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The Horror Within


A young man turns religious after the death of his beloved and seeks the power to forestall pain and suffering in the future. As time heals his grief, his desire to wield his powers grow aided by a swaying faith.



Air Dates

  • First Run - April 17, 1974
  • Repeat - July 7, 1974
  • Repeat - February 1, 1980





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16 Responses to Episode 0076

What's most interesting about this is that it's not made explicitly clear whether his powers come from above or below, both are given as possibilities. And certainly his dark side was a result of his overdedication (or claims thereof) to piety. This episode was aired several years before Jerry Falwell's rise to fame and the foundation of the Moral Majority, but the episodes undertones ("Who do you work for?") remind me of this. Supernatural powers, demon summoning.


A young man describes extraordinary, Kreskin-like powers which he explains were given to him by God. Though his gifts are great, he has a bit of a temper and he uses his powers for devious deeds. He becomes darker and darker until everything falls apart.


Religiosity and powers vs. Carnal and subconscious motivations. A heavy and ultimately dark tale.


Following the death of his girlfriend, a young man prays for special powers to prevent future pain and suffering in the world. But as his faith weakens, his desire to use the powers grows. Scardino carries a somewhat weak script with his stellar performance.

Malcolm Hughes

An orphaned young man named Joseph claims to have mysterious powers that come from his patron saint, St. Joseph. Telling this as a hitchhiker to a trucker who's picked him up for a ride, the trucker pulls over and tells the young man to get out, saying "I'm a Christian, I don't put up with stuff like that." (Kind of like the religious people in the story of the Good Samaritan?) However, as the trucker pulls away we hear Joseph pray "Lord, make him see the error of his ways." (We then hear a tire blow and tires squealing.) We come to understand that Joseph is equally pious and deeply troubled, even sinister. After the young man lands at his uncle's house and goes to work doing a fortune telling/mind reading act as his uncle's night club, we learn the young man might not be above hurting someone, or worse. When a girl Joseph seems to fall in love with realizes this even though the young man says he's doing the Lord's work, the girl replies "But He didn't want this. He was all about love." After the girl disappears before the two were to get married, the uncle invites a priest to visit Joseph. The young man asks "are you here to laugh at me, too?" The priest replies "I'm here to help you." The young man is appreciative. He tells the priest how his mother taught him to worship Jesus and St. Joseph, and taught him the ability to call upon the power of the latter to do miraculous things. He says most people shunned him, including his father, and that later "my father was taken from me...I saw the light, and heard the blessed voice of St. Joseph". The priest questions this, saying there are forces of good and evil constantly at work in the world and that sometimes it's tough to tell which is which. He says that maybe the voice Joseph heard wasn't coming from Heaven. Joseph is shocked...he can't seem to believe that evil may be coming from him. (We later learn he seems to worship Satan as equally as he does Jesus and St. Joseph, and the results go accordingly.)

Jessa Z.

A young man spend his life getting in touch with himself and his special saint who he seeks to emulate. He learns to develop special powers of telekenesis, telepathy, etc. He finds himself alone save for an uncle he knew when he was young and goes to live with him. His piety clashes with the uncle's profession: club owner where men come to gamble and drink. THe uncle convinces the young man to do demonstrations of his power as a night club act and he agrees reluctantly. What will happen when he starts using his powers ofr things other than what God intended?

Ceasar Montano

Absolutely one of my top 5 favorite episodes. \"The Horror Within\" is a fantastic God-centric episode that had an appropriate ending. I witness on a daily basis those whose every word and action they claim is God influenced. I also witness these same people full selfish motives and, dare I say, sin. I had to admire Joe\'s faithfulness become a little illatease at his consequent downfall. Great episode--5 stars.


Where did Joe's powers come from? Even from the story it could've been either from what I could see. I guess we do see that power corrupts. I was curious if he may have caused the deaths of his parents as well, but that wasn't spoken about in the story. Then again, during his last act he mentions memory tricks, so it's possible that he had no powers at all, just good observational skills and memory (like the BBCs Sherlock).


I can't believe no one is stating the most profound thing about this eposide: The actor playing the main character in this sounds EXACTLY like Johnny Depp. It's positively uncanny. I could hardly pay attention to the story. Every time the guy speaks, it's like... wtf.

Dan Williams

Don Scardino sounds nothing like Johnny Depp to me. Today he looks like a cross between Jerry Springer & Philip Seymour Hoffman, and he's a director (Two Broke Girls, 30 Rock).


Aside from rest room and food breaks, this intriguing episode and kept me gripped to my seat with it's entertaining performances from all vocalists. Must concur with previous commentator of this story; the voice over thespian portraying Joseph did resemble actor, Johnny Depp's voice to my listening ears. Beautiful script and great background sounds and music too.

Don l Wilkey

Alec, interesting question. Where do Joe’s powers come from? If you know the Bible, than one could say they come from the prince of the earth, Satan. Joe sounded like the he fit the psychological profile of someone carried away by religion rather than a follower of Christ, who stated, “You will know a Christian by his love.” Quite the perfect characterization IMHO. Joe had fervor and religious zeal, rather than love.


Great story! But what happened to Patti Hearst? Did she help rob the bank?


Don't point out the speck in your brother's eye and ignore the log in your own. Joe could not handle power greater than his understanding given to him from below would be my guess. After all God is love, and only God can judge add to that Christ died for our sins. How could Joe determine to kill people that made him angry and claim piety. The sound effects and music were good and added to the story. Worth listening to and gives one pause.


Powers, schmowers. Dumb episode. Trots out the idiotic myth about people only using a portion of the brain (which is not accurate) and then posits that if we tapped the rest we would have magic powers. But then it's all from "Out Savior"? Or St. Joseph? Or Satan? (How can a Christian claim to worship the one true god, but also believe in all these others with powers?) Whatever, he's got magic powers, he's a major tool, everyone hates him but one woman, and he's so sex-phobic that he kills her for being wonton. Why did he pull that last act to rope in the killer knowing he was the killer? Guilty conscience? There are more sensible ways to end it than that plot contrivance. He asks at one point why everyone hates him. Everyone other than Effie (another single female role that's a garbage part) is wise to stay clear of this jerk. Glad he got smashed to death at the end. (But btw, what kind of small-town gambling-club-turned-nightclub is several floors up? He jumped out a window... and that killed him? Where was this place? Which was converted through an elaborate renovation and only after, the night of the reopening, the star acts were told "by the way, you don't mind headlining, right?" Such bad writing here from start to finish.)


I thought that Don Scardino did a great job as Joseph, the only problem was that Joseph came across as mentally unstable right out of the gate. There was just something about the calm smoothness of his voice that made me immediately suspect there was something "off" with the character, so I was just waiting for the shoe to drop, so to speak. Also as I was listening I kept thinking "I know I've heard his voice somewhere else" and at the end it flashed on me -- isn't he the voice of those old Mug Root Beer commercials, where he'd say "You haven't tasted root beer like this in years?" Dunno why it popped into my head, but it just did!


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