Darkroom (TV series)

Darkroom is an American thriller anthology television series produced by Universal Television which aired on ABC from November 27, 1981 to January 15, 1982. As an anthology horror/thriller series it was similar in style to Rod Serling's Night Gallery. Each 60-minute episode featured two or more stories of varying length with a new story and a new cast, but each of the episode wraparound segments was hosted by James Coburn. Among the performers who appeared on the series were Esther Rolle, Helen Hunt, Claude Akins, Richard Anderson, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Carole Cook, David Carradine, Billy Crystal, Pat Buttram, Brian Dennehy, Lawrence Pressman, Dub Taylor, Rue McClanahan, Lloyd Bochner, Ronny Cox, R. G. Armstrong, Jack Carter, and June Lockhart.

Darkroom
GenreHorror
Fantasy
Thriller
Directed by
Narrated byJames Coburn
Opening themeDavid Shire
Country of originUSA
No. of episodes7 (16 segments) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producerPeter S. Fischer
Production locationsUniversal Studios - 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA
Running time60 mins.
Production companyUniversal Television
DistributorABC
Release
Original networkABC
Picture formatColor (Technicolor)
Audio formatMono
Original releaseNovember 27, 1981 (1981-11-27) –
January 15, 1982 (1982-01-15)

Opening narrationEdit

The title sequence featured a dolly-in through the corridors of a house to a safe-lighted darkroom in a crawlspace under the stairs. James Coburn's voice could be heard over this dolly-in, narrating it as follows:

You're in a house. Maybe your own... maybe one you've never seen before. You feel it. Something evil. You run, but there's no escape... nowhere to turn. You feel something beckoning you... drawing you into the terror that awaits you in the Darkroom!

[1]

As Coburn's voiceover reached the point with "no escape... nowhere to turn," the camera turned toward various walls and closed doors.[1]

RerunsEdit

The Sci Fi Channel aired the show in the mid-1990s, including the pilot episode. USA Network also reran the show at one point in the 1980s. It's also available for streaming on NBC's official website.[2]

EpisodesEdit

Title Director Writer Air date
1"Closed Circuit / Stay Tuned, We'll Be Right Back"Rick Rosenthal, Paul LynchStory by : Carter Scholz
Teleplay by : Alan Brennert, Simon Muntner
November 27, 1981 (1981-11-27)
Aging reporter Greg Conway (Robert Webber) suspects his fellow anchor Arthur Desmond (John Randolph) has been replaced with a double. In spite of protests from his producer Linda Beckwith (Mary Frann) and network head Bill Bellamy (Richard Anderson), Greg continues to investigate and discovers that the network has replaced Desmond and several others with computer simulations, while the real people are allowed to live out their lives in luxury. Despite his initial reluctance, Conway is persuaded into allowing a simulation of him to take over his career and allow him to follow his dreams of traveling the world, getting married, and writing a novel. As he prepares to leave for Paris, Bellamy has him abducted and reveals that he must keep Conway imprisoned so that the network can sustain the illusion. Bellamy then leaves as Conway futilely begs him not to.
A man (Lawrence Pressman) discovers his crystal radio is in contact with the U-Boat that sunk his father’s ship in World War II.
2"The Bogeyman Will Get You / Uncle George"John McPherson, Rick RosenthalStory by : Robert Bloch
Teleplay by : Robert Bloch, Peter S. Fischer
December 4, 1981 (1981-12-04)
A teenager (Helen Hunt) is convinced by her horror movie loving sister that a recent string of murders was perpetrated by a vampire, and she begins to suspect an old acquaintance (Randy Powell) is the vampire.
After the death of Uncle George, a couple (Claude Akins and June Lockhart) hire a homeless man (Dub Taylor) to impersonate him so they can get his pension check.
3"Needlepoint / Siege of 31 August"Paul Lynch, Peter CraneViolet Pullbrook, Story by : Davis Grubb
Teleplay by : Peter S. Fischer
December 11, 1981 (1981-12-11)
An elderly woman (Esther Rolle) uses voodoo to take revenge on a pimp (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs) who took advantage of her granddaughter from beyond the grave.
A Vietnam veteran turned farmer (Ronny Cox) buys his son a military playset, but he keeps hearing battle noises in the night and he discovers the toy soldiers are alive.
4"A Quiet Funeral / Make Up"Curtis HarringtonRobert Bloch / Story by : Robert R. McCammon
Teleplay by : Jeffrey Bloom
December 18, 1981 (1981-12-18)
A gangster (Robert F. Lyons) attends the funeral of his partner (Eugene Roche), who he double crossed and killed, and finds himself in for a nasty surprise.
A down-on-his-luck guy (Billy Crystal) buys the makeup case of a dead actor from his widow (Signe Hasso), who claims that the makeup allowed him to literally become his characters. After discovering the makeup allows him to literally become whatever character is inscribed in the container, he decides to get back at his sleazy boss (Brian Dennehy).
5"The Partnership / Daisies / Catnip"John McPherson, Paul Lynch, Jeffrey BloomStory by : William F. Nolan
Teleplay by : Christopher Crowe, Story by : Fredric Brown
Teleplay by : Peter S. Fischer, Robert Bloch
December 25, 1981 (1981-12-25)
A biker (David Carradine) is lured by an old man (Pat Buttram) to a dilapidated funhouse to meet his mysterious partner.
A philandering botanist (Lloyd Bochner) develops a machine that reads the minds of daisies, which greatly interests his unaware wife (Rue McClanahan).
After killing an old woman rumored to be a witch in a hit-and-run, a local troublemaker (Cyril O'Reilly) is stalked by her pet black cat.
6"Lost in Translation / Guillotine"Rick RosenthalMary Ann Kasica & Michael Scheff, Story by : Cornell Woolrich
Teleplay by : Peter Allan Fields
January 8, 1982 (1982-01-08)
An unscrupulous archaeologist (Andrew Prine) hires a translator (Michael Zand) to translate a scroll that contains a spell that gives one power over one’s enemies.
In 19th century France, a man (Frank M. Bernard) sentenced to die by the guillotine and his lover (Patti D'Arbinville) decide to exploit a loophole in the law that states that should the executioner die on the day of the execution, the condemned man will go free.
7"Exit Line / Who's There? / The Rarest of Wines"Peter Crane, Paul LynchStory by : Richard Levinson & William Link
Teleplay by : Peter S. Fischer, Brian Clemens, Gerald K. Siegel
January 15, 1982 (1982-01-15)
A talented young actor (Stan Shaw) and his agent (Jack Carter), both try desperately to convince an influential theater critic (Samantha Eggar) to change her negative opinion of his performance in a revamped version of Othello.
A man (Grant Goodeve) tries to convince his neighbor (Michael Lembeck), who intends to murder his wife out of his belief she cheated on him, not to do the deed.
Following the death of their mother, her ne'er-do-well son (Henry Polic II) is upset she has left him her house and possessions and her company to his more responsible sister (Judith Chapman). When she refuses to give him part of the company, he begins tormenting her by dissipating his share of the estate and selling the things that mean the most to her.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Television Introductions: Narrated TV Program Openings since 1949 By Vincent Terrace
  2. ^ https://www.nbc.com/darkroom

External linksEdit