Amazing Stories (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Amazing Stories
AmazingStoriesTVseries.jpg
GenreAnthology, fantasy, horror, science fiction
Created bySteven Spielberg (uncredited)
Developed bySteven Spielberg
Joshua Brand
John Falsey
Directed byVarious
Theme music composerJohn Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes45
Production
Executive producer(s)Steven Spielberg
Running time30 minutes[1]
Production company(s)Amblin Entertainment, Universal Television
Broadcast
Original channelNBC[2]
Original runSeptember 29, 1985[3] – April 10, 1987
Chronology
Related showsFamily Dog
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Amazing Stories
AmazingStoriesTVseries.jpg
GenreAnthology, fantasy, horror, science fiction
Created bySteven Spielberg (uncredited)
Developed bySteven Spielberg
Joshua Brand
John Falsey
Directed byVarious
Theme music composerJohn Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes45
Production
Executive producer(s)Steven Spielberg
Running time30 minutes[1]
Production company(s)Amblin Entertainment, Universal Television
Broadcast
Original channelNBC[2]
Original runSeptember 29, 1985[3] – April 10, 1987
Chronology
Related showsFamily Dog

Amazing Stories is a fantasy, horror, and science fiction television anthology series created by Steven Spielberg. It ran on NBC from 1985 to 1987, and in 1992 was somewhat erratically screened in Britain by BBC1 and BBC2 - billed in the Radio Times as "Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories" - with episodes airing at any time from early on Sunday morning (such as "The Family Dog") to weekday evenings (like "Such Interesting Neighbors") to very late at night (for instance "Mirror, Mirror"); it later received a more coherent run on Sci-Fi.

The series was nominated for 12 Emmy Awards and won five. The first season episode "The Amazing Falsworth" earned writer Mick Garris an Edgar Award for Best Episode in a TV Series. It was not a ratings hit (ranking 40th in Season 1 and 46th in Season 2), however, and the network did not renew it after the two-year contract expired. The 1987 science fiction movie, *batteries not included was originally intended to be featured in Amazing Stories, but Steven Spielberg liked the idea so much that he decided to make it a theatrical release.[4]

The series title licensed the name of Amazing Stories, the first dedicated science fiction magazine.[5]

Contents

Episodes

The series list below is annotated with the Book numbers as they appeared in the US release on VHS; the Japanese LaserDisc and UK VHS (PAL) releases are indicated with volume numbers. Note that Vol. 7 and 8 are switched for the UK VHS release. All episodes have a running time of around 25 minutes, with the exceptions of "The Mission" and "Go To The Head Of The Class" (both running 50 minutes).

Season One (1985-1986)

TitleDirected byWritten byAirdateUS VHS
LaserDisc
Japan
LaserDisc
Europe/Australian VHS
1x01"Ghost Train"Steven SpielbergTeleplay: Frank Deese
Story: Steven Spielberg
1985·Sep·29Vol. 2
1x02"The Main Attraction"Matthew RobbinsTeleplay: Brad Bird and Mick Garris
Story: Steven Spielberg
1985·Oct·06Vol. 4
1x03"Alamo Jobe"Michael D. MooreTeleplay: Joshua Brand & John Falsey
Story: Steven Spielberg
1985·Oct·20
1x04"Mummy Daddy"William DearTeleplay: Earl Pomerantz
Story: Steven Spielberg
1985·Oct·27Vol. 1
1x05"The Mission"Steven SpielbergTeleplay: Menno Meyjes
Story: Steven Spielberg
1985·Nov·03Book OneVol. 1
1x06"The Amazing Falsworth"Peter HyamsTeleplay: Mick Garris
Story: Steven Spielberg
1985·Nov·03Book ThreeVol. 2
1x07"Fine Tuning"Bob BalabanTeleplay: Earl Pomerantz
Story: Steven Spielberg
1985·Nov·10Book FiveVol. 7
1x08"Mr. Magic"Donald PetrieJoshua Brand & John Falsey1985·Nov·17Book FourVol. 6
1x09"Guilt Trip"Burt ReynoldsGail Parent & Kevin Parent1985·Dec·01
1x10"Remote Control Man"Bob ClarkTeleplay: Douglas Lloyd McIntosh
Story: Steven Spielberg
1985·Dec·08
1x11"Santa '85"
a.k.a. "One Amazing Night"
Phil JoanouTeleplay: Joshua Brand & John Falsey
Story: Steven Spielberg
1985·Dec·15Vol. 8
1x12"Vanessa in the Garden"Clint EastwoodSteven Spielberg1985·Dec·29
1x13"The Sitter"Joan DarlingTeleplay: Mick Garris
Story: Joshua Brand & John Falsey
1986·Jan·05
1x14"No Day at the Beach"Lesli Linka GlatterTeleplay: Mick Garris
Story: Steven Spielberg
1986·Jan·12Book Three
1x15"One for the Road"Thomas CarterJames D. Bissell1986·Jan·19
1x16"Gather Ye Acorns"Norman ReynoldsTeleplay: Stu Krieger
Story: Steven Spielberg
1986·Feb·02
1x17"Boo!"Joe DanteLowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel1986·Feb·16
1x18"Dorothy and Ben"Thomas CarterTeleplay: Michael De Guzman
Story: Steven Spielberg
1986·Mar·02Vol. 4
1x19"Mirror, Mirror"Martin ScorseseTeleplay: Joseph Minion
Story: Steven Spielberg
1986·Mar·09Book FourVol. 6
1x20"Secret Cinema"Paul Bartel1986·Apr·06
1x21"Hell Toupee"Irvin KershnerGail Parent & Kevin Parent1986·Apr·13
1x22"The Doll"Phil JoanouRichard Matheson1986·May·04Vol. 5
1x23"One for the Books"Lesli Linka GlatterTeleplay and Short Story: Richard Matheson1986·May·113-tape-set
1x24"Grandpa's Ghost"Timothy HuttonTeleplay: Michael De Guzman
Story: Timothy Hutton
1986·May·25

