Probic Vent Ood For Thought


Dr Terror’s Vault of Horror

I loved the Vault of Horror spots on the BBC in the early-to-mid 90s and discovered a heck of a lot of good films through them. There was also a weekly episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, a fondly-remembered series I recently bought on DVD and found to be utter crap, but I mainly watched for Dr Terror.

He started off as Doctor Walpurgis one Halloween a couple of years previously but later got his own series, rather like a demonic version of Alex Cox's Moviedrome.

I do miss these oddities the BBC used to create, generally before closedown on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights - and just about the only thing the BBC did in the early 90s that even waved a hand at the horror, fantasy or sci-fi genres, unless you count Crime Traveller.

The thought of them now is unthinkable, but I thought I'd share this compilation of the Doctor's best bits. Wonderful stuff.

PS. The Doc is played by Guy Henry, who you may have seen in Extras or Holby City. Good innee?

  • I don’t think Doctor Terror introduced any episodes of Kolchak! Basically he was a fun way to bookend Hammer and Amicus films and the like.

    I think the Kolchak repeats shown after Alex Cox’s Moviedrome. Certainly the films in the 1992 would have dovetailed with it nicely.

  • I’m fairly sure the first series of Dr Terror was a number of programmes culminating in a film – with links from the Doctor. I’m prepared to believe that I’m wrong on that but that’s how I remember it.

  • I’m fairly certain that you’re conflating two different film anthology strands.

    ‘Doctor Terror’ ran for three seasons. The first two seasons just saw Peter Jeffrey in a rubber mask read Kim Newman intro and outro pieces to various old horror films. The third season saw him do the same, but this time with added interviews and gamne show skits featuring the likes of Tom Savini.

    I am certain that ‘Kolchak’ was repeated on BBC2 in the 90s and not on BBC1. Doctor Terror was a BBC1 creation!

    Memories of the films I saw at the same time would seem to tie the ‘Kolchak’ reruns to ALex Cox’s ‘Moviedrome’ run of ’92 (Alligator, Q – The Winged Serpent, etc).

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if I were conflating different series, but I’m sure it wasn’t Moviedrome. There was a good run of offbeat horrors on Channel 4 at the same time, but it definitely wasn’t that.

    NB. Just googled this – quite a few people seem to be of the opinion that Kolchak was on Dr Terror:

  • ‘Quite a few’ equals ‘one’. Hmmm.

    Nothing I’ve seen other than that forum post mentions Kolchak or anything other than films being shown in the ‘Dr Terror’ strand (and that includes the BFI, who lost the films shown).

    A little research confirms my recollection that ‘The Night Stalker’ repeat was on BBC2. Apparently it was shown as part of ‘Mystery Train’, a horror/sci fi anthology slot presented by Richard O’Brien. It showcased really bad horror films and Kolchak.

  • Semi57

    The nightstalker was on bbc 2 and doctor terror bbc 1 with some great hammer classics 

Hush child stop addlepating me!

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