Thursday, February 24, 2011

Counterweight



Production Order #04
Broadcast Order #14
Original Airdate: 12/26/64
Starring Michael Constantine, Jacqueline Scott, Charles H. Radilak.
Written by Jerry Sohl.
Directed by Paul Stanley. 

A group of strangers are brought together to see how folks will handle the isolation of a lengthy spaceflight. The real experiment was designed to see if viewers could survive the physical and psychological stress of 50 minutes of this episode.


JS: I was so utterly impressed by the dynamic shot of the spaceship flying towards and then away from the camera, it quickly dawned on me that it must have been lifted from something else. Once again we've got DJS to the rescue; the credit goes to George Pal's When Worlds Collide.

PE: I've heard this particular episode has a very bad reputation. I'm not sure why as I zzzzzzzzzzzz...

JS: What? Joanna Frank—where??? Oh... WAKE UP!

PE: I love Michael Constantine... most of the time. Here he's deliriously (as opposed to delightfully) over the top with his "dems, dese and dose," now you see it now you don't, Brooklyn accent.

JS: He does give a performance second only to an inarticulate fanged asparagus puppet. Although amongst this ensemble, even that's not much of a compliment. Tell the truth—it was his space jammies that won you over, right?


PE: I think someone had been watching a little too much Rod Serling and thought, "Why don't we give this thoughtfulness a shot." I hadn't gotten this vibe from any of the other episodes we've covered. The show's got most of the earmarks of a Serling TZ morality play: flawed characters, claustrophobic surroundings, an unseen menace, "deep, insightful dialog." Only thing missing is a good story and execution. Other than that, it's a Twilight Zone. Consider the pilot's observation on the greatest danger of space flight:
Captain Branson: The greatest danger? I don't know. There are so many. Maybe the worst are the ones we make for ourselves by seeing things that don't exist except in our own imaginations.
(The Captain turns his back on the nattily-dressed travelers and walks away to an ominous tone in the score)
JS: And yet it lacks what Serling consistently delivered on TZ; entertainment value. When Serling wrote an episode like this, he would never spill the beans (as to the whole thing being an experiment) in his opening monologue. One can argue that such a surprise might have given the episode some dramatic weight, although I think you could just as easily argue that it would take a heck of a lot more than that to salvage this mess.
  
PE: Ouch! How awful Dr. Hendrix (Scott) must feel, spurned by Dr. James (Crahan Denton), a man old enough to be her pop. Of course, a woman anthropologist  (especially one on The Outer Limits) might not make me randy either. Would she bring a skull and pick axe to bed with her? Ask you to drag her across the bed by her hair?

 JS: I think you may be thinking of an archaeologist. If you are in fact mixing up your -ologists, I blame that damn "Cold Hands" (which is sadly looking pretty watchable today...).

PE: "What maniac put this doll in my bed?!"

JS: Ah, if I only had a nickel for every time I heard that. I do love how he holds up the doll, to no one's view but us. What, is he threatening to drop it if we don't fess up?

Jack Lemmon in Some Like it Hot?


PE: My L-OL moment of the show, no, perhaps the season: Dr. Hendrix, after the aforementioned spurning decides to get gussied up (a scientist's idea of gussing up, that is),  puts on her best push-up bra, undoes a couple buttons on her overalls, twirls her pearls and looks for a man amidst the professionals. This leads to even more deep, soul-searching dialogue. When she's scolded for mocking Dr. James' doll ("He has reason for loving that doll just as you have reasons for wanting to be a woman"), she lets loose:
    Hendrix: But I don't know how. I must find out before it's too late. I never thought of it until just now sitting here with nothing to do. Nothing. I'm strong. I'm trained. I have a disciplined mind. I must...work to forget the children I've never had.
     Maggie: You come to my cabin for a rest.
     Hendrix: You're very pretty, Maggie, but you're cold as a robot. I'm much more woman than you.
     Maggie: Yes, Ms. Hendrix.
JS:  That reminds me so much of the scintillating conversations you and I so often have...

PE: I've seen the word "nadir" bandied about on this blog a few times in the past. Nonsense. This is the "nadir" of The Outer Limits. I defy anyone to tell me there's a worse, more boring show on the horizon. Our highlight is the protracted voyage of the "little floaty rattlesnake," which makes pitstops into several passengers' ears. We're treated to innermost thoughts ("I am a woman scientist. Hear me roar") and Constantine's snoring (or was that mine?) along the way.

JS: Just imagine if the light-snake was the bear this episode... talk about no-budget.

