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:
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.
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]