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Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows)

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 (Edited)

LIGHTS…OUUUUUT!!

I’ve always been a big fan of spooky anthology shows, with The Twilight Zone of course being the catalyst for that. Now, TZ of course is well-preserved on a stunning Blu-ray set (which I have), and The Outer Limits is just beginning to arrive on BD as well finally (hooray!). But there were a lot of these kinds of shows since the early days of television, and many of them have not fared so well as the big names. Here’s a fairly complete list someone compiled of such shows:

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls000520791/

Some of them are available in varying quality on full DVD sets, while others have only a few episodes that have ever been made available. A few of them (like 'Way Out or Great Ghost Stories) have had no commercial release ever. And then there are some with many episodes that may be missing or lost forever, and just maybe copies of a few episodes locked away in repositories like the Paley Center or Library of Congress.

Lights Out is great example of a show that has faced those troubles. It was based on the old radio show of the same name. There were 3 seasons from 1949-1952, but also a set of 4 specials that aired in 1946 to kick things off. However, since this was the age of live television, the 4 specials were likely never recorded and have vanished into the ether…so we just have to forget about ever seeing those again. For the 3 main seasons, though, a smattering of episodes out of the 156 total have survived as low-quality kinescopes (recordings of a live broadcast off a television screen)…and 30 of those (from Seasons 2 & 3 only) have been released on DVD in no particular order.

Now, outside of that there are a few more Lights Out episodes in the Paley Center for Media’s collection, taken from kinescopes that have been donated or acquired…including 3 from the elusive Season 1, and a pilot for a proposed new series that was aired in 1972 (but which never went any further than that). That episode is pretty dismally bad, but exists as a viewable recording in the Paley Center’s collection. So there are a few more that aren’t available elsewhere but can be viewed if you visit their New York or L.A. archive offices. And then there are some episodes of Lights Out aired on SciFi in the 90s (pre-SyFy), including at least 2 that are not otherwise available. So that’s a few more there. But how many still exist? Are there more in private collections?

This thread is meant as an exploration of what’s out there, and an attempt to see if we can turn up any more sources for further Lights Out episodes.

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

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 (Edited)

Lights Out - episode guide

TV Specials (1946)

First Person Singular (6/30/1946) [likely not kinescoped]
Something in the Wind (8/11/1946) [likely not kinescoped]
DeMortius (9/1/1946) [likely not kinescoped]
The Brave Man with a Cord (10/13/1946) [likely not kinescoped]

Season 1 (1949-1950)

Edna Warren (7/19/1949)
Promise (7/26/1949) [no on-screen narrator, at Paley Center]
Long Distance (8/2/1949) [no on-screen narrator, at Paley Center]
Crater (8/9/1949)
Souvenirs of His Dead Wife (8/16/1949)
The Housekeeper (8/23/1949)
Dressing Gown (8/30/1949)
The Whisper (9/23/1949)
Conqueror's Isle (11/7/1949)
Pengallen's Bell (11/14/1949)
The Fall of the House of Usher (11/21/1949)
I Dreamt I Died (11/28/1949)
Something In the Wind (New Production) (12/5/1949)
Justice Lies Waiting (12/12/1949)
The Elevator (12/19/1949)
The Man Who Couldn't Lose (12/26/1949)
The Riverman (1/2/1950)
Judgment Reversed (1/9/1950) [at Paley Center]
The Green Dress (1/16/1950)
The Devil to Pay (1/23/1950)
Reservations For Four (1/30/1950)
Dead Pigeon (2/6/1950)
The Invisible Staircase (2/13/1950) [Narrator: Jack LaRue, on ReelclassicDVD.com disc]
Graven Image (2/20/1950)
Portrait of a Dead Man (2/27/1950)
The Strange Case of John Kingman (3/6/1950)
The Emerald Lavalier (3/13/1950)
The Scarab (3/20/1950)
Mary, Mary Quite Contrary (3/27/1950)
The Queen Is Dead (4/3/1950)
The Faithful Heart (4/10/1950)
A Toast to Sergeant Farnsworth (4/17/1950)
The Man Who Couldn't Remember (4/24/1950)
The Gloves of Gino (5/1/1950)
The Silent Voice (5/8/1950)
The House That Time Forgot (5/15/1950)
Rendezvous (5/22/1950)
How Love Came to Professor Guldia (5/29/1950)
The Heart of Jonathan O'Rourke (6/5/1950)
The Determined Lady (6/12/1950)
A Child Is Crying (6/19/1950)
An Encore (6/26/1950)
The Whisper (New Production) (7/3/1950)
I Dreamt I Died (New Production) (7/10/1950)
The Devil to Pay (New Production) (7/17/1950)
The Strange Case of John Kingman (New Production) (7/31/1950)
The Queen Is Dead (New Production) (8/14/1950)
The Heart of Jonathan O'Rourke (New Production) (8/21/1950)