PE: The only bit worth championing is the stop-motion plant. It's very cool, and foreshadows the kind of work Jim Danforth would later do for Equinox,  but it lasts only seconds. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be decided the plant should talk too. And talk without moving its mouth! And what the hell is with that climax? Or should I say anti-climax? What a miserable Christmas present to find under your TV tree in 1964.

JS: I too love a good stop-motion sequence, and  the plant wrestling match was without a doubt the high point of this episode.

PE: Lots of genre and television vets here: Constantine cut his teeth in a wide range of classic TV (The Untouchables, Twilight Zone, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Perry Mason, My Favorite Martian, etc.) before becoming a regular on Room 222. Jacqueline Scott, of course, was the shrewish wife on our maiden voyage, "The Galaxy Being." Charles H. Radilak appeared on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The C.A.T. and lots of other C.R.A.P.. Larry Ward was a regular on the short-lived The Dakotas, but is famous, to John at least, as the voice of Greedo and Jabba the Hutt. Crahan Denton was the sheriff in "The Children of Spider County" and also "Pigeons from Hell" (Thriller).

JS: BTW - Pete's not kidding about Ward voicing Greedo. How cool is that? In closing I'd like to give a shout out to my pick for OL Babe of the Week, Athena from Antheon! Smile pretty, Athena.

JS RATING:
PE RATING:







David J. Schow on "Counterweight":



From The Outer Limits Companion, Copyright © David J. Schow, 1986, 1998.  All Rights Reserved.  Used by permission and by special arrangement with the author.

Be sure to check back later today for Matthew R. Bradley's Spotlight on "Counterweight."

Next Up...

35 comments:

  1. I remember so many bad things about this episode that I looked up my copy of the November 1959 issue of IF SCIENCE FICTION with fear and trembling. During the fifties IF was probably the 4th best SF digest behind GALAXY, F&SF, and ASTOUNDING.

    But I should not have worried; this was the 3rd episode in a row where I found the magazine version to be better than the OUTER LIMITS version. DJS discusses the plot of the digest version above in THE OUTER LIMITS COMPANION. All I need to say is that there was a Captain Branson and a spaceship in both the magazine and the OL episode, otherwise the two versions did not have much of a connection at all.

    For instance the magazine version had over a thousand families on a real spaceship and no silly monster at all. Leave it to the bare*bones budget(there's a plug), to pare down the thousand families to a handful and add the typical OL monster.

    This has to be the worst OL episode. I looked it up on the IMDB and they rated it dead last among all the episodes with a low 5.7 rating. Another strange thing was when Jacqueline Scott went into her funny I AM WOMAN routine, I started wondering how old is this lady? She was born in 1935 which made her only 29 for this show. Space travel sure speeds up the aging process!

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  2. A curtain call? A curtain call for this turkey?! It should have been a line up for suspects from the scene of a crime. I get from the DJS notes that the character intros were originally supposed to run in front, and then the actor credits were added and they were used at the end to pad a short show. But couldn't they have padded it with something else? How about a different episode?

    I believe this is only the second time I've ever watched this episode. The last time was at eight years old when it originally aired. I am grateful to my 8 year-old discriminatory powers for programming me to avoid this ever since.

    One thing cracked me up (Well, besides Jacqueline Scott channeling her inner slut) ... I loved how the botanist went nuts because the alien asparagus stalk was strangling his weed stash (take a closer look). I don’t blame him. How else could you survive this episode?

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  3. Peter and John, deserve a nice blast of beef spray for picking out a lot of choice knuckleheaded stuff here, so that we wouldn't have to (one thing, Peter, I think you mean T.H.E. CAT?). All I can do with this one is a series of random notes, like from a therapy session:

    LARRY B'S RANDOM NOTES ON COUNTERWEIGHT:

    As a kid I used to confuse elements of this with "Second Chance". But as DJS points out, this "craft" is wanting; long space trip and the best they can do is curtained cubicles?

    The odd opening billing ("Michael Constantine as Joe Dix") reminds me of the strange trend in 60s/70s TV credits where a bunch of actors' names would be listed and at the very end something like "...and Fritz Weaver as Harold Lyman". As if the character name means anything to us. Never got that.

    Even odder, that bizarro curtain call. Wow.

    Joe Dix is such a type, a shallower version of Broderick Crawford's BORN YESTERDAY character.

    Possibly Lubin's most annoying score, apparently based on Brahms' Lullaby. And is he responsible for this spaceship only playing the latest tunes?

