8/21/2013

Science fiction struggles on American television, and so do anthology series. When you put them together, you have a pretty small pool. However, there have been a few that have survived and thrived to become legendary. Here are five of them:

5. Amazing Stories (1985)

This science fiction television anthology series was created by Steven Spielberg. The show had a broader range of stories than other Scifi shows, and focused on happier stories than the others on this list. It also had very impressive visual effects for the time. The show had a broad legacy with the episode "The Family Dog" becoming its own TV show, and the screenplay for an episode Batteries Not Included developed into a feature film.


4. Tales From The Darkside (1984)

An anthology horror TV series created by George A. Romero, each episode was an individual short story that ended with a plot twist. The series' episodes spanned the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Unlike its predecessors, Darkside featured elements of black comedy and high special effects for the time.


3. Night Gallery (1970)

Featuring stories of horror and the macabre, Rod Serling served both as the on-air host of Night Gallery and as a major contributor of scripts. While not as successful as Twilight Zone, the series enjoyed more critical acclaim and is remembered fondly.


2. The Outer Limits (1963)

This series set itself apart from The Twilight Zone with a greater emphasis on hard science fiction over the supernatural. It also aimed to be horror oriented with the monster in "Architects of Fear" judged so terrifying that many stations blacked the creature's scenes out or cut the scenes altogether. The series employed several famous writers of the time, including Harlan Ellison.


1. Twilight Zone (1959)

Created and hosted by Rod Serling, the series blended drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction,suspense, and horror. The stories became famous for their moral themes and twist endings. A popular and critical success, it introduced many Americans to serious science fiction and abstract ideas through television. It's truly the greatest scifi anthology of all time.

Which is your favorite anthology? Any other great scifi anthologies you could mention?

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9 comments:

MarkM said...

All great shows and I have very fond memories of watching Night Gallery and Twilight Zone, growing up.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not sure about Amazing Stories. I guess Tales From the Crypt would be horror? The other four rock though. Tales From the Darkside was so underrated.

Pat Dilloway said...

Thanks to the Syfy Channel's marathons whole new generations get introduced to how great the Twilight Zone is.

DAVID WALSTON said...

Twilight Zone is the best. I love watching the original B&W. Stephen Hawking's Sci Fi Masters on the Science Channel is pretty good.

Yolanda Renee said...

Don't recognize Amazing Stories, but the others certainly! Twilight Zone and Night Gallery my favs!

He Geek She Geek said...

Excellent choices, every one! Each had its niche: Twilight Zone was "the twist", Night Gallery was suspense, Outer Limits: Sci-Fi, Amazing Stories: Fantasy, and Darkside: horror. Together they hit all the geek genres of the time. These days, comics/superheroes might be a new genre to tap with an anthology. Someone get JJ Abrams on the phone!

He Geek She Geek said...

You need to check out Amazing Stories on Netflix. Some of the stories are cheesy, schmaltzy, but there are many classics to be found in that series, like the Tailgunner's story and the afore mentioned Family Dog (which honestly doesn't fit the concept of the show at all but was still a great cartoon)

jeremy [retro] said...

night gallery still gives me the haunts.

msmariah said...

Ok, what about 'Monsters?' I used to love that show.

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