I kid, I kid, but sometimes the Review Gods do smile upon me ... and the very kind people at Kino Lorber recently treated me to a complimentary Blu-ray copy of that 1970's television classic Night Gallery. I humbly accepted!
For those of you unaware, Night Gallery was the creation of Rod Serling, the man behind the ultimate television staple The Twilight Zone. In fact, I've read that Serling himself saw Night Gallery as a kinda/sorta continuation of Zone -- to a degree -- though the program focused much more closely on Horror as a staple in its stories, dabbling in matters of the occult, ghosts, ghouls, and the like. It premiered in 1970 and last three seasons, and I believe I've read the format was tinkered with just a bit over those three years.
Now, I haven't seen an awful lot of the show. I have seen the original pilot telefilm (I think it aired in 1968 or 1969, which was actually quite good), and I have seen a handful of the first season episodes. While I didn't find the show on the same level of quality as was The Twilight Zone, I still believe it's filled with some of the better stories captured for broadcast audiences of a certain era. Production qualities were quite good, though I honestly felt its tales were a bit too grounded in what I'd call late 1960's and early 1970's sensibilities, which is to say that they were probably a bit light on narrative specifics, a bit overly theatrical.
Still, I would argue that Night Gallery offered an incredible line-up of guest stars, some of them very near their prime, and that fact alone might make a trip into the Gallery a good time for those of us who still appreciate the aging Thespian's ability to chew scenery the way only he or she could.
In any event, I'm going to spend a bit of time over the next few days watching a few of these episodes, and I'll be posting some reviews in this space for regular readers. Do, please, check them out; and for fans of the original program it is available on DVD (Seasons 1 and 2 are already in the marketplace, and Season 3 drops next week). What with the holiday season right around the corner, what household wouldn't benefit from something a bit different on the entertainment menu?
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!