Review

  • This series is better than Outer Limits, which I found to be too preachy, and the later Twilight Zone which was just LAME.

    Whoever cast Rollins as the Serling-like MC should get his knuckles rapped. Being from a later generation I didn't know who Rollins was and thought the guy had to be a relative of the producer - wooden as a post.

    I ended up overlooking his part and concentrated on the shows, which by and large, seemed geared towards the younger (college) set.

    The one episode I thought unsettling was "Bitter Harvest", but then Jack Palance could read the telephone book and scare the bejabbers out of you. Evil oozes out of his pores in this one. Check out his first performance as Walter Jack Palance in the 1950 "Panic in the Streets" and you can spot his brilliance in making villainy come so naturally.

    I particularly like "The Maze", not only for the weird story, but for the wild looking buildings that I guess are on the Eugene, OR campus. The architecture is striking, and the way they were filmed, almost alien. Then, it also had my favorite whacko, Amanda Plummer.

    That being said, my all time favorite is "Patterns" with Malcolm McDowell giving a bravura performance as the patient with a problem and Miguel Ferrer giving a solid believable job as the psychiatrist. I have since driven my family equally nuts by saying, in Malcolm's tone, the innocuous "Five is nice." at the darndest times.

    SciFi channel, as of late 2005 runs a marathon of these every so often so I am able to gradually build up the collection, even of the so-so episodes. I suggest you do the same as these types of shows are not getting any better.

    All in all, not a bad attempt at a genre that has been milked dry. It is particularly enjoyable in that to my mind, the acting by unfamiliar faces has all been credible, and as above, sometimes outstanding. I'll take it over Outer Limits or the later Twilight Zone any day.