10 October 2003 | severe_td
Excellent series - for the most part
I discovered The Outer Limits in mid-2001 while it was in syndication. Sadly, I didn't realize that they had just wrapped their final season. I've been trying to catch all of the episodes on Sci-Fi, which has an erratic schedule for this show, to say the least!
I must say that I disagree with most of the negative comments that I've read so far, regarding this program. The series did indeed have some dud episodes -- especially the episodes which pieced together parts of other episodes to somehow make a "new" story. However, for the most part, the show ran 7 seasons with some very original, creative, and fresh concepts that in most cases held my attention until the very end. In fact, I felt sorry at the end of certain episodes that I wouldn't get to see more of the story, as each episode is a self-contained. Unlike many shows than ran for 7 seasons, I did not find a degradation in quality as the show wore on. In fact, my second-favorite episode ("A New Life") was from the final season.
While many writers were involved with the stories shown in The Outer Limits, a few were responsible for the majority of the episodes. It's interesting to take a look at some of the "themes" behind the show in general. The main (and stated) theme of The Outer Limits was to explore human nature and the consequence of human mistakes. However, a viewing of all episodes also reveals a disdain that the writers seem to hold for both the American military and Christianity. There were several episodes in which the military was either the villain, or the protagonist whose mistakes lead to the destruction of mankind. Christianity was frequently shown as the vehicle used to brainwash unsuspecting earthlings into helping aliens accomplish their evil goals. I am neither Christian nor involved with the military, but I found this apparent bias by the writers to be annoying, and sometimes ruined otherwise good episodes.
I liked how The Outer Limits mixed its endings between happy and catastrophic. That made things a bit less predictable, unlike many movies of today where you know in advance that the hero will survive and triumph.
If you're looking for a great episode, try "The Refuge". I won't detail any of the plot for you, since it's best watched without knowing anything in advance. It's from season 2, so I believe you can find it on the Season 2 DVD.