In 1973, a television show became a phenomenon. Beyond the Grave, a series investigating supernatural cases across the country, was returning for a new series – starting with a very special Halloween episode. Nothing would ever be the same again.
To open the new series, presenters Tom Lacey and Kate Ripperton were to face their biggest challenge yet - a live, transatlantic broadcast from the most haunted graveyard in the USA.
It had been Kate who’d discovered the tale. She’d become fascinated with the little town of Collinsport, Maine, and its glut of absurdly spooky stories. And the story of Mad Jack was the spookiest of them all. Once a simple fisherman, he’d brutally murdered his entire family in 1906 and was supposed to have haunted the town cemetery ever since. Kate wanted to know the truth behind the story.
Plans were made and a crew, headed by Tom, was dispatched across the Pond. Beyond the Grave prepared to go global. And on October 31st 1973 the live broadcast from Collinsport, Maine took place. But what actually happened on that fateful night is still shrouded with mystery.
Except for those who saw it.
Except for those involved.
Except for those who remember.
An elaborate cover-up has since removed almost all trace of the series. The live footage, long-since wiped, was branded a hoax, the production team and presenters as frauds. Anybody straying from the official story was ignored, or subjected to a ruthless character assassination. Lives (as well as careers) were destroyed. Even today, the television station denies all knowledge of the show’s existence. Officially, Beyond the Grave never happened.
The hunt for Beyond the Grave has lasted for nearly forty years. Television historians and conspiracy theorists alike have searched high and low for something – anything – which gives an indication as to what actually happened that night. Those involved (who survived, that is) have refused to speak about it. It wasn’t until this year that anything substantial was uncovered.
And that was as mysterious as the show itself. In May, a large padded envelope arrived at the Big Finish offices, postmarked Collinsport, Maine. It contained what appeared to be a complete off-air audio recording of the Beyond the Grave Halloween Special. Decades of searching, only for the Holy Grail to land in our laps.
And so, Big Finish is proud to announce the audio release of Beyond the Grave – Live From Collinsport. After nearly forty years of obscurity, the truth can now be revealed...
Sinister forces have played havoc with our CD production this month, but we're expecting physical copies any day now. Apologies for the slight additional wait; the download is available now.
It's ten years since Nick Briggs became co-executive producer of Big Finish Productions. His friends and colleagues celebrate this fact in a not entirely serious tribute.