    Peach on the other hand, ironically, has some of his most interesting S2 setups so far.

    Anyone else think the captain looks like one of those Anderson marionettes, like in FIREBALL XL5 or STINGRAY? Not to mention his acting.

    The only OL episode featuring invasion by an ancient Sanskrit symbol.

    As Peter mentions, Larry Ward who played the reporter starred (around this time) in Warner Brother's notorious (and best, and most mature) western series THE DAKOTAS, taken off the air after 20 episodes because of public outrage over violence.

    Jacqueline Scott, not seen at her best in either of her OLs, is actually a wonderful actress, truly shining in several GUNSMOKE episodes and the great James Stewart western FIRECREEK.

    What can I say; Planty is one of my favorite S2 bears. Hell, it's stop-motion, and pretty cool.

    Other than that, where's the panic button?

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  4. Larry B -

    I think you do a disservice to Gerry Anderson's puppet actors. None of them deserve a comparison to these performances...

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  5. John, John, John, my friend. They prefer to be called "marionettes". Trust me, there are two unions you never want to mess with: the Teamsters and the Marionettes (at one point during FIREBALL XL5 when the Marionettes were on strike the Andersons bussed in some sock puppets. There was thread everywhere...).

    I grant you, most Anderson "actors" ARE better than these; I was comparing the "Counterweight" captain to one of the lesser marionette day players who were often stiff and wooden.

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  6. Isn't this the episode they used to flush Manuel Noriego out of his coumpound in Panama? Maybe they should try it on Gadhafi.

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  7. Isn't typing fast and not checking your typos (Noriega, compound) the best way to kill a gag?

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  8. I'm speechless....what the f$%k was that? Here I was led to believe that 'Behold Eck!' was the worst episode of the second season. Now that today's show is over I'm relieved. One, I'll hopefully never have to watch it again. Two, I thank God nobody I know saw me watching this embarrassment. To think I could have been doing something more constructive like sitting in the alley behind the local 7-11, drinking a 40 oz. of malt liquor.

    As cool as stop-motion is, the bit part it played was nothing but a fart in a hurricane of television shit. There is no excuse for this bomb. It wasn't any good in 1964 and it wouldn't have been good in 1864. I feel violated and depressed like when I was a cub scout.

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  9. As I watched this for the second time in my life, I kept thinking "Hmmmm.....a group of people on a ship with an unexpected alien - wasn't that 'second chance'" - I'd echo UTW - this validates the theory of relativity - it feels three times as long as it's running time.

    The plant creature was one I saw in a UK magazine - in a superlative two piece article on the show. As a still, there is a nightmarish, bizarre look and feel about it. But as animated, it's too short a sequence. Bludgeoningly boring an empty with the human cast of characters out acted by a limp plant.

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  10. "STRANGE PARTICLES", anyone?

    LR

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  11. Yikes! I never liked this one, and I'm sticking to it. So dull and pretentious, full of psychological trauma and we don't care about ANYONE.

    The curtained space accommodations reminded me of the Three Stooges wrestling with upper berths in "A Pain the Pullman". Why oh why didn't somebody think to bring a monkey along on this dreary space TOL journey?

    Constantine was definitely a cut-rate "Born Yesterday" Broderick Crawford, though he did a good job playing what he was given.

    So, the old doctor gets the Talky Tina doll with the smushed-in face. However, I did like Larry Ward -- he pretty much kept his dignity throughout.

    Poor Jacqueline Scott -- that seduction attempt was embarrassing, but at least the guys didn't respond and were similarly horrified for her. Then the stewardess comes in and leads her away, "The Snake Pit" style.

    Where did they get that crazy Raymond Scott-ish music for their stereo? Guaranteed to calm nerves down on a long planetary journey...not.

    The musical motif with the woman wordlessly singing along with the tune resembles an extremely doleful version of the "Star Trek" theme.

    I was thinking this was "Born Yesterday" Meets "Lifeboat" Meets "12 Angry Men" Meets "The Group" Meets...

    That curtain call was extra-funny because I just watched "The Bad Seed" the other day and they have such a famous one, where the Nancy Kelly playing the mother spanks Patty McCormack who played Rhoda. Somebody could have used a good spanking after "Counterweight"!

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  12. Jim Danforth's stop-motion (Pl)Antheon beast!

    ...and not much else good to say about this dreary cabin-fever inducer (the viewer gets it, too, and quickly wants to scream, "Uncle!" and push the Panic Button---another notable TOL wall button, no?!...never mind). So I'll say what therapy demands I give voice to and then delicately return this one to the Do Not Resuscitate shelf.

