Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Lost" Outer Limits

by David J. Schow


If ever there was a “lost” Outer Limits episode, or a Holy Grail for the series, it is the film variously known as The Haunted and/or The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre.

In the Companion, I erroneously listed the film as “in color” (it’s not) and assumed they were one and the same entity.

Joe Stefano told me the story of how he once possessed two prints of this pilot, loaned them out the someone at CBS… and never got them back.

Throughout the 1970s-80s, The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre popped up unheralded on TV in Canada, Australia, and as far away as Thailand.  Many people remember seeing it on TV without even recalling the title.

Somehow, by 2007, a Japanese film critic named Chise Soeno turned up with a 16mm print of The Haunted, which she has screened annually at the Kanazawa Film Festival in Kobe and Hokuriku, Japan.  TV-Asahi in Japan had also broadcast the film in the late 1960s.

Even more unbelievably, while we were all sleeping, a collector scored ANOTHER 16mm print of The Haunted from eBay in 2010 … FOR NINETY BUCKS.

By 2007, the Film Archive at UCLA had also acquired a copy.

Recently, under circumstances too mysterious to get into here, I was offered a private screening of The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre — most likely the “foreign title” of The Haunted.  At least it was a chance to view the material again on a larger screen in a darkened room, as opposed to a film carrel at UCLA.

Wrong.

I should have figured this out based on what happened to The Unknown, but for lack of evidence staring me right in the face.  I should have known the moment Joe Stefano told me “it was released everywhere but in America as a feature.”

The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre is the FEATURE VERSION of The Haunted.

Ghost is 20 minutes longer, contains scenes and characters not included in The Haunted, and has a completely different ending.

While Ghost screened, it took about fifteen minutes for this to sink in:  Hey, wait a moment…!

But I wasn’t just watching the “Ghost cut.”

I suddenly realized I was watching the vault elements FROM which Ghost was assembled.  Eight reels, largely unsweetened for audio, with temp dubs that came and went, very rough cutting, and ADR for Diane Baker I could swear is Sally Kellerman’s voice.  In several car scenes, you could still hear Connie Hall’s camera running.  THIS, then, was the material Stefano and Tony Di Marco took into the cutting rooms for the marathon whittling session recounted in the Companion text.

So — a THIRD iteration.

And nobody can figure out who owns the rights to it.  The Haunted was never broadcast.  CBS theoretically held the copyright, but as of 1993, it was never renewed.  Ditto for The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre.  For all we know, the material might be public domain by now.

The investigation continues… inquiries are being made… but for now, the February 25th double bill of The Unknown and The Haunted — from pristine print sources, by the way, not a lame digital projection — is an ultra-rare chance for the true Outer Limits devotee to catch a look at The Haunted, whereas the almost-equally-rarely-seen The Unknown leaked onto the gray market years ago.  For this, we have to thank Mark Quigley of the UCLA Film Archive and the Bill Wilder Theater at UCLA.  The choice is yours!

Friday, February 25 at 7:30PM the UCLA Film and Television Archive Presents a Free Admission double feature of:
THE HAUNTED
(a.k.a. The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre)
(1965) Directed by Joseph Stefano

Martin Landau stars as a Los Angeles-based architect-cum-paranormal investigator who specializes in assessing and exorcising old homes. Stefano here weaves together vengeance, hallucinogens and a “bleeding ghost” in a gothic telefilm that was deemed too frightening to air by network executives. Stefano's only directorial effort, this extremely rare pilot never aired in the U.S.

Producer: Joseph Stefano. Screenplay: Joseph Stefano. Cinematographer: William A. Fraker, Conrad Hall. Editor: Anthony DiMarco. Cast: Martin Landau, Judith Anderson, Diane Baker, Nellie Burt, Tom Simcox. 16mm, b/w, 52 min.

THE UNKNOWN
(1964) Directed by Gerd Oswald

With nods to Psycho and Clouzot’s Diabolique, The Unknown unleashes sadism and madness when a wealthy playboy lures two unsuspecting women into a house of horrors. With its nightmarish tone and art-film cinematography, The Unknown pilot was considered too off-beat by ABC and was retooled as an episode of Outer Limits. The original pilot is being screened tonight from a rare 35mm print.
Producer: Joseph Stefano. Screenplay: Joseph Stefano. Cinematographer: Conrad Hall. Editor: Anthony DiMarco. Cast: Vera Miles, Barbara Rush, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Scott Marlowe, David McCallum. 35mm, B/W, 45 min.

