US tv series (1970-1973). Universal/NBC. Pr Jack Laird, William Sackheim. Dir John Badham, Leonard Nimoy, Steven Spielberg and many others. Writers Richard Matheson, Rod Serling and many others. Created by Serling. Ties Night Gallery * (coll 1971) by Serling; Night Gallery 2 (coll 1972) by Serling; Rod Serling's Night Gallery Reader * (anth 1987) ed Martin H Greenberg, Carol Serling, Charles G Waugh. Starring Serling (Host). Guest stars John Astin, John Carradine, Alex Cord, Patty Duke, Larry Hagman, Steve Lawrence, David McCallum, Burgess Meredith, Leslie Nielsen, Carl Reiner, Cesar Romero, Dean Stockwell, David Wayne, Fritz Weaver, Stuart Whitman and many others. Pilot plus 47 episodes mostly 1 hr, later 30 mins. Colour.
Several years after The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) left the air, Serling returned with this anthology series set in a macabre art gallery. Each week he presented a number of stories – "Offered to you now, from The Night Gallery" – all introduced through the strange Pictures hanging in the gallery. The series began with a 2hr pilot for NBC in 1969. It featured three stories: a man who has killed his rich uncle becomes obsessed with a painting of the family cemetery; a rich blind woman buys the eyes of a man in debt so she can see for 12 hours; an ex-Nazi concentration-camp officer is stalked by a former victim.
The series continued the same format, with two or three stories per episode. Twist endings were a trademark, and the early episodes succeeded in this quite well. As time went on, though, the story quality suffered and Serling himself, disenchanted, became less involved with the series.
While never achieving the success of The Twilight Zone, RSNG did produce some interesting episodes. In "A Question of Fear", for example, a man survives a night in a supposedly Haunted Dwelling but its owner convinces him that he has been poisoned and will become a giant sluglike creature; he kills himself, not realizing it was all a hoax. "Lindemann's Catch" features a Mermaid caught by a fisherman: he yearns for her to acquire human legs, but discovers this Transformation involves her developing an amphibian head. [BC]