3 July 2012 | MartinHafer
Tremendously original and engaging.
The famed Sci-fi writer and crank, Harlan Ellison, wrote this story as well as one other episode of "The Outer Limits"--"The Demon With a Glass Hand". Both are among the very best episodes of a great series and both are very worthy of your attention. Interestingly, the concepts in these two shows have some similarities to "The Terminator"--so much so in Ellison's mind that he sued to have his name listed on the film's credits. I am not sure whether or not he had a valid case--all I know is that you've got to see these two shows.
The show begins in the far future. Two soldiers are somehow his by lasers at the same time and one is sent into the distant past of today--the other remained in limbo for much of the show. When the one soldier (Michael Ansara) arrived in the 1960s, he was ill-equipped to fit in, as he knew absolutely nothing but war and killing. It turns out he was actually bred for this purpose and getting along with others was NOT his strong point! Not surprisingly, he's soon taken into custody after his arrival. Heck, they think he's a nut and he's placed in a straight-jacket in a padded cell! Not knowing what to do with this guy, they assign a philologist (like a linguist) to work with the soldier (Lloyd Nolan). Very slowly, they begin to learn to communicate and form a bit of an understanding between them. Not exactly a friendship, the soldier at least understands that the man is NOT an enemy. In an odd twist, eventually the soldier is taken home to stay with the family of his new 'friend'. I could easily say more--but it wouldn't do the show justice and the twists that result you should just see for yourself.
All in all, while the idea of a super-soldier being magically transported to the past is crazy, it's still a great story because of the writing. You really care about the characters and Ansara and Nolan manage to do a lot with the script as well. Unusual, fascinating and well worth your time--it's a shame Ellison didn't write more for this series. I assume this is because "The Outer Limits" ended soon after he wrote these two shows but it also might have had something to do with Ellison's personality, as he is notorious for alienating himself from authority. Still, a heck of a writer...