    The script is banal, routine boilerplate adaptation of Pohl's story, which I haven't read, though it clearly sounds more engaging than what we (regrettably) see here. In the episode, this plays like a bored extrapolation of a none-too-thrilling concept.

    Paul Stanley made a few efforts at stylish direction, then seemed to lose interest. The shot up through the glass dinner table provides visual variety but ends up feeling like a fish out of water.

    The silly neon Here There Be Garter Snakes icon/Alien Earwig not only enables one of the cheesiest character explorations ever---the players reciting their hangups like a psychiatric group session with sleep-talkers---but it also probably turned a lot of kids neurotic about their night-lights.

    The Plantheon Constrictor is sf's first vegetable lifeform that bullies plants before people. It squeezes the sap out of those other wussy weeds (thank you, Hollywoodaholic) on the playground. Take that, you...you PLANT.

    >Now I'm channeling my inner Scoleri and Enfantino: "OLFACTORY SPRAY FIGHT!! **SSSSSS**
    If they wanted to simulate all the rigors of long-term close-quarter living, wouldn't they have included sprays for other odors, like, say...B.O. and Halitosis? And what joker ordered the Mickey Finn-scented spray?<

    Call me soft on marionettes, but I kind of liked how the captain's tight-lipped cool defused some of Constantine's boorish bluster, as the appropriately named Dix.

    But Jacqueline Scott, an actress I largely enjoy, once again brings to TOL her uptight mistress of malcontent act. Her dowdy-to-desperate transformation is an embarrassing scene. There's sad truth at the core of it, but it's too compressed in the context of the episode's time strictures. She awkwardly does her seduction prowl and then dumps a cold shower on it with her stream-of-consciousness, groping introspection. **SSSSSS** I smell ham.
    Of course, she's interpreting the script, and I'll grant her credit for giving it a game try.

    Crahan Denton's doll freakout feels forced. But Dix's sarcastic response is amusing. Not enough pleasing repartee to go around, though.

    Are those Botany Room buttons recycled from The Pit in "Woodwork"? And DJS---is that our versatile Control Panel in Sandy Kenyon's hands? (My image of Sandy Kenyon will forever be of the bigot neighbor in TZ's "The Shelter.")

    We're treated to the "Fun and Games" Senator without his sense of sardonic humor in Bob Johnson's alien voice-over. He should have been given a place in that weird and useless playbill-parade curtain call. He was at least as deserving.

    The Earwig Snake-light looks like that serpent in the B.C. comic strip after the Fat Broad goes "Wham! Wham!" with her club. Did the Antheonese have a whole fleet of them out patrolling the galaxy for planets that might be thinking about paying an unwanted visit?

    Boredom is indeed the greatest danger of spaceflight.

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  13. Lisa---

    Hey, great call on "Pain in the Pullman"! A much more diverting use of sleeping compartments. Or how about the great Little Rascals short "Choo Choo!" A monkey and some fireworks would have livened things up. And think of all the passengers obnoxious 4-year-old Spanky might have usefully slapped.

    And you're right---that curtain call for THE BAD SEED is the best---certainly the most worth waiting for---example I can remember.

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  14. This one was so boring it made 'Second Chance' look like 'Total Recall.'

    At least one good thing came out of it was Larry B.'s mention of the show 'Dakotas,' which I've never heard of. Checked out some clips on youtube and it looks like a classic. I've only seen Jack Elam in a handful of shows, but I've always been enthralled by his performance in 'Kansas City Confidential.' The series appears to be available on the gray internet market so hopefully the copies are in decent shape.

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  15. Hey, Lisa---

    Another Stooge fan has "self-out-ed!" Yeah!

    And speaking of boredom in a cramped, low-budget compartmentalized space: I'd even take Shemp's all-time worst, "Cuckoo on a Choo-Choo" with Carrie, the giant canary (maybe re-done as Danforth stop-motion) over this mess. The Stooges' pretensions of spoofing "Streetcar Named Desire" in "Cuckoo" are no more mind-numbing than what's on display here in "Counterweight."

    Also a Raymond Scott fan? We should talk.

    LR

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  16. UTW: Jack Elam + DAKOTAS = best western anti-hero ever. If it had lasted, he just might have made that jump that Bronson and Coburn made from TV character actor to character star. As it is, we settle for 20 existing episodes and 1 never aired.

    Carrie...hic!...my beautiful canary...

