Musings in the Dark: Dark Love III: Bus Stop

3/26/2014

Dark Love III: Bus Stop


My analysis continues.

Bus Stop isn’t a supernatural or horror anthology TV show.  It was a mainstream series that focused on a bus stop in the fictitious town of Sunrise, Colorado.  However, there are two episodes that stand out.  One is “A Lion Walks Among Us,” an adaptation of Tom Wicker’s novel The Judgment.  This particular episode was aired exactly one time, and due to the violence it contained, it led to a congressional hearing on television violence, the firing of the network president, and the cancelation of the show.  The executive producer also lost his job. 


The episode was locked in ABC’s vault and the only other copy of it is in the Library of Congress.  For years I wondered if I would ever see what the hubbub was about, but thanks to the glory that is the Internet, I was able to procure a copy of this particular episode.  Even with that, it still took me a year to locate someone who was willing to sell it to me.  And me, being who I am, I also got a copy of the book the episode is based on for less than a buck on Amazon.

The violence in “A Lion Walks Among Us” is absolutely tame by today’s standards.  But in 1961, things were totally different.  I believe that the fallout from the episode largely stemmed from the fact that the protagonist, a murdering sociopath, was played by a well-known teen heartthrob named Fabian, and his goody-goody image was soiled by his portrayal of Luke…which upset parents.  There was also the portrayal of an alcoholic suburban housewife with cougar tendencies, and it was strongly implied that she was intimate with the much younger man.  This sort of content was not something seen on primetime network television in 1961.

The other episode of Bus Stop, one that actually has a rightful place in the Dark Love series, is an adaptation of a Robert Bloch story.  The story, “I Kiss Your Shadow” is unlike any of the other Bus Stop episodes in that it deviated into the supernatural.  It’s about a man who can’t escape the ghost of his dead wife…a woman, who for all intents and purposes, was a siren.  Whenever she held out her arms, he was compelled to go to her and kiss her.  Her love was of the possessive, smothering kind and her husband, desperate to get away from her, ran their car off the road and killed her.  Later, he started seeing her shadows on the walls of their house…with her arms held out, silently demanding a kiss.

The final sequence of “I Kiss Your Shadow” creeps the hell out of me.  The grieving husband, mind irrevocably lost, goes to the family crypt and surrenders to his dead wife.  The shadows on the wall show the casket opening and her arms spread wide…with him leaning into them before the coffin closes.

Fandamntastic.  That’s what you call horror done well.

This episode was also aired just one time, as the series was canceled.  When I watched it, I was surprised to discover how…intense…some of the dialogue was, and how real those kisses were. I could only imagine the looks on the faces of the viewers when they watched the show.  I was like, “…and this is 1961??? Dafuq?” 

Here’s a short clip I found on YouTube.  What do you think?  Do you find Donna creepy?


I guess ABC had nothing to lose in airing the episode, since the show never aired again.

You can find both episodes on RobertsVideos.com for a reasonable price.

Next: The Outer Limits

1 comment:

  1. Hi girl,
    I miss you. The last post I read of yours was the Beyonce post. Now I see I have a lot of catching up to do because you have a ne fanfic. Thanks to you I have a lot of reading to do. Thank you.

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