IN PERSON: Marilyn Stefano; David J. Schow, author, "The Outer Limits Companion"


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






Don’t Answer, Because You Also Get —!

Surely as Leslie Stevens retrofitted Please Stand By as “The Galaxy Being” and Joe Stefano rejiggered The Unknown into “Forms,” for the longest time there was another “lost” analogue to The Haunted/Ghost, and it was Daystar’s final and most infamous production — Incubus.

Yeah:  The one with Shatner.  The one in Esperanto.  Seriously.  Read all about how the only existing print was rediscovered in 1996 … and how it took four years to get it to DVD.


 
Copyright © David J. Schow, 1999.  All Rights Reserved.  Used by permission and by special arrangement with Tim Lucas and Video Watchdog.


Conrad Hall, DJS, Anthony Taylor and Bill Fraker at a theatre in El Segundo for the taping session for the Incubus DVD in 2001.
(L-R) Anthony Taylor, Conrad Hall, William Fraker at the DVD session for Incubus.


Copyright © Tom Weaver, 1999.  All Rights Reserved.  Used by permission and by special arrangement with Tim Lucas and Video Watchdog.

Copyright © Tim Lucas, 1999.  All Rights Reserved.  Used by permission and by special arrangement with Tim Lucas and Video Watchdog.



ENDNOTEThanks to Warren Oates biographer Susan Compo, I was alerted to the presence of Private Property in the UCLA Archive collection, where it can currently be viewed by appointment.  Another Stevens pilot, Fanfare for a Death Scene (1964 — also shot by Conrad Hall), unexpectedly appeared as a streaming download from Netflix just this past month.  The Unknown and Please Stand By remain available as gray market copies.  Stoney Burke is still largely MIA except for the stray VHS copy.
— DJS

32 comments:

  1. Fascinating stuff, DJS. I've always been haunted by THE HAUNTED, one of TV's earliest attempts to present an ongoing series built around an occult investigator (Universal would try next with THE BLACK CLOAK aka "Dark Intruder"). The fact that it was Stefano and the OL team who created this pilot is ultra-exciting -- sorry to hear it's not in color, though. Naturally, evocative b/w is what we all love about OL; but this would have been the first time Connie Hall shot a produced film in color (I believe), automatically making it a landmark experience. Hey, it's a landmark experience anyway, I'm certain! And the fact that HAUNTED was padded into a feature for foreign markets makes perfect sense. I seem to recall Joe talking about this expanded version with scorn, feeling that it diluted the impact of his original material. Given the changes you mentioned, including a different ending, I'm not at all surprised by this reaction. In any event, I'm desperately looking forward to that screening on the 25th. See you in a week!

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  2. More wonderful, archival-quality TOLicity. This blog must now weigh hundreds of virtual pounds. Great stuff, David.

    I suddenly need to watch INCUBUS again--been a couple years.

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  3. Terrific material on these rare TOL-centric films, DJS! I'd love to see THE HAUNTED and am gnashing my teeth that I can't join you all next week.

    The account of the INCUBUS odyssey was particularly intriguing. I've only seen this bizarre film once on TCM and now feel compelled to add its "distinctiveness" to my collection. There's a lot here that clearly demands further inspection.

    This blog keeps churning up so much more than we thought we'd be getting!

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  4. Yeah really. I can barely keep up! INCUBUS looks pretty intense. Just to make sure, are we still starting with season 2 tomorrow? I might not be able to post much as I'll be heading to Vegas, Thursday through Sunday. Wish me luck lads, hopefully I'll come back with more then I started off with. If anybody happens to be out there for the weekend feel free to drop me a line as I'll be staying at the Flamingo.

    Regarding the second season of OL. Now this is just MHO, and I'm sure you commentators will correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've seen, it's not that bad at all. Two of the eps. I'm more then happy to give four Zantis. For the life of me, I can't understand how anybody could watch 'The Duplicate Man,' without rating it as a classic afterwords.

    My feeling on the next season is that it's not so much as it's a subpar second half, as it is almost an entirely different show all together. With most of all the original people that were behind the first season gone and replaced, the show changed drastically while keeping some of the original flavor. At least that's what it felt like to me as a first time viewer. It's as if another television station made their own version of OL.

    The new beginning intro definetly sucks compared to the original, but in itself is not that bad. The music change is the equivilent of TZ dropping its main theme and then replacing it with the one from Night Gallery. The latter being good, but not great like the original.