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  17. UTW and Larry B---

    Speaking of "The Dakotas", I have a video copy of the episode "Mutiny at Fort Mercy" starring our old pal George MacReady as a cruel, Captain Bligh kind-a guy who commands a military outpost.

    I can only say that his chompin' and chewin' of everything in sight in OL's "Production and Decay" seems tame in comparison with his performance in "Mutiny." But I dig it when he goes berserk.

    LR

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  18. Gary Gerani said...

    -
    Can I quote you on that, Gary? :>

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  19. Now, let's all calm down, villagers. I won't have you all agreeing with J&P. It makes for a boring campfire and lousy ratings. I've changed my mind. This episode rocks!

    "Which doll put this maniac in my bed?"

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  20. Peter: I agree.

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  21. All right, Peter, it's your playground. You win. It rocks.

    As Newt said in ALIENS:

    "Can I go now?"

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  22. Speaking of monkeys, giant canaries, and Shemp, I was just reminded (while paging through the mighty tome of DJS) of the connection between the Stooges and TOL's second season. And I think that the connection is not ENTIRELY without significance in understanding the mind-set and approach which caused OL to plummet in quality.

    So get ready for the (multiple) eye-pokin' fun of S2's "comedy" entry tomorrow.

    LR

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  23. Larry R---

    They needed Edward Bernds to step in and direct a few episodes??

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  24. I see plenty of people have already properly demolished "Counterweight" so I'll just add my sad little two cents.

    The six people chosen for this maiden voyage are so dysfunctional I don't know how any of them survive a trip to the local grocery much less a planet that is a 261-day flight away. The whole episode borders on disastrous and is boring beyond measure. The characters are so uninteresting and laughable that I really had a hard time watching it to the end. "Counterweight" includes some poor special effects, primarily the alien light projected on the spaceship walls with all the technical splendor of a five-year old playing with a flashlight.

    I though director Paul Stanley managed some nice shots and a couple of them come to mind. Before the opening credits roll, at 1:49 into the episode, we get a very nice shot of the stewardess with her back turned walking away from the camera framed by the hallway. When she reaches the doorway at the end of the hall, the lights dim and we get her silhouette as she exits the shot.

    I also enjoyed the "Third From the Sun" copycat shot from underneath the glass table.

    So, immediately after this at 15:14 of the episode, look behind Michael Constantine...isn't that the Shatner pressure chamber from "Cold Cuts, Warm Hoagie"? It has a 'Danger: Radio Active' sign stuck to the front of it.

    But alas, even precious memories of Project Vulcan can't rescue me from the horror that is "Counterweight".

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  25. And...at this late date I'll clap myself into the community pillory for foolishly using "Pohl" for "Sohl" in my comments above. An easy enough Freudian slip, I guess, in that I got to spend some chatting time with Frederik Pohl at a convention. But not an acceptable excuse.

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  26. That's a negatory on the notorious Panel; I'm still waiting for its first appearance in an S2 episode. However, that bathysphere-thing from "Cold Hands" is all over the joint -- it's even sitting in the background on the "Counterweight" ship. Set decorators have been known to refer to such items as "kluge," meaning anything that'll fill up a hole in a frame.

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  27. I'm sure this is about the SMALLEST complaint about it to most people, but I've always thought that (in spite of his / its speech), what the alien does to those plants has a "wanton" quality to it (even if it helps speed up the pushing of the button).
    My only complain about that curtain call is that Michael Constantine really should have been saved for last, since Joe Dix is the only thing that makes this one even half-way WORK for a lot of people.

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  28. Greetings, everyone. Again,I'm way late, and it seems that everyone has moved on! Well, I'll try a CETI call anyway.
    Thank you for the info on Larry Ward. I catch him on a lot of retro TV. Haven't had a chance to catch a DAKOTAS anywhere but you've got my interest up there now. I have heard of the notorious episode that sparked the violence outcry (shootout in a church; happens all the time on the screen now) but according to some texts, the show had already been cancelled by the time that last episode aired -- NBC had a Monday Movie that debuted at the same time (Jan '63) that put the ABC oaters out of business. Curiously, for all the talk of OL's ratings 'issues' in that same timeslot, it should be noted that OL did quite well against the Movie the following season. NBC retired the features (to another night) at the end of the season. OL clearly won out, there. That's a story that should be noted.
    I admit to being easy to please. "Counterweight" gave me the best creature ever, so I have a tolerance where others do not. And, you get a (simulated) star flight in the 1960s. The passengers here are supposedly gearing up for 'the real thing', and it was a nice thought that a star flight could be undertaken in our time.
    Lastly, I first saw this episode recently when my Uncle, a childhood fan, bought the Discs. Jacqueline Scott reminds me of my HS biology teacher, who was unknowingly desirable. If Miss Scott had approached THIS desperately eager teen, I wouldn't have been repulsed. Then, I love(d) the stewardess, too.

