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Mind Beyond, The (BBC-2 1976, Donald Pleasence, Geoffrey Bayldon)



The Mind Beyond was a highly regarded anthology of six off kilter glimpses into the supernatural, other worldly. The series, which had a couple of try outs (The Breakthrough and Mrs Acland’s Ghosts) in the Playhouse strand, was produced by Irene Shubik who clearly had a serious interest in the subject having worked on shows such as Out of the Unknown and Wessex Tales.

The six productions, which mostly worked very well and developed quite a strong and unsettling environment, ranged from an investigation into spirit materialisation through to an autistic girl with possible paranormal powers, dreams that seem to be coming true and bizarre events surrounding Stonehenge.

Writers included David Halliwell, Brian Hayles, Bruce Stewart and William Trevor, none of whom really had backgrounds in telefantasy or supernatural drama but that certainly didn’t hamper the feel of the plays in any way. There were strong casts involved too from the likes of Donald Pleasence, William Lucas, Anna Massey, Peter Sallis, Michael Bryant, Geoffrey Bayldon, Clifford Rose, Judy Parfitt, John Wells, Johnny Briggs (soon to go on to Coronation Street) and even a rare acting role for journalist Janet Street Porter.

As with any anthology series some episodes are stronger than the others but the standard is generally pretty high. Included in the listing below are the two playhouse entries mentioned above which are clearly part of the same strand and were even included in the tie-in novel that was issued around the time of the original broadcast.

THE BREAKTHROUGH (8 January 1975)
MRS ACLAND’S GHOSTS (15 January 1975)

MERIEL THE GHOST GIRL (29 September 1976)
DOUBLE ECHO (6 October 1976)
THE LOVE OF A GOOD WOMAN (13 October 1976)
STONES (27 October 1976)
THE MAN WITH THE POWER (3 November 1976)

production details
UK / BBC2 / 6×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 29 September – 3 November 1976

Titles: Bernard Lodge / Title Music: Joseph Horovitz / Producer: Irene Shubik