Like the Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond had a similar premise: each episode showed a different story, that ranged mainly from somber and unexplained mysteries, to the most unknown parapsychological phenomena that could ever haunt the existence of human beings. Although a little more down to earth on the approach of its subjects – not nearly as esoteric, eccentric or imaginative as The Twilight Zone –, the show to this day has its widely appreciated circle of enthusiasts. Fascinating and incredibly lucid, One Step Beyond knew how to wisely explore the innermost psychological fears of the mind, and the susceptibility of human beings to it, as well as expose the fragile perception of humans themselves in what concerns the limitations of their own condition, and how they can be confused and trapped by it.
Like the Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond had featured over its two and a half years run a lot of legendary actors and actresses – but before they had achieved notoriety and fame –, like Elizabeth Montgomery, Suzanne Pleshette, Donald Pleasence, Robert Loggia, Christopher Lee and William Shatner (which also starred in two episodes of The Twilight Zone), amongst others, as well as an enormous cast of other incredibly talented actors, that haven’t become famous, or didn’t solidified well-established careers.
With almost one hundred episodes that ran for three seasons, unfortunately One Step Beyond failed to meet the success or to achieve the audience of its most well-known seemingly related show, The Twilight Zone. But this doesn’t mean One Step Beyond was inferior or mediocre: the quality of the stories, as well as the acting and directing speaks for itself in each episode of the series. Despite the striking similarities, the two shows also had profound differences, since One Step Beyond usually dealt with far more real possibilities, departing from lucid premises, while Rod Serling – who scripted most of the episodes of The Twilight Zone – usually explored more implausible and hermetic, but nevertheless fascinating, scenarios.
These two shows are part of the American television folklore. If you like a classic tale of mystery, or a deranged and deviating story of hallucination and desperation, I highly recommend you to watch One Step Beyond.