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97 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eight gothic tales
Mystery And Imagination was a British TV series that ran from 1966 to 1970 and comprised of 24 episodes. Sadly only eight of these episodes have survived, all of which are present in this collection. The series was made by ITV. Each drama was a horror or supernatural tale based on works by well-known 19th century writers such as Bram Stoker, Mary Shelly, Robert Louis...
Published on 14 Oct 2009 by P. Hanson

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh No No Noooo! Where are all the good episodes!!!
What has happened to this, the creepiest TV show of all time! ITV should hang their head in shame. I can still remember the horror of watching "Lost Hearts" (Gave me nightmares for 20 years, that heart beating on the fire.) and the terrifying cobwebbed spider face man from "The Tractate Middoth" (Gave me nightmares for 22 years). Also Room 13 with it's mad dancing shadow...
Published 16 months ago by Cliff Hanger


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97 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eight gothic tales, 14 Oct 2009
By 
P. Hanson (Northumberland, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mystery And Imagination - The Complete Series (All the remaining episodes) [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
Mystery And Imagination was a British TV series that ran from 1966 to 1970 and comprised of 24 episodes. Sadly only eight of these episodes have survived, all of which are present in this collection. The series was made by ITV. Each drama was a horror or supernatural tale based on works by well-known 19th century writers such as Bram Stoker, Mary Shelly, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sheridan Le Fanu and Edgar Allan Poe.

This is what is on each disc.

Disc One -
Uncle Silas (1968) black and white, 80 minutes
Frankenstein (1968) black and white, 80 minutes
Gallery - featuring colour pictures (includes those from lost episodes)

Disc Two -
Dracula (1968) black and white, 80 minutes
The Suicide Club (1970) colour, 80 minutes

Disc Three -
Sweeney Todd (1970) colour, 80 minutes
Curse Of The Mummy (1970) colour, 77 minutes

Disc Four -
Fall Of The House Of Usher (1966) black and white, 50 minutes
The Open Door (1966) black and white, 54 minutes
Extract from Casting The Runes - 3 minutes (picture slightly warped)

Frankenstein stars Ian Holm. Dracula stars Denholm Elliot as the Count and the very lovely Susan George as Lucy. Freddie Jones is terrific as Sweeney Todd.

Also enclosed is an excellent 40-page colour booklet, which outlines the history of the show as well as giving detailed descriptions of all the episodes (including those that are now lost).

The four discs and booklet are housed in a case that is the same size as a regular DVD case. The picture and sound quality is top notch on the first three discs. The picture is not as good on the forth disc but is still very decent. All episodes are in full-screen. Each drama was clearly made on a low budget, yet still manages to look impressive. The colour episodes have a brilliantly creepy opening title sequence.

This is a very fine collection from Network that will appeal to anyone who is a fan of vintage British horror. Worth checking out too is Beasts, also released by Network.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TV classic resurrected - 3 cheers for DVD, 23 July 2010
By 
S. Finch (Stratford-upon-Avon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mystery And Imagination - The Complete Series (All the remaining episodes) [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
I used to love this series when it was on TV. My friend & I were avid watchers and would compare notes at school on Monday. Early episodes were introduced by a character played by David Buck (tasy - whatever happened to him?) who also featured in some of the stories (e.g. Room 13). It is a shame more of the early episodes were not kept - others that particularly come to mind were the chilling Lost hearts (who could forget those bloody holes in the children's chests?) and one that featured Bruce Forsyth in the Canterville ghost. Fall of the House of Usher was very good so I'm pleased that is here.
Classic drama based on stories by the great writers of supernatural & horror (MR James, Sheridan Le Fanu etc) that featured big names - pity there is a such a shortage of quality drama made for TV now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ENGLISH DO IT RIGHT!!!!, 26 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Mystery And Imagination - The Complete Series (All the remaining episodes) [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
If you want quality in TV and movies, the British are the best. American audiences want and watch garbage nowdays. This series is a gem! It's wonderful in its simplicity and frightful in its atmosphere. Hopefully some of my country men will actually develop an appreciation for the classics as well as proper manners. LOL.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb vintage TV, 18 Nov 2011
By 
downkiddie "downkiddie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mystery And Imagination - The Complete Series (All the remaining episodes) [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
A good few years before the BBC began its seminal "Ghost Story for Christmas" series, ITV were merrily knocking out supernatural classics in ABC's "Mystery and Imagination" series. Dramatising works by the likes of J. S. LeFanu, Bram Stoker, Mrs Oliphant and of course M.R. James, this series provided a rich mix of chilling classics. This lovely little box set brings together all the surviving episodes (only 8, sadly), comprising two from the ABC series and a further six from a little later on when Thames TV took over the production.

The Thames episodes feature higher production values and faster pacing and direction, although the earlier ABC episodes have their charm. Particularly tantalising is the inclusion of the surviving three minutes of M.R. James's "Casting the Runes", which seems a faithful and well made adapatation. What a pity so many of these ABC episodes are now lost.

