The Outer Limits (1963–1965)

TV Series   |  TV-PG   |    |  Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi


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The Outer Limits (1963) Poster

An anthology series of insightful science fiction tales.

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8.2/10
6,319

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  • Martin Wolfson in The Outer Limits (1963)
  • The Outer Limits (1963)
  • Grace Lee Whitney in The Outer Limits (1963)
  • The Outer Limits (1963)
  • The Outer Limits (1963)
  • The Outer Limits (1963)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


14 January 2002 | poe426
10
| SF shockers...
I was among the lucky ones who saw this series when first it aired; was lucky enough to find myself going to bed afterward feeling... uneasy... It was somewhat unnerving at the time to see the familiar test pattern flutter and roll and to hear a voice solemnly intone, "There is nothing wrong with your television set..." That feeling must be akin to the gut-wrenching dread people felt when The Mercury Theater broadcast WAR OF THE WORLDS in 1938. Orson Welles, his distinctive voice calmly modulated, told a tale of terror that panicked the nation. Vic Perrin, who did The Control Voice at the start of each episode, spoke calmly and lucidly as he told us not to adjust our television sets: "There is nothing wrong..." In many respects, he was right: we were now in the hands of perhaps the most talented group of innovators in television history. Had Val Lewton (who pioneered "thinking man's horror" with movies like CAT PEOPLE, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, ISLE OF THE DEAD and -my favorite- THE BODY SNATCHER, during the 1940's) turned his talents to science fiction, he might well have produced something along the lines of THE OUTER LIMITS. I won't bother to list the responsible parties by name here in these comments (that's what the IMDb is for), but for the brilliant creator, Leslie Stevens, writer-producer Joseph Stefano (who had adapted Robert Bloch's novel PSYCHO for mastermind Alfred Hitchcock), cinematographer Conrad Hall, and composer Dominic Frontiere (whose music has haunted more than one sleepless night).

From the opening moments of THE GALAXY BEING, it was clear that this was not going to be just another run-of-the-mill show. It was creepy, but in a dramatic, thoughtful way that most TV never is. (Now, of course, we have THE X FILES- but there was a very, very long time when viewers looking for something of genuine worth on television were left wanting.) The fact that the series was being shot in black and white (which always puts the viewer at one remove), with LOTS of shadows and an overall Gothic sensibility underscored (pun intended) by the theme music, marked this as a series of no small consequence; in fact, I've stated before, in print, that THE OUTER LIMITS is the greatest anthology series ever aired. The first season provided some, er, stellar episodes. Among my personal favorites are: THE GALAXY BEING, THE ARCHITECTS OF FEAR, THE SIXTH FINGER, THE MAN WHO WAS NEVER BORN, CORPUS EARTHLING, NIGHTMARE, THE ZANTI MISFITS, THE MICE, THE INVISIBLES, THE BALLERO SHIELD, THE CHILDREN OF SPIDER COUNTY, THE MUTANT, THE GUESTS, FUN AND GAMES, THE SPECIAL ONE, A FEASIBILTY STUDY, THE CHAMELEON, and THE FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN. Not a bad percentage for the first season alone...

The second season provided its share of memorable moments, beginning with Harlan Ellison's adaptation of his short story, SOLDIER. (The audio track from this episode would make a great "audio book;" it's THAT well written.) There was also EXPANDING HUMAN, DEMON WITH A GLASS HAND (an award-winning episode and another potential "audio book," again written by Harlan Ellison), CRY OF SILENCE, I,ROBOT, THE INHERITORS, KEEPER OF THE PURPLE TWILIGHT and THE DUPLICATE MAN. Argue the merits of each and every episode I've listed here, but rest assured of one thing: you won't be BORED.

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