I first encountered these years ago late one night, quite by chance when bored and switching channels to see what was on. Unfortunately for me at the time, I only ever saw a couple of episodes before they had finished their run, but the two I saw stuck in my mind vividly - one of which was entitled: 'I Heard You Call My Name' which was about a little boy that drowns whilst his mother watches on helplessly and then blames herself and is haunted by the spirit of the dead child. Apart from obviously being scary, it was extremely moving, and it was particularly poignant for me, as about forty years ago when I was a child myself, a school friend had died in similar circumstances, and riddled with guilt, his poor mother eventually committed suicide years later, and so this episode had 'touched' me. It was from this that I thought that I might have hit upon something 'special' at a time when the quality of TV had begun to deteriorate pretty badly at an alarming rate in all genres.
Ever since seeing the above mentioned episode, I had been looking for it to purchase on Video or DVD, and then recently found this - the whole Box Set consisting of forty episodes, and so I took a chance on supposing that they'd all be of a similar quality. I wasn't wrong! These are at a bargain price and not to be missed, and despite being listed as Region Code 1, do play fine on my ordinary Region 2 DVD Player! They also come boxed very attractively with a glossy 'fold-out' Inner storage compartment.
I call these either 'quick chills' (no pun intended - re the first title!) or 'quick thrills', as there's no time wasted, and no time to get bored. They are both short and exciting, and one is able to get straight into the 'meaty' stuff without having to suffer any boring and pro-longed 'build-up'. Some people have likened them to the British TV series 'Tales Of The Unexpected', and whilst I see the similarity (and though I'm British) I do feel that these are even better than those!
I'm a firm believer that some of the best stuff produced for TV or Cinema is made inexpensively; I do not accept the logic in thinking or believing that stuff has to be 'big budget' or expensive to be great, and so do not be misled; this series is one of the finest examples I know that bears out that philosophy to the letter - trust me! It's low budget - but simply 'oozes' quality - both in terms of acting ability and stories. I think it also helps that there are no real big names in these, and so there's no constant comparison to loads of other parts any of the actors may have played to spoil it.
If some Horror/Ghost Stories could ever be called 'beautiful', then some of these are certainly that. Just a few examples are; 'Landscape Of Lost Dreams' for one, 'Back Ward' for another, and 'State Of Grace' to name just three of the most touchingly beautiful stories. However; be warned - these ARE scary!! 'Unsettling' may be a better word! I'm not ashamed to say that I won't watch these alone when my partner is not home - I don't mind watching them on my own, so long as he is somewhere in the house! They are also very thought-provoking and almost every story has a moral to the tale which is summed up wonderfully by the haunting voice of 'Rip Torn'! He also introduces each episode with a brief outline and suggestion of the story to come.
This is truly award-winning stuff, and probably one of the greatest TV series to come out of the 90s!
NOTE: Though this Set is 'complete', there are four episodes missing from it that were made - but not originally aired for some reason. These can be purchased via a second Set. However; that Set is not so well got-up as this one, and it won't play on a Region 2 Player, but if you're a 'Completist' like myself and have a DVD Player that plays other Region Codes, then you'll still want to purchase both Sets anyway!