The stand out for me was "Uncle Silas", featuring a brilliantly demented performance of the title character by Robert Eddison, in which he is mostly filmed from below for a more forbidding effect. It also brilliantly uses locations to enhance the production. Bram Stoker's "Dracula" was perhaps a little ambitious for the producers, who sensibly scaled it down to concentrate on the central part of the novel. Nevertheless, this one seems to have something missing. "Frankenstein" is faithful and thought provoking, and very well acted throughout.

Moving into colour, Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Suicide Club", along with "Sweeney Todd" have some new elements injected in to great effect. "The Curse of the Mummy", also filmed a few years earlier by Hammer, suffers from its studio bound production, feeling more like a play than a TV film, but still well done all round.

This is superbly packaged set. It is dated now, though the later Thames episodes seem much less dated than the ABC ones, particularly the colour ones. There's a lot to enjoy though, well made throughout and a wonderful idea for a TV series to put together classic stories along a similar theme (see also Thames TV's The Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes for more in this vein from this powerhouse of 70s British TV).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1850s setting enhances mood and horror., 28 Jun 2013
This review is from: Mystery And Imagination - The Complete Series (All the remaining episodes) [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
On of the most important aspects of this production is its setting within the 1850s time period. Many Victorian costume productions are set in the 1890s when the clothing styles were more modern and less elaborate . The earlier setting gives the production a greater sense of mood and enhances the horror aspect. One or two night gowns creep in proving to be extremely frilly and flouncy delighting those that like that sort of thing. This is a DVD release I can't praise highly enough.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh No No Noooo! Where are all the good episodes!!!, 15 Mar 2013
By 
Cliff Hanger "Brigadier General Cliff Hanger ... (I live in a dingy bedsit with only my banana shaped merkin for company.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mystery And Imagination - The Complete Series (All the remaining episodes) [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
What has happened to this, the creepiest TV show of all time! ITV should hang their head in shame. I can still remember the horror of watching "Lost Hearts" (Gave me nightmares for 20 years, that heart beating on the fire.) and the terrifying cobwebbed spider face man from "The Tractate Middoth" (Gave me nightmares for 22 years). Also Room 13 with it's mad dancing shadow on the wall.
The BBC "Christmas Ghost Stories" were good, except for their weak and wishy washy version of "Lost Hearts".

It is unforgivable that this series has been butchered, and I for one, will never forgive nor forget, that last scene of the beating heart on the fire in Lost Hearts, boy tingle up the spine time again after all these years!

I give it five stars for the memories but only two for the sorry way it survives.
Lets hope someone finds some more surviving episodes in their attic, or knowing this show it will be more appropiate if it's
.....the cellar!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Frightening at the time!, 21 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Mystery And Imagination - The Complete Series (All the remaining episodes) [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
I remember being frightened to death when these were first broadcast, but couldn't wait for the next one! So sad that so many episodes have been lost. A great series.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting TV-movie collection, 25 April 2012
By 
Morten Hillebert Bay (Struer, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mystery And Imagination - The Complete Series (All the remaining episodes) [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
This box set is a real treat. The box contains all six movies produced in the series "Mystery and Imagination". There are some other episodes included as well, presumably the earliest ones produced, as they are from before the channel change.

I bought this set mainly due to my interest in the Sweeney Todd segment, which I was unable to get my hands on anywhere else. I found myself enjoying the "live theatre on a sound stage feel" of first that movie and then the rest of the series.
This version of Sweeney Todd has a surprise ending, that I shall not spoil here.

Sweeney Todd is not the strongest in the bunch, I instead felt much more from the version of Dracula coincidentally contained in this box set.

All the movies, oldest to newest appear to have received no enhancement or treatment to prepare them for this release, and the picture seems purposelessly drained of colour. The picture is filled with film distortions, and the sound is clearly from the set with not too modern microphones used.

Overall, though I did not enjoy my main reason for buying this set nearly as much as I'd like, I found the entire box set worth the price that I paid.

The box itself is a standard Amaray-type, with no extra disc holders, instead opting for four slots in the case itself. It is sturdier and heavier than most Amarays.

There is a not-so-small booklet included, detailing EVERY episode of the series, a bit misleading, as it had me thinking, if only for a minute that they all were there in the set.

What you get however, is a likable set of relatively low-cost productions of classic gothic tales.

Recommended!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fine series, 8 Dec 2012
By 
Paul Smith (billingham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mystery And Imagination - The Complete Series (All the remaining episodes) [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
a welcome release and great pity that there is only six episodes this a very good 1960,s horror show, followers wiil not be disappointed . the open door is a classic ghost storey while episodes such Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Sweeney todd are still top draw to this day, put this on your christnas list a must buy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery And Imagination, 7 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Mystery And Imagination - The Complete Series (All the remaining episodes) [DVD] [1966] (DVD)
I got pretty much what I expected. If like me, you watched this on TV when you were very young, you'll also like it-particularly Uncle Silas!
However, you'll also be disappointed that so many of the original episodes are missing. What a shame!
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