The Outer Limits (1995–2002)

TV Series   |  TV-PG   |    |  Drama, Fantasy, Horror


Episode Guide
The Outer Limits (1995) Poster

A modern revival of the classic science fiction horror anthology show The Outer Limits (1963). Episodes often have twist-endings and involve aliens. Sometimes, a story from one episode continues in a later episode.

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7.8/10
10,261

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  • The Outer Limits (1995)
  • Maurice Dean Wint in The Outer Limits (1995)
  • The Outer Limits (1995)
  • The Outer Limits (1995)
  • The Outer Limits (1995)
  • The Outer Limits (1995)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


20 February 2004 | bregund
A pale imitation of the classic original
The original Outer Limits was a groundbreaking show: even now, forty years later, the program is thoughtful, provocative, and imaginative. It was sci-fi with a human twist, showing real-world problems against a backdrop of aliens, monster, mad scientists, and powerful political interests. The show was steeped with Shakespearean themes of love, murder, betrayal, faith, family quarrels, romance, redemption, and greed, all cleverly offset against, for instance, the site of a man in an alien costume or a woman who was actually a queen bee. This process of pairing two seemingly dissonant halves has proven to work well in other forms of entertainment, most notably the Singing Detective. It was a formula that worked well for the 1960s anthology series, because it provided both real substance and genuine entertainment, a void which the X Files was to fill later on in the 90s.

The 90s version of the Outer Limits lacks the sense of drama, and the magic, that the 60s version had. Sure the special effects are better, but the writing is horrible. Every time I watch this show, it's one of three storylines that they beat into the ground:

1) Mad scientist invents something, can't wait to try it out, tests it on himself, guess what happens (and there's always an evil board of directors out to stop his funding).

2) Human beings are being slowly changed into something else, and the mystery will be revealed at the end of the show.

3) Aliens (or a robot) have an ulterior motive, and it's not a good one.

Oh, and you totally can't tell that they shot the series in Vancouver.

Where is the drama, the acting, the great writing that the original show had? For example, Sally Kellerman, Martin Landau, and Chita Rivera are fantastic in the Bellero Shield, my favorite OL episode. You have a greedy, ambitious Kellerman, a slightly loopy but brilliant Landau, Chita's weird dance-like movements and vaguely threatening presence, an alien murder, a wealthy industrialist, a spooky old house, and excellent writing. Now that is an OL episode that none of the new episodes can even begin to compare with. You feel something for each of the characters, and the storyline pulls you along.

On the new OL, you can't care about the characters; they are flat, dull, lifeless, unlikable. You can't identify with any of them, it's like they are made of flexible plastic or something. And everyone is either good or evil, and the writing goes out of its way to make sure that the evil characters are pure evil and nothing else. Like the one about the cloned robot who was put down by the greedy businesswoman at the end of the show, only to have the robot come back to life again and strangle her. Gee, I didn't see that one coming. Who wrote this crap?

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only fifteen actors played the same character in more than one episode: Tom Butler (Charlie Rogers, though he was called Charlie Bouton in the latter episode) and Paula Shaw (Mrs. Janus) in The Outer Limits: Valerie 23 (1995) and The Outer Limits: Mary 25 (1998), Robert Patrick (Major John Skokes) in The Outer Limits: Quality of Mercy (1995) and The Outer Limits: The Light Brigade (1996), Amanda Plummer (Dr. Theresa Givens) in The Outer Limits: A Stitch in Time (1996) and The Outer Limits: Final Appeal (2000), Jessica Harmon (Tali) and John Tench (Alex) in The Outer Limits: The Camp (1997) and The Outer Limits: Promised Land (1998), Ron Rifkin (Dr. Martin Nodel, though his first name was given as Eric in the latter episode), Ryan Reynolds (Paul Nodel), Kathleen Duborg (Hope), William deVry (Ben), Tara Spencer-Nairn (Heather), Kirby Morrow (Kirby), Silvio Pollio (Anthony) and Terri Lynn Ibisoglu (Sarah) in The Outer Limits: Double Helix (1997) and The Outer Limits: The Origin of Species (1998) and Alex Diakun (Nicholas Prentice, the only character to appear in more than two episodes) in The Outer Limits: Tribunal (1999), The Outer Limits: Gettysburg (2000) and The Outer Limits: Time to Time (2001).


Quotes

The Control Voice: There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal and the vertical. We can deluge you with a thousand channels or expand one single image to crystal ...


Alternate Versions

In the episode "Valerie 23" Sofia Shinas appears naked before her creator when trying to seduce him. In the syndicated version this shot was cut.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | Fantasy | Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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