Rod Serling’s immortal gift to mankind, The Twilight Zone, will forever reign as the king of television horror-SF anthologies. It will never be excelled. Zone had worthy contemporaries, too. The Outer Limits and Alfred Hitchcock Presents rightfully have taken their places among the legendary, One Step Beyond was available on Hulu for a while, and the Boris Karloff-hosted Thriller was, until a couple years ago, airing late at night on one of the OTA subchannels.
That the bar for excellence was set so high so early did not deter later generations of TV producers, directors, showrunners, and writers. Many in the years since have striven to create their own unforgettable horror anthologies, and many indeed have succeeded. Every decade has its own standouts in the genre. Serling himself reloaded in the 1970s with Night Gallery, and people a bit younger than myself still speak affectionately of Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? I’m confident that today there are thousands of American and British kids, mostly in their teens but a few maybe a bit younger, who turn off every light in the house before watching Black Mirror in deep, intent silence.
This blog at this stage however is concerned with the 1980s. We had our anthologies then too, and they were nothing to sneeze at. About the same time that I was struggling to find and later enjoying the finer titles in Tyler Elementary School’s library, I was also seeking every opportunity to be terrorized by television.