s no word yet on what this long-overdue set will cost.

With the release of Ghost Story now finally scheduled, can DVD collections of other dramas I’ve enjoyed in the past--including Harry O, City of Angels, Assignment: Vienna, Spenser: For Hire, and the aforementioned Banyon--be far behind? Let’s hope not.

Below left: TV Guide’s description of Ghost Story from the September 9, 1972, Fall Preview edition (click on that image for a blow-up). Below right: The planned cover of Ghost Story (a.k.a. Circle of Fear)--The Complete Series.

1 comment:

J F Norris said...

Great news! Loved that show! I was addicted to it in my teen years And very bummed when after changing the format and title to Circle of Fear it was suddenly cancelled after only a few episodes. I'm not one who is big on purchasing DVDs but I may just buy this set.