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  29. I saw it last night for the first time in a year (some Thursday night or other in May is when I first saw it).
    Admiral Nelson is right about both female characters - you don't have to be Joe Dix to get an immediate letch for Maggie the space stewardess - "Need any help in there?"
    Joe is also the only man who's ready to respond to Alicia's big seduction bit (if you notice, he's the only one who's smiling completely).
    This story has at least one DELIBERATELY funny line, and yes, it's in that scene -
    "I'm a FORMER lady anthropologist."
    "Do they all finish that way?"

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  30. One line in the Companion about that scene always makes me laugh, and it's the line that compares the necklace twirling to Shirley MacLaine's in Irma La Douce. Of course, since that movie is a comedy the line is no reflection on it, but either way it's funny.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I'm VERY late to this party, but it's better than never....

      I was just the right age for OL the first time around--11 and 12. I loved this series. Unfortunately (fortunately?), I also loved Jackie Gleason, so I don't think I saw any S2 epsiodes except the first one, "Soldier", and this one. I know I am in the decidedly tiny minority here, but I happen to think this is one of the better episodes.

      Two components of Counterweight more than offset the glacially-paced, annoying fabric of the story. One is the thought of a plant "coming to life" and strangling another plant. This scene was so chilling to my 12-year-old imagination that I never forgot it. The other saving grace also depended on my age: Imagine being confined on a long space journey where a not-unattractive woman, with jutting breasts, gets all sexed up and is practically throwing herself at any male who'll have her. Yes, I know that dramatically, this is laughable, but so what? It appealed to me.

      A few general comments, now that I have more or less journeyed through An Outer Limits A Day for the past two months: (1) Quite often (too often), JS & PE's comments about an episode were much more entertaining than the episode itself. (2) The same can be said for DJS's comments in his book--which I did not hesitate to shell out $100 for on amazon. (3) Joe Stefano was a genius. (4) Corpus Earthling, Nightmare, Zanti Misfits, Forms of Things Unknown, and, especially, Demon With a Glass Hand were some of the finest hours of TV EVER. These episodes, and some others, make up for all the other dreck this series generated. (5) Finally, getting back to Counterweight, did anyone notice that when Robert Johnson gave his Surface Control speech, he may as well have included, "Your mission, should you choose to accept it,..."? Of course, the passengers had no choice at that point, but....never mind.

      Dr. W

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  31. Possibly the most drab and cringe-inducing OL ever -- but for some reason the Antheon's all-too-brief appearance remains one of my favorite haughty-alien speeches.

    How many times has my wife had to endure my own resonant proclamations that "You Earthlings are like frightened children, clinging to your toys" or some such gibberish (that I think somewhat embellishes the original script).

    Not sure if any of the Paul Stanley appreciation on WACT ever mentioned he went on to a nice stint with Hawaii 5-0.

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  32. I was six when Counterweight premiered, and all I remembered was the creepy light and the plant monster. I saw it again 20 years later, engaged in taping all the OL episodes back in those pre-DVD days, and was absolutely broadsided by its worthlessness. There was only one bit of light in the whole experience; when Joe Dix announced "I'm Joe Dix and signs don't mean a lot to me," one of my friends quipped "I'd hate to go driving with him, then."

    And, yes, I erased the tape and used it for something else. Very few of the second season episodes escaped that fate, in fact.

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  33. I've seen this one... once.

    I think it was in 2003, I discovered the Sci-Fi Channel was running THE OUTER LIMITS at the positively insane time of Sunday nights at 2 AM. And I was keeping very strange hours at the time, and this somehow seemed a good way to cap off a weekend. Especially as I had not seen any of the 2nd season episodes since the 70s.

    Well, this one, I quickly realized, I had somehow NEVER seen before. And, I discovered, watching TV between 2 and 3 in the morning, somehow lowered my critical faculties just enough that ALMOST ANYTHING, it seems, became more fun to watch. So, believe it or not, this one didn't seem so bad.

    Then again, I also recall they were running STAR TREK at 3 AM, and it was watching it in that time slot that "The Squire Of Gothos", after decades, suddenly became a favorite of mine.

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