    Anyway, maybe I'm wrong. It's just seems that from some of what I read, that huge fans of the first season of OL, would like the second to have never existed, which I feel is a little harsh. Still, I'm really looking forward to the upcoming weeks and can't wait to read everyone's future posts.

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  5. As I sideswiped somewhere, earlier, there's also a bit of a mystery surrounding the fate of Anthony (Tony) Taylor ... when Leslie Stevens' east coast biographer tried to get ahold of him, all contacts had evaporated. Phone disconnected. Mail address no longer valid. All emails dead. When referred to Bill Fraker (shortly before Bill's own death), Bill claimed to never have known Taylor, to not remember him at all, which seems jarring because we all met at Fraker's house for the INCUBUS session, drove to the gig TOGETHER — Tony drove us — then Tony drove Bill home at wrap. It was the last time I saw Connie Hall, and the day prior to his departure for Chicago to shoot ROAD TO PERDITION. I grimly suspected Tony had died and nobody had heard about it ... and I still suspect that. If anybody can unearth any information whatsoever, I'd appreciate some illumination (even though, inevitably, this will probably be put down to the "curse" of INCUBUS, as well).

    INCUBUS is also another of the "lost" OUTER LIMITS-related films for which no one can seem to produce a definitive chain-of-title. Turner Classic Movies also contacted me prior to their broadcast of it last year, hoping to obtain Tony Taylor's permission for airing ... not that they needed it, because like THE HAUNTED and GHOST, it seems to fall into the public domain, barring a claim by Leslie Stevens' estate.

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  6. Things are changing fast and furious here at WACT HQ! Today's post was a surprise late addition, bumping our Season One wrap-up to tomorrow (which details the updated schedule).

    To give a quick summary, after tomorrow's Season One wrap-up post, we have a Season 2 Primer from DJS scheduled for Friday, and yet another bonus post already lined up for Saturday.

    Be back Monday for the kick-off of Season Two with Peter's favorite actor, The Shat, in "Cold Hands, Warm Heart."

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  7. The whole idea here is a brief pause — a hiatus, a caesura — prior to the plunge into S2. A moment for reflection and wrapup. A few noteworthy statistics. A bathroom break. And a bit of objective distance. After all, once the S2 clock starts a-ticking, it's only 17 installments until the termination of this grand enterprise — a month from today, WACT will be done!

    THEN what're you gonna do?!

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  8. And yes: I know the feature version is titled THE GHOST OF SIERRA DE COBRE, not "Cobra." I could not verify this as actual, hands-down truth until I saw it emblazoned upon a movie screen.

    A loose translation would be THE GHOST OF COPPER MOUNTAIN. However, "cobre" is also coloquially used as "handsaw," which sheds a slightly more malevolent light on the entire enterprise!

    Joe Stefano had also written the Control Voice speech for "Tourist Attraction," which references "copra" as an export of the mythical San Blas — copra is basically cocoanut meat. That possibility had to be factored in as well.

    Stefano picked up all this idiomatic flavor while writing the never-produced script for A MACHINE FOR CHUPAROSA, the first screenplay he worked on after THE BLACK ORCHID. As noted in the COMPANION (p. 31): The producer could not decide whether to shoot the film in Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Peru, or the Pyrenees, hopping from one to the next with Stefano in tow to do endless location rewrites. After a month wasted with no resolution, Stefano asked to be released from his contract — "I need strength," (Stefano said). "I'm not ready to deal with this sort of thing."

    Optioned by, among others, Burt Lancaster and John Wayne, the redraft (by Teddi Sherman) remains unproduced to this day.

    (As "chupa" is also a mild Spanish vulgarism, you may now feel free to have yourself a field day online trying to suss the possible meanings of "chuparosa.")

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  9. "THEN what're you gonna do?!"

    I for one am going to start catching up on all the work I'm not getting done!

    Thanks yet once again for the material posted today. This blog is endlessly informative and almost too rich to absorb. I wish these films were available for those of us who aren't near LA. Maybe one day . . .

    I'm grateful for this brief break! It was getting fast and furious there at the end and harder to keep up! And I'm finding that people have put up later comments on some earlier shows, so it's worth going back for review in some cases.

    Finally, I second UTW. I've been worried from previous comments that everyone was ready to write off the second season altogether, whereas I also think there are some good things there. It's just that they AREN"T first season, so by comparison, there is certainly letdown. But there are at least two excellent episodes, three or four that are well above average, and quite a few that are at least plenty entertaining on a guilty pleasure level (and if you're an Eck or Shatner fan, you can add those two, also!) If everyone keeps open minds, I think we'll continue to have excellent commentary here, and surprises.

