Monday, October 26, 2009

#2- "earth, air, fire, and water" episode 17 of "circle of fear"

well, obscure is what this blog is all about and it doesn't get much more obscure than this show, aired on NBC during the 72-73 season. it is a shame that this show has been lost to time because it had some very big names involved its creation. the executive producer was william castle, richard matheson is credited with developing it for television and the writing was done by folks like harlan ellison and d. c. fontana.

the show was an anthology, originally titled "ghost story" and was very much in the vein of "night gallery" or "thriller." the first 14 episodes featured a presenter played by sebastien cabot, who welcome the viewer to his manor estate and then provided a set up to the episode. starting with episode 15, the show's name was changed to "circle of fear" and the role of presenter was removed entirely.

"earth, air, fire, and water" revolves around a group of young artists that move into an abandoned store front, which they plan on turning into a combination studio/shop. the group finds a series of strange jars locked away in a box (one for each of them, of course) that almost immediately begin to have an odd effect. the behavior of the artists begins to change, they become withdrawn and dreamlike. their art also begins to change in radical ways, becoming more dark and macabre. weirder things ensue when some of the folks begin to disappear, their spirits having been captured by the jars. one of the artists is less effected than the others and is able to mount some sort of resistance, even though he is plagued by visions of his face transformed into that of a horrid metal sculpture. in a confrontation with the spirits, he smashes one of the jars and then sets fire to the building in an effort to destroy them. as the artist escapes the screams of the spirits trapped in the jars can be heard. escaping the rapidly spreading fire, he ends up sprawled out on the sidewalk. when a concerned passerby offers him help getting up, he begins to scream in horror when he sees the artist's face...

all things considered this is an excellent anthology show that really deserves better. a DVD release is probably far too much to hope for but it would be nice if chiller or maybe the scifi channel (excuse me, the syfy channel) would dust this show off and air it.

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