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|Tales from the Darkside|
|Created by||George A. Romero|
|Narrated by||Paul Sparer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||94 (4 unaired) (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||George A. Romero|
Richard P. Rubinstein
|Running time||21–22 minutes|
|Production companies||Laurel Entertainment|
|Original release||October 29, 1983 –|
July 24, 1988
Tales from the Darkside is an American anthology horror television series created by George A. Romero. A pilot episode was first broadcast on October 29, 1983. The series was picked up for syndication, and the first season premiered on September 30, 1984. The show would run for a total of four seasons.
Each episode is a self-contained story, which often ends with a plot twist. The series spans various genres of speculative fiction, including science fiction and fantasy in addition to horror, and many episodes have darkly comic elements.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2021)
The movie Creepshow was released in 1982. It was based on the EC horror comic books of the 1950s, such as Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror. In light of the film’s moderate success, its producer, Laurel Entertainment, decided to explore the potential for a television series based on the feature. However, Warner Bros. had the rights to some elements of Creepshow. Laurel chose to move forward with a series that omitted aspects of movie that were owned by Warner Bros. The result was Tales from the Darkside, which explored the same themes as Creepshow, but discarded the framing device and other elements that were based directly on the comics.
Some episodes were adapted from the works of well-known authors, or written by the authors themselves. Stories or teleplays by Frederik Pohl, Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, Michael Bishop, Robert Bloch, John Cheever, Michael McDowell, and Fredric Brown were used over the course of the series. Two episodes, "Word Processor of the Gods" and "Sorry, Right Number", were based on short stories by Stephen King. The latter was adapted for television by King himself.
Opening and closing sequences
In the vein of previous anthology series The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, each episode opens with a montage and an unseen narrator. Several bucolic scenes are shown, morphing to a black-and-white negative image as the series title appears.
Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality. But ... there is, unseen by most, an underworld ... a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit. A darkside.
The closing credits are displayed against the final, negative image of the opening.
The darkside is always there, waiting for us to enter, waiting to enter us. Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Pilot||1||October 29, 1983||October 29, 1983|
|1||23||September 30, 1984||August 4, 1985|
|2||24||September 29, 1985||July 13, 1986|
|3||22||September 28, 1986||May 17, 1987|
|4||20||September 27, 1987||July 24, 1988|
In its initial run, Tribune Broadcasting syndicated Tales from the Darkside to individual television stations, most of which aired it after midnight. LBS Communications then picked it up (excluding a few episodes distributed by Lorimar-Telepictures), and reran it in barter-based syndication. Distribution rights later passed to Worldvision Enterprises, then to CBS Media Ventures after its acquisition of the Worldvision library.
The series was released on VHS with the episodes' original music. Later DVD releases altered or omitted some of this music.
Paramount Home Entertainment, through CBS Home Entertainment (sister company to Spelling Television, the successor to Laurel), released the series on DVD, beginning on February 10, 2009. The company rereleased the complete series on Region 1 DVD in 2018. Revelation Films released the entire series in Region 2.
|Region 1||Region 2|
|The First Season||24||February 10, 2009||November 21, 2011|
|The Second Season||24||October 27, 2009||February 20, 2012|
|The Third Season||22||April 27, 2010||May 7, 2012|
|The Final Season||22 (2 unaired)||October 19, 2010||August 6, 2012|
|The Complete Series||92 (2 unaired)||October 19, 2010||October 28, 2013|
An audio commentary by Executive Producer George A. Romero on the pilot episode, "Trick or Treat", as well as two unaired eplsodes, "Akhbar's Daughter" and "Attic Suite", are cited on the cover of the DVD.
Awards and nominations
Young Artist Awards
|1987||Exceptional Performance by a Young Actor, Guest Starring in a Television, Comedy or Drama Series – Scooter Stevens – nominated|
|1987||Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress, Guest Starring in a Television, Comedy or Drama Series – Tanya Fenmore – nominated|
Writers Guild of America, USA
|1988||Anthology Episode/Single Program – John Harrison (as John Sutherland) – nominated|
Subsequent series and movie
Tales from the Darkside executive producer Richard P. Rubinstein and his company Laurel would go on to make the horror anthology series Monsters, which premiered in 1988 and ran for three seasons, as well as Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, which was released theatrically in 1990. A sequel to the film was announced, but never made.
In November 2013, it was reported that Joe Hill, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci were developing a reboot of the series for The CW, with CBS Television Studios. In 2014, Hill said that he would serve as creative director, and guide the show. Added Hill, "Darkside is a loose reboot ... It tells stories about different characters. It also tells an ongoing story. I love the original Tales From The Darkside, The Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone, but I think in a post-X-Files world there's really no room for a straight anthology show. There has to be more. I like stories that work like puzzle boxes, every episode is turning another facet. We have something a little like that in Darkside ... every episode is a different story but three or four episodes in, you're going, 'Wait a minute, these parts actually all go together, don't they?'"
In February 2014, The CW gave the reboot a pilot order. Shooting began on March 19 and wrapped on April 4. The CW did not pick up the series, however. It then was offered to other networks unsuccessfully.
In other media
The book Tales from the Darkside: Volume One, published in 1988, consisted of stories and episode novelizations.
Scripts written by Hill for the proposed reboot were adapted into a four-issue comic book series published in June 2016, followed by a collection of scripts in book form in October 2016. Both the comics and the book were released by IDW Publishing.
- 1984 in television
- Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
- Tales from the Crypt (TV series)
- Are You Afraid of the Dark?
- Goosebumps (TV series)
- Sagar, Jessica (June 4, 2021). "24 Shows Like Black Mirror to Get You Your Fix of Absurdity". Parade. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
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- Wilmington, Michael (May 7, 1990). "Movie Review: 'Darkside' a Clever Cut Above Horror Fare". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
- "Laurel Productions presents TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE THE MOVIE 2". Variety. varietyultimate.com. October 15, 1990. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
- Hibberd, James (November 12, 2013). "'Tales from the Darkside' reboot from Joe Hill in development at The CW". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
- "Pilot Season: The CW passes on 'Tales From the Darkside' remake". CarterMatt.com. May 7, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 8, 2015). "'Tales From the Darkside' Pilot Garners Interest From Cable, Digital". Deadline.
- Hill, Joe (August 2015). "blog-cody-williams asked: Hi Joe! I'm a big fan. I just wanted to ask when the seventh book of LOCKE & KEY (the one that will collect a series of one shots) will be out? Also, what is the current status of the TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE TV pilot?". Tumblr. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- Truitt, Brian (February 19, 2016). "Exclusive: Joe Hill's 'Darkside' moves from TV to comics". USA Today. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
- Moore, Debi (May 14, 2016). "Joe Hill's Collected Tales from the Darkside Reboot Scripts Being Released in October". Dread Central. Retrieved June 7, 2021.