19 May 2012 | hung_fao_tweeze
Near and dear
When this was first aired back in the 60s, I felt a strange love and empathy for 'Regina'. I was only 6 and I fell in love. I felt gutted by the episode's conclusion. But that was when I was 6. Decades later I was happy to be able to view this again through the magic of DVDs. Yes, I own them ALL. I was hesitant to watch this episode. I still had this pit in my stomach. There was something about this episode that lingered and haunted. The title....UGH! Is it corny or clever? After putting it off long enough I finally sat down with it. Here is an excellent example of an outrageous story...an unlikely tale. I know the Outer Limits of the 60s had nearly no budget, but these special effects were surprisingly poor. And yet, despite the apparently ridiculous plot and the dismal effects, I found myself suspending disbelief. The effects, as bad as they were, were simply a device to portray the idea of what was happening, not an attempt to dazzle the eye. Somehow, I overlooked the poor effects and found myself focusing on the story. The acting was superb. Joanna Frank's unsettling beauty and unbalancing sultriness brought me back to being 6-years old again. (As I understand it, Frank complained that she was given no helpful direction as to how to play Regina. This turns out to be a genius move because she delivers her lines as if she really isn't certain of her humanity or the impact of what she would say) I fell in love and was ultimately gutted at the conclusion, again. I wouldn't take anything away from Philip Abbott or Marsha Hunt. Both are more than convincing in what would by all other definitions a ludicrous idea for an episode. The tension between Frank and Hunt ends up being fine drama as does Abbott's final tirade to an unwelcome Frank. Frontiere's usual anxiety provoking music seemed to be practically non-existent here. It's there, but this is an anomaly...a quieter episode. So, I may have a bias since I hold the original series in reverence. It was a part of my childhood and was the only fantastic oddity on TV then. But, I was once again enchanted by this episode. It should have been lame. It wasn't. A fine example of better than average story telling enacted by a committed cast of professionals delivering credible performances. I'm sorry I didn't watch it sooner.