Season 2 (1950-1951)

The Ides of April (8/28/1950)
Benuili Chant (9/4/1950)
The Dark Corner (9/11/1950)
The Leopard Lady (9/18/1950)
Sisters of Shadow (9/25/1950)
The Posthumous Dead (10/2/1950)
Just What Happened (10/9/1950) [on Volume 8 DVD]
The Thing Upstairs (10/16/1950)
The Skeptics (10/23/1950)
The Martian Eyes (10/30/1950)
The Half Pint Flask (11/6/1950)
The Waxwork (11/13/1950)
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment (11/20/1950)
The Mule Man (11/27/1950)
Beware This Woman (12/4/1950) [on Volume 4 DVD]
Masque (12/11/1950)
The Men On the Mountain (12/18/1950)
Jasper (12/25/1950) [not on DVD, SciFi Channel broadcast]
The Haunted Skyscraper (1/1/1951)
Bird of Time (1/8/1951)
The Bottle Imp (1/15/1951)
For Release Today (1/22/1951) [on Volume 7 DVD]
The Masque of the Red Death (1/29/1951)
The House of Dust (2/5/1951)
Curtain Call (2/12/1951) [on Volume 6 DVD]
Strange Legacy (2/19/1951) [on Volume 5 DVD]
The Dispossessed (2/26/1951)
The Man With the Astrakhan Hat (3/5/1951)
Leda's Portrait (3/12/1951)
Western Night (3/19/1951)
The Power of the Brute (3/26/1951)
The Mad Dullaghan (4/2/1951) [on Volume 3 DVD]
The Crushed Rose (4/9/1951)
The Witness (4/16/1951) [at Paley Center]
The Fonceville Curse (4/23/1951) [on Volume 6 DVD]
Grey Reminder (4/30/1951) [on Volume 4 DVD]
The Lost Will of Dr. Rant (5/7/1951) [on Volume 8 DVD]
Dead Man's Coat (5/14/1951) [on Volume 5 DVD]
Cat's Cradle (5/21/1951) [on Volume 6 DVD]
The Pattern (5/28/1951) [on Volume 3 DVD]
The Martian Eyes (New Production) (6/4/1951) [on Volume 8 DVD]
Pit of the Dead (6/11/1951)
Dead Freight (6/18/1951)
The Passage Beyond (6/25/1951) [on Volume 1 DVD]
And Adam Begot (7/2/1951) [on Volume 5 DVD]
The Meddlers (7/9/1951) [on Volume 5 DVD]
The Devil In Glencairn (7/16/1951) [on Volume 4 DVD]
Zero Hour (7/23/1951)
The Fingers (7/30/1951)
The Faceless Man (8/6/1951) [on Volume 2 DVD]
The Man With the Watch (8/13/1951) [on Volume 1 DVD]
Follow Me (8/20/1951)

Season 3 (1951-1952)