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  10. John Townsley RiddleFebruary 16, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    A Few Questions for DJS —

    When Gerd Oswald suggested an 80-minute cut of "Forms"/"Unknown" to be shown theatrically, it's hard to believe there are 28 additional minutes of quality material. Have you seen the rough cut from which "Forms"/"Unknown" was assembled? If so, we'd all be excited to learn what was excided.

    Mr. Schow, apart from the alternate material in "Please Stand By" and "The Unknown," have you ever seen any "lost" OUTER LIMITS footage?

    Surely, after being abandoned on the cutting room floor, "The Man Who Was Never Born"'s Noelle-on-the-knoll ending, "The Invisibles" rifle-butt bludgeoning scene, and "The Unknown"'s funeral flashback were not heartlessly tossed into dumpsters. Please reassure us that these adorable offcuts are currently nestled in vaults or private collections, waiting for that joyous day when they'll receive ideal placement in loving homes as Blu-ray bonuses.

    On a semi-related note, When ABC Standards and Practices asked Stefano to make "six little cuts" to "Corpus Earthling," did he comply? If he did, it's hard to imagine how an unexpurgated version of that already serotonin-challenged bad boy could be any blacker. Yikes.

    Mr Schow,if you're too time-crunched to respond to even one of these questions, it's completely understandable. Thank you for your heroic ministrations on behalf of THE OUTER LIMITS.

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  11. John Townsley RiddleFebruary 16, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    The first sentence of the above post should not begin with the word "when." Grammatically, the sentence should read: Gerd Oswald suggested an 80-minute cut of "Forms/"Unknown" to be shown theatrically; it's hard to believe there are 28 additional minutes of quality material.

    Not sure how "when" sneaked in there.

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  12. THE UNKNOWN: While Gerd recounted that he “suggested” the long cut, I don’t think the material was there the way it was for THE HAUNTED. (Stefano always preferred the HAUNTED cut over the GHOST cut anyway, and having seen the GHOST cut, it’s definitely flabby.) Maybe he was thinking to somehow combine footage from both versions and “talk it out” with a lot of extra character speechifying — which certainly seems to be what happened with GHOST — but even then, I don’t think there was 20 extra minutes of material just lying around.

    One might have thought that Leslie Stevens would have hoarded a blooper or two. Nope. Or Justman. Nope.

    As for the trims and alternates, I don’t know of any repository for same — I’ve never seen them, and also not having seen any of the network memos for “Corpus,” I don’t have any firm idea what the cuts might or might not have been.

    Throughout interviewing nearly everybody connected in a production capacity, I kept hoping a little something might turn up, but no. Unfortunately there was no “Lincoln Enterprises”-type situation to suck up the slack with THE OUTER LIMITS, and unless somebody can gainsay this with sprocket-holed proof, we have to assume that cutting-room floor got swept up and tossed out.

    You see this even today — nobody keeps track of production ephemera, even less so now that so much of it is digital. Daily shoot schedules frequently only exist on someone's laptop, and by production wrap, the mean materiel vanishes into the ether, leaving not even a paper trail to hunt down. Major studios are presumed to maintain mystical vaults teeming with every iteration of raw movie material ... but that doesn't account for attrition, theft, accidents (like Universal's many fires) and just plain bad management. New regimes throw out the files of old regimes, and the regimes change every five minutes, these days. Need file space? Toss those old files in the dumpster, because it's too costly to maintain the space or translate them into some sort of electronic record. This is exactly what happened to the 8x10 still file United Artists DID have — two decades ago — on OUTER LIMITS, but which vanished in one of those seasonal housecleanings.

    Listen, Murnau's NOSFERATU wouldn't even exist today had it not been for the efforts of film pirates. Bram Stoker's widow won the legal right to have all prints destroyed. The snips and bits that have enriched each DVD iteration of FRANKENSTEIN from Universal came not from Uni's inventory, but from private collectors; the Uni Home Video executives take the credit for the "discovery" while obscuring the fact they had nothing to do with finding the audio disc, say, with Colin Clive's obliterated line about being like God.

    Further, the studios don't give a damn — it's all about finding ways to wring a revenue stream out of a tired old library. If they're lucky, occasionally they hook up with a documentarian or provider of supplements who might have the misfortune to be reasonably passionate about the subject matter, usually to his or her eventual grief when it comes to budget, time, or access. Audio commentary tracks are usually done for free — just ask Tom Weaver, who does them out of love for the subject matter, and knows (as do many of us) that if HE doesn't do it (for free), someone else will fill the gap and do it less well (for free).