Season Two (1986-1987)

TitleDirected byWritten byAirdateUS VHS
LaserDisc
Japan
LaserDisc
Europe VHS
2x01"The Wedding Ring"Danny DeVitoTeleplay: Stu Krieger
Story: Steven Spielberg
1986·Sep·22Book OneVol. 2
2x02"Miscalculation"Tom HollandMichael McDowell1986·Sep·29Vol. 3
3-tape-set
2x03"Magic Saturday"Robert MarkowitzRichard Christian Matheson1986·Oct·06Vol. 8
2x04"Welcome to My Nightmare"Todd Holland1986·Oct·13
2x05"You Gotta Believe Me"Kevin ReynoldsTeleplay: Stu Krieger
Story: Steven Spielberg
1986·Oct·20Vol. 8
2x06"The Greibble"Joe DanteTeleplay: Mick Garris
Story: Steven Spielberg
1986·Nov·03Vol. 3
3-tape-set
2x07"Life on Death Row"Mick GarrisTeleplay: Rockne S. O'Bannon
Story: Mick Garris
1986·Nov·10Book ThreeVol. 5
2x08"Go to the Head of the Class"Robert ZemeckisTeleplay: Mick Garris & Tom McLoughlin and Bob Gale1986·Nov·21Book TwoVol. 1
3-tape-set
2x09"Thanksgiving"Todd HollandTeleplay: Pierre R. Debs & Robert C. Fox1986·Nov·24Vol. 5
2x10"The Pumpkin Competition"Norman ReynoldsPeter Z. Orton1986·Dec·01Book FiveVol. 7
3-tape-set
2x11"What If...?"Joan DarlingAnne Spielberg1986·Dec·08
2x12"The Eternal Mind"J. Michael RivaJulie Moskowitz & Gary Stephens1986·Dec·29
2x13"Lane Change"Ken KwapisAli Marie Matheson1987·Jan·123-tape-set
2x14"Blue Man Down"Paul Michael GlaserTeleplay: Jacob Epstein & Daniel Lindley
Story: Steven Spielberg
1987·Jan·19Book FourVol. 6
2x15"The 21 Inch Sun"Nick CastleBruce Kirschbaum1987·Feb·02Vol. 8
2x16"The Family Dog"Brad Bird1987·Feb·16Book TwoVol. 4
3-tape-set
2x17"Gershwin's Trunk"Paul BartelPaul Bartel & John Meyer1987·Mar·133-tape-set
2x18"Such Interesting Neighbors"Graham BakerTeleplay: Mick Garris & Tom McLoughlin
Short Story: Jack Finney
1987·Mar·203-tape-set
2x19"Without Diana"Lesli Linka GlatterMick Garris1987·Mar·27Book FiveVol. 7
2x20"Moving Day"Robert StevensFrank Kerr1987·Apr·03Vol. 3
2x21"Miss Stardust"Tobe HooperTeleplay: Thomas E. Szollosi & Richard Christian Matheson
Short Story: Richard Matheson
1987·Apr·10

Soundtrack

In 1999 Varèse Sarabande released a CD containing a rerecording of the scores for the episodes "The Mission" and "Dorothy and Ben" (John Williams and Georges Delerue respectively) plus Williams' opening and closing themes, performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by John Debney.

