Tales Of Frankenstein was to be a series produced for television by Screen Gems, in connection with the famed Hammer Films. Hammer had released The Curse Of Frankenstein that same year, the first of seven films to star the creature, and according to its website was hoping to build on the success of that film with this series for television. Sadly, there never was a series, just one pilot episode with the weird title of “The Face In The Tombstone Mirror.”
…The series was scrapped, largely because of the two companies’ disagreement over what the basic thrust of the series would be. Hammer wanted to do a series about Baron Frankenstein involved in various misadventures, while Columbia* wanted a series of science fiction stories loosely based around the idea of science gone wrong… -wikipedia
One wonders if that little disagreement is really what kept the series from being made. As it’s written there it would seem like a compromise wouldn’t have been difficult to reach. Not that the idea of “a series of science fiction stories..” was exactly new and original in 1957. Tales Of Tomorrow had ended four years earlier, The Twilight Zone and One Step Beyond would air just two years later, followed by The Outer Limits in 1963. Personally, I think if they had focused on the misadventures of Baron Frankenstein they would have had something interesting there. But, that’s why I’m not a television executive I suppose.
Watch the only episode of Tales Of Frankenstein.
The archive shows a second episode titled “Jack The Ripper” that is actually from a different series called The Veil. Steve wrote in with this correction: “Jack the Ripper” was an episode of Tales of Frankenstein. Hal Roach Studios, producers of The Veil, purchased the footage and edited in the pieces with Boris Karloff to save on production costs. Maybe we’ll peek behind that one later on…
*The Hammer site doesn’t mention Columbia Pictures by name, but Screen Gems was the television subsidiary of the company during that time.