Christopher Lee's lost TV series
Unlikely as it seems, in 1995 Christopher Lee hosted a 13-part anthology series - also starring in a two-part episode - which has never been broadcast. In fact, very few sources even acknowledge its existence and there is almost no mention of it anywhere on the web.
The series' full, cumbersome title is Edgar Allan Poe's Classic Tales of Mystery and Imagination Hosted by Christopher Lee and it seems to have been the victim of some sort of legal or financial wrangle after it was completed. It was a Dark Film production for Kushner-Locke and Allied Entertainment and was filmed in South Africa and Croatia. Unfortunately I don't have any information on writers, but here are the general credits which I have been able to piece together:
directors: Hugh Whysall, Neil Hetherington, Jakov Sedlar
producers: Neil Hetherington, Zdravko Mihalie
production supervisor: Boris Dmitrovic
cameraman: Rod Stuart
music: Terry Dempsey
accountant: Josip Boljkovak
Here, exclusive to MJSimpson.co.uk, is a guide to all 13 unseen episodes, including cast lists and synopses taken from the original publicity material. Also take a look at what Christopher Lee himself had to say about the series.
The Masque of the Red Death (Parts 1 and 2)
cast: Christopher Lee, Graham Armitage, Iain Paton, Jennifer Stein, Leila Enriquez
'In this potent parable about disease and selfishness, an elite group try to exclude themselves from the world outside. Eventually they are forced to confront their horror.'
cast: Moray Watson, Bozo Alic, Slobodan Dimitrijevic
'A young man's love turns to revulsion when his wife is changed by illness. After her death, he tries to find release by violating her grave and literally tears out his obsession.'
The Pit and the Pendulum
cast: Danny Keogh, Alan Granville
'A man is imprisoned in the ultimate torture chamber. When it seems that there is no end to the terror and pain, he is dramatically saved... or is he?'
cast: Camilla Wildman, Robert Whitehead, John Lesley
'A mother's obsession which offers a nightmarish suggestion of the way in which life - and a sinister purpose - can continue beyond death.'
The Fall of the House of Usher
cast: Jeremy Crutchley, Graham Hopkins
'The story of a love between a brother and sister that shows how outward disintegration must follow the decay that comes from within.'
The Cask of Amontillado
cast: Freddie Jones, Catherine Schell, Bill Simon, Vida Jerman
'This black comedy charts the monstrous way in which a motive for revenge is achieved. But revenge, after all, is seldom sweet.'
cast: Paul Slabolepszy, Sean Taylor, Joanna Weinberg, Hugh Rouse, Samantha Peo
'A disturbing experiment in which an attempt is made to arrest death by means of hypnotism... ends with unexpected and horrific results.' (Based on 'The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar'.)
The Black Cat
cast: Susan George, Michael McGovern, Angela Crow, Jon Laurimore
'Cats, the saying goes, have nine lives. In this story of jealousy and madness, it is shockingly revealed that some have at least more than one.'
The Tell-Tale Heart
cast: Michael McCabe, Neil McCarthy, Candice Derman, John Hussey, James Whyle
'A young man becomes obsessed with the deformed eye of a seemingly sinister old man. His eventual act of violence is revealed because the old man has a 'tell-tale' heart.'
cast: Tony Caprari, Janine Eser, Dorette Nel
'A story of malevolent life that exists, and persists, beyond death. A beloved first wife returns from beyond the grave to haunt and destroy her successor.'
The Oval Portrait
cast: Patrick Ryecart, Fran Fullenwider, Jerome Willis, Lena Ferugia, Barbara Roko
'A tale which portrays the dreadful price that is often paid for love. A painter's obsession to create a masterpiece has a tragic and unexpected ending.'
cast: James Ryan, Nada Gasesic, Jasna Palic
'This exploration of the anguished life and obsessions of the master of darkness shows how his own nightmares found their expression in the stories that would bring him immortality.' (ie. Poe's own life story.)