In 2006-2007, Intrada released three volumes of original music from the series, covering the impressive lineup of composers who worked on it and featuring all of the most noteworthy scores (with the exception of Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek's "The Family Dog," because the masters could not be found - a brief suite is on Music for a Darkened Theatre: Vol. 2, however). The album is also notable for the premiere release of the music Williams composed for the Amblin Entertainment logo (although the logo music is not heard on the show itself).

Other than Williams, Bruce Broughton is the only composer to be represented on all three volumes. The running times below indicate the cumulative time for each score rather than the time of each track. (The series theme is not quoted in any of the episode scores, with the exception of "Ghost Train.")

Volume 1 (2006)

CD1:

CD2:

Volume Two (2006)

CD 1:

CD 2:

Volume Three (2007)

CD 1:

CD 2:

Reception

The series gained mostly positive reviews.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Spin-offs

One episode of the show, "The Family Dog", was spun off into its own series. Six years after Amazing Stories finished its run, Family Dog ran on CBS for ten episodes before being pulled off the schedule.

In 1985-86, TSR published six tie-in novels under the banner "Amazing Stories". They were branching (Choose Your Own Adventure style) books where the reader chose where to jump at key points.[12]

  1. The 4-D Funhouse by Clayton Emery and Earl Wajenberg. Cover by Jeff Easley.
  2. Jaguar! by Morris Simon. Cover by Jeff Easley.
  3. Portrait in Blood by Mary L. Kirchoff (credited as Mary Kirchoff). Cover by Jeff Easley.
  4. Nightmare Universe by Gene DeWeese and Robert Coulson. Cover by Jeff Easley.
  5. Starskimmer by John Betancourt. Cover by Doug Chaffee.
  6. Day of the Mayfly by Lee Enderlin. Cover by Doug Chaffee.

Home video and rebroadcasts

A selection of the original series episodes were released in the VHS format in 1993; these were titled "Book One" through "Book Five" in the US. In Japan and Europe episodes were cut together as movies and released in 8 volumes during the late 80s, early 90s. A 3-tape VHS (PAL) set was released in the UK in 2001.

Europe/Japan VHS series

US VHS series

The Complete First Season (DVD) was released on July 18, 2006, in the US.[13] The second season of the series has not been released on DVD in the US yet, but is available in Japan (Region 2, NTSC) and was released there on July 8, 2009. The full series was also released on DVD in Germany (Region 2, PAL) with both English and German dubbed audio as 11 single DVDs or a boxset containing all episodes, which was released on November 20, 2009.

Three of the episodes ("The Mission", "Mummy Daddy" and "Go to the Head of the Class") were packaged together as an anthology film and released theatrically in several European countries such as Spain, France (July 10, 1986) or Finland (June 26, 1987), and also in Australia on September 17, 1987. It later appeared on LaserDisc in Japan as Amazing Stories: The Movie shortly afterwards.

As of 2006, the SciFi channel in the United States showed episodes on an irregular schedule. The MoviePlex channel also shows the series as a collection of "movies," which are blocks of three episodes.

Both the first and second season are available on Netflix.

References

  1. ^ "Nbc Executives Mull 'Amazing' Comeback". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1985-10-31/entertainment/ca-13636_1_amazing-stories. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  2. ^ "AMAZING STORIES TRIES NEW TACTICS". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1986/06/02/arts/amazing-stories-tries-new-tactics.html. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  3. ^ "Spielberg's Amazing Pr Tour By Satellite". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1985-09-11/entertainment/ca-7263_1_wow. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  4. ^ "Leap to Spielberg Show Is Director's 'Amazing Story'". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1985-12-05/news/gl-636_1_amazing-stories. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  5. ^ Bennetts, Leslie (July 31, 1984). "Spielberg to Produce Adventure Series for NBC". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Amazing Stories Nbc". People. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20092113,00.html. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  7. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories". People. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20107629,00.html. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  8. ^ "Scary Good! 16 Creepiest TV Shows". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20310838_20435277_20465935,00.html. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  9. ^ "`Amazing Stories` Failed In Ratings, But Will Return". Sun Sentinel. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1986-06-06/features/8602030700_1_amazing-stories-ratings-brandon-tartikoff. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  10. ^ "Sunday`s `Amazing` Story One Of The Best So Far". Sun Sentinel. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1985-11-01/features/8502180132_1_spielberg-trademark-amazing-stories-nbc. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  11. ^ "Speilberg`s Tales For Television Filmmaker Steven Spielberg Says Brevity Is The Soul - And The Challenge - Of Amazing Stories.". Sun Sentinel. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1985-09-22/news/8502090900_1_amazing-stories-44-episode-commitment-anthology. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  12. ^ http://www.gamebooks.org/amazing.htm
  13. ^ "Amazing Stories - The Complete First Season". DVD Talk. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/22794/amazing-stories-the-complete-first-season/. Retrieved 2012-06-10.

External links