Way Out (TV series)

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Wayoutopening.gif
Genre Drama, Sci-fi
Written by Sumner Locke Elliott
Directed by Paul Bogart
Marc Daniels
Mel Ferber
Daniel Petrie
Seymour Robbie
Boris Sagal
Presented by Roald Dahl
Starring Various guest stars.
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 14
Production
Location(s) New York City
Running time 25 minutes.
Production company(s) Talent Associates
Release
Original channel CBS
Picture format 4:3 black and white.
Audio format Mono
Original release 31 March 1961 – 14 July 1961

Way Out (note that the on-screen title begins with an apostrophe) is a 1961 fantasy and science fiction television anthology series hosted by writer Roald Dahl. The macabre, black-and-white, 25-minute shows were introduced by Dahl, his face projected in a disconcerting hall of mirrors effect, dryly delivering a brief introductory monologue, expounding on such unusual subjects as undertakers or frogs or murdering a romantic rival with ground tiger's whiskers.

The taped series began because CBS needed a replacement for a Jackie Gleason talk show that network executives were about to cancel, and producer David Susskind contacted Dahl to help mount a show quickly. The series was paired by the network with the similar The Twilight Zone for Friday evening broadcasts, running from March through July 1961 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. The show's primary sponsor was Liggett & Myers (L&M cigarettes), which, perhaps,[weasel words] resulted, not coincidentally,[editorializing] with numerous episodes that prominently featured actors smoking. Writers included Philip H. Reisman, Jr. and Sumner Locke Elliott.

The premiere episode, "William and Mary", adapted from a Roald Dahl short story, told of a wife getting revenge on her husband.

In "Dissolve to Black", an actress (Kathleen Widdoes) cast as a murder victim at a television studio goes through a rehearsal, but the drama merges with reality as she finds herself trapped on the show's near-deserted set. Other dramas offered startling imagery: a snake slithering up a carpeted staircase inside a suburban home, a disembodied brain in a jar ("William and Mary"), a headless woman strapped to an electric chair, with a light bulb in place of her head ("Side Show") and half of a man's face erased ("Soft Focus").

Actors on the series included Martin Balsam, Michael Conrad, Mildred Dunnock, Murray Hamilton, Martin Huston, Henry Jones, Mark Lenard, Kevin McCarthy, John McGiver, Barry Morse, Richard Thomas, Doris Roberts, and Fritz Weaver.

Critical notices at the time were extremely good, especially for Dahl's comedic commentaries. While the series garnered high ratings in urban areas, it fared poorly in the hinterlands and was canceled after 14 episodes.

The show was one of the last weekly dramatic television series produced in New York City. Only five episodes have ever turned up on [bootleg] videocassettes and none on DVD, but the entire run is available for viewing at the Paley Center for Media in New York and Los Angeles. The episodes are owned by Susskind's estate.

Dahl later hosted an anthology series called Tales of the Unexpected on British television beginning in 1979.

Episode list[edit]

Barry Morse in Soft Focus on Way Out (July 7, 1961). Makeup by Dick Smith.
  • Episode 1: "William and Mary",[1] 31 March 1961 (written by Roald Dahl)
  • Episode 2: "The Down Car",[2] 7 April 1961
  • Episode 3: "The Sisters",[3] 14 April 1961
  • Episode 4: "Button, Button",[4] 28 April 1961
  • Episode 5: "I Heard You Calling Me",[5] 5 May 1961
  • Episode 6: "The Croaker",[6] 12 May 1961
  • Episode 7: "False Face",[7] 26 May 1961 (written by Larry Cohen)
  • Episode 8: "Dissolve to Black",[8] 2 June 1961
  • Episode 9: "Death Wish",[9] 9 June 1961
  • Episode 10: "The Overnight Case",[10] 16 June 1961
  • Episode 11: "Hush-Hush",[11] 23 June 1961
  • Episode 12: "Side Show",[12] 30 June 1961 (written by Elliott Baker)
  • Episode 13: "Soft Focus",[13] 7 July 1961
  • Episode 14: "20/20",[14] 14 July 1961

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""'Way Out" William and Mary (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  2. ^ ""'Way Out" The Down Car (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  3. ^ ""'Way Out" The Sisters (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  4. ^ ""'Way Out" Button, Button (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  5. ^ ""'Way Out" I Heard You Calling Me (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  6. ^ ""'Way Out" The Croaker (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  7. ^ ""'Way Out" False Face (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. 4 November 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  8. ^ ""'Way Out" Dissolve to Black (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  9. ^ ""'Way Out" Death Wish (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  10. ^ ""'Way Out" The Overnight Case (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  11. ^ ""'Way Out" Hush-Hush (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  12. ^ ""'Way Out" Side Show (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  13. ^ ""'Way Out" Soft Focus (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]
  14. ^ ""'Way Out" 20/20 (TV Episode 1961)". IMDb. Retrieved 22 February 2015. [unreliable source?]

External links[edit]