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Lovecraftian Television Shows

Like motion pictures, television shows and cartoons have borrowed elements from Lovecraft’s works.

Babylon 5
Several elements of this show are Lovecraft-inspired, since creator J. Michael Straczynski is a big Lovecraft fan.
    The Pak’ma’ra are introduced in this episode, a race of creatures that bear a resemblance to Cthulhu.
    Passing Through Gethsemane
    This episode has a character known as Brother “Edward”/“Charles Dexter”; a reference to Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
Dark Shadows
Many episodes of “Dark Shadows” were based, at least in part, on well-known works of fiction. The “Leviathan” episodes (1969-70) were said to have been inspired by Lovecraft’s “Cthulhu Mythos.”
Considering the name of this series, it’s no surprise that they focused on tales that featured, well, monsters.
    “The Space Eaters” (Episode 63)
    Based on the story by Frank Belknap Long.
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
“Hercules” is produced by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert, who were responsible for the “Evil Dead” films.
Night Gallery
Each of the following vignettes are part of a single episode of the show.
    Cool Air” (Season 2, Episode 18)
    A young woman falls in love with a colleague of her dead father, who is dying in his very chilly home. Not a bad adaptation, despite the inclusion of a romantic element, but the ending mars the mood. (This episode may be watched online at Hulu.)
    Miss Lovecraft Sent Me” (Season 2, Episode 7)
    This mildly humourous short skit has no Lovecraftian elements, only using his name. (This episode may be watched online at Hulu.)
    Pickman’s Model” (Season 2, Episode 17)
    In Victorian Boston, a woman encounters an artist who paints ghouls. Like “Cool Air,” a romantic element is included, but it is the creature shown at the end that ruins the episode. (This episode may be watched online at Hulu.)
    Professor Peabody’s Last Lecture” (Season 2, Episode 14)
    Professor Peabody (Carl Reiner) spouts the names of many creatures in the “mythos.” His students include Mssrs. Bloch, Derleth, and Lovecraft. Although this episode is pretty silly, it is, again, the creature at the end that makes it especially laughable. (This episode may be watched online at Hulu.)
    The Return of the Sorcerer” (Season 3, Episode 29).
    Based on Clark Ashton Smith’s “mythos” story of the same name, this episode only manages to remain above average due to the performances of Vincent Price and Bill Bixby. (This episode may be watched online at Hulu.)
The Real Ghostbusters
Two episodes of this cartoon had Lovecraftian references.
    “Collect Call of Cathulhu”
    When the Necronomicon is stolen by some tentacled beast, the Ghostbusters are helped out by Dr. Alice Derleth from Arkham. Michael Reaves wrote the script for this episode.
    “Russian About”
    The Ghostbusters are in Russia attending a lecture when a magical grimoire is stolen and the Old Ones are unleashed. This episode was written by J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of “Babylon 5.”
  Return to Lovecraftian Movies and TV Shows Page Last Revised 18 February 2011
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