Welcome back, friends. I am not sure about how the weather is in your neck of the woods. But I can tell that at least here at the Vault, it sounds like the Heavens are coming down. Which is of course the perfect time to watch something spooky, right? Thankfully the Projectionist left his archive unlocked so that I can share with you 1972’s Alter-Ego. An offering from the Ghost Story television series.
Alter-Ego is a good example of how well 70’s anthology horror TV shows. Like Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Night Gallery, or even Quinn Martin’s Tales of the Unexpected. That of course doesn’t count TV horror in the form of movies or mini-series of the week. Salem’s Lot and Gargoyles being really great offerings in my opinion.
Now having said that, I feel that Ghost Story had a few aces up it’s sleeve. For one thing it had the legendary William Castle as Executive Producer. The series also benefited from having none other than Richard Matheson develop the series. As well as having the stately Sebastian Cabot act as host. Well, for 14 of the 22 episode run I should add.
Cabot portrayed Winston Essex, the proprietor of the mysterious but luxurious Mansfield House. Which in real life is actually the Hotel del Coronado in California. Cabot would introduce and end each episode. But after the 14th episode entitled Death’s Head the show underwent a change.
For one thing Cabot was dropped as host. The series also received a name change, becoming the Circle of Fear. Which it remained for an additional 9 episodes.
Our story for this Saturday Frights concerns a young boy name Robert “Bobby” Cameron. By all accounts a bright young man, fond of the game of chess. And who has developed a wonderful relationship with his fifth grade teacher, Miss Gilden. Although sadly for the young boy he has become quite sickly, so much so he is unable to attend school. Bobby has a unique gift however as he wills into being a doppelganger. One that says he will go to school for Robert and return to share what he learned. Which doesn’t bode well for Miss Gilden and the Cameron Family, the doppelganger only has mayhem on his mind.
Helen Hayes wonderfully plays the aged but still determined Miss Gilden. I do believe that it is Michael-James Wixted that steals the show. Both as Bobby and his evil doppelganger. Robert as you will see continues to sicken while his opposite grows more powerful. Will there be any way to stop the inevitable?
Dim all the lights, friends. Join us for Saturday Frights with Alter-Ego!
[Via] Winston Essex