Mrs. Manifold (8/27/1951) [on Volume 7 DVD]
Blackwood Hall (9/3/1951)
Prophet of Darkness (9/10/1951)
To See Ourselves (9/17/1951)
Rappaccini's Daughter (9/24/1951) [SciFi Channel broadcast]
Will-O'-the-Wisp (10/1/1951) [on Volume 6 DVD]
Dark Image (10/8/1951) [on Volume 2 DVD]
I Spy! (10/15/1951) [on Volume 3 DVD]
The Deal (10/22/1951) [on Volume 7 DVD]
The Veil (10/29/1951) [on Volume 2 DVD]
The Chamber of Gloom (11/5/1951)
The Beast In the Garden (11/12/1951)
Friday the Nineteenth (11/19/1951)
The Far-Off Island (11/26/1951)
The Silent Supper (12/3/1951) [on Volume 3 DVD]
The Angry Birds (12/10/1951) on Volume 7 DVD]
Perchance to Dream (12/17/1951) [on Volume 2 DVD]
This Way to Heaven (12/24/1951)
Of Time and Third Avenue (12/30/1951)
The School For the Unspeakable (1/7/1952)
Blood Relation (1/14/1952)
The Intruder (1/21/1952)
The Third Door (1/28/1952)
The Chain (2/4/1952) [at UCLA archive]
Cries the String (2/11/1952)
The Eyes From San Francisco (2/18/1952)
The Perfect Servant (2/25/1952)
Private - Keep Out (3/3/1952)
The Upstairs Floor (3/10/1952) [on Volume 4 DVD]
The Borgia Lamp (3/17/1952)
Another Country (3/24/1952) [on Volume 7 DVD]
The Pit (4/7/1952)
The Men On the Mountain (New Production) (4/14/1952)
A Lucky Piece (4/21/1952)
For Rent (4/28/1952)
A Journey Into the Shadows (5/5/1952)
The Green Thumb (5/12/1952)
Little Girl (5/19/1952)
The Death's Head (5/26/1952)
Night Walk (6/2/1952)
Blind Man's Bluff (6/9/1952)
Nightmare (6/16/1952)
The Coins of Death (6/23/1952)
The Lonely Albatross (6/30/1952)
The Corpse In Room Thirteen (7/7/1952)
The Bog Oak Necklace (7/14/1952)
Death Trap (7/28/1952)
Man In the Dark (8/4/1952)
The Killer's Moon (8/11/1952)
Twist of Fate (8/18/1952)
Death Is a Small Monkey (8/25/1952)
The Verdict (9/1/1952)
The Red Rose (9/8/1952)
The Darker Night (9/15/1952)
Flight Thirteen (9/22/1952)
The Hollow Man (9/29/1952)

TV Pilot (1972)

When Widows Weep (01/15/1972) [at Paley Center]

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

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Seems like I might have gotten just a little bit too obscure with this one. Being that this is from some of television’s earliest days, most people have never even heard of it.

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]

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Time

My Dad turned me on to listening to old radio show rebroadcasts back in the 70’s, so I think I’ve heard the radio version a few times. The title is certainly familiar. I somehow missed the Sci-Fi channel airings, and I was an avid viewer in the 90’s.

As with lost BBC shows, who knows what will turn up or where.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

My Dad turned me on to listening to old radio show rebroadcasts back in the 70’s, so I think I’ve heard the radio version a few times. The title is certainly familiar. I somehow missed the Sci-Fi channel airings, and I was an avid viewer in the 90’s.

I knew about the Lights Out! radio program from my mother quoting it. I guess she used to listen to it when she was little. Not sure she ever saw the TV show, though.

I think there were a lot of things that quietly aired on SciFi once and slipped through the cracks. I was surprised to hear about this one. Apparently other episodes were aired too, including at least one (Season 3’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter”) that hasn’t appeared on any release and doesn’t exist in the Paley archives either. I only hope someone out there recorded it.

As with lost BBC shows, who knows what will turn up or where.

'Tis true! ReelclassicDVD recently (2016) released a rare Season 1 kinescope (“The Invisible Staircase”) that was privately owned. To date it is the only Season 1 episode available publicly, and also the first time I’d ever seen the original TV show narrator Jack LaRue doing his appearance - all the available later episodes are done by the eerie Frank Gallop. Who knows how many more privately-owned kinescopes are out there (or are being destroyed by people who don’t know or understand their value). More of these, please!

–SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [COMPLETED]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]
Lights Out! (lost TV anthology shows) [ONGOING]
Iznogoud (1995 animated series) English audio preservation [ONGOING]