    Because the studios are the LAST people to be interested in all that peripheral bullshit. They'll sometimes take advantage of it, but they're not interested in its form or shape, or whether it even exists or not.

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  13. Season Two amounts to a different creative team handling the same "property" or "franchise." In any incarnation, THE OUTER LIMITS should be a visually exciting, smartly-written science fiction thriller featuring "monsters" that often hold a mirror to the human condition. Stevens and Stefano brought their special creative qualities to the property (which, of course, Mr. Stevens happened to create). The fact that Hall and Frontiere were gone along with S & S meant that Season Two would automatically not have many of the specific, outstanding creative pleasures that seemed to characterize the show for many of us. And the budget would be cut, yet again. Personally, I think the Ben Brady team faced this challenge rather bravely, and at the very least produced what is arguably the series' most famous episode (and some say the best), "Demon with a Glass Hand." Intriguing "mystery structure" shows like "Soldier," "Wolf 359," "Cry of Silence" and the two-part masterpiece (yes, I'll use that word) "The Inheritors" justify a bunch of misfires, before, well, money just seemed to run out entirely. Bpttom line? We OL junkies wanted more Stevens/Stefano/Hall/Frontiere, and were told that train had left the station. Heartbreak! But we still had THE OUTER LIMITS, which was some compensation. With its all-important "franchise agenda" intact, the new OL under Brady would indeed provide some highly enjoyable (even "classic") hours of network television. So please, don't abandon this blog because the most remarkable First Season in TV history has just concluded. Transmission isn't over yet...

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    1. I'm glad that there are so many other HARDCORE OL fans like myself. I'm a little late to the binge-watching hardcore game, but I CAN boast that I watched all these episodes the first time around. I'm an old-timer, God help me... And there were 5 or 6 episodes that HAD stayed with me all these years since the early 60's. That's the mark of a great show.

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  14. Well said, Gary.

    I'm only unreservedly enthusiastic about three and a half of the second season episodes -- "Demon with a Glass Hand," "Cry of Silence," "The Duplicate Man" (my favorite of this round), and the non-Make Room for Qarlo portions of "Soldier" -- and I remember "Wolf 359" and "The Inheritors" at least being interesting (my brother David admires the latter, which is an endorsement).

    But that's fewer than half the episodes, and a few of the remaining ones are ridiculous by any standard. I'll keep an open mind, though -- it's been literally decades since I've seen some of them, so I'm holding out for a surprise or two.

    Here's a thought: I wonder how long it would've taken the preteen me to smell a rat had Frontiere's theme and cues survived into the Brady era...

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  15. John Townsley RiddleFebruary 16, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Thanks, DJS. I don't want to tax your time with more questions, so I'll just wonder aloud.

    Popular opinion holds that "The Unknown" only became an episode of OL after it acquired busted-pilot status. It seems to me that "The Unknown" was never meant to be the kick-off episode for a new series; it was designed to give the network a taste of what a new series would look like. The "Unknown"'s 45-minute running time implies as much. The "Lovers and Madmen" story was only ever intended to air as an episode of THE OUTER LIMITS. Right, DJS? Oops, I mean...Does anybody out there have any thoughts on this mostly rhetorical question?

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  16. First of all, I haven't had time yet to read all this wonderful material, but thank you DJS; we might have never seen this otherwise. I'm still trying to figure a way when there's no way, to go to the UCLA screening; we'll see. One more question for you, DJS: we've all talked about, and phoned, and hoped for a one-day proper OL DVD set, but with all the mysteries of these other films, do we know for sure if MGM even has the original 35mm prints? If they still exist? To Mark and UTW: I concur about The Duplicate Man, my personal favourite of season two and a classic by any standards. As for when season two runs out, I hope this blog will remain active, or perhaps we could come with ideas for what other forms of communication OL fans might want to maintain.

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  17. MGM still has original negatives.

    JTR has it precisely — "Forms" and THE UNKNOWN were written concurrently; "Forms" was always intended as an OUTER LIMITS episode, and the variant UNKNOWN version to show execs what a series would look like with (broadly speaking) "horror" replacing "sci-fi."

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  18. I can only echo the comments on S2, well expressed here. It's a different show, no longer visionary or unique--more a typical anthology with its hits and misses and in-betweeners.

    Been pleasantly surprised to see so many positive references to "Duplicate Man", one that I like too. But we'll get there.

    Like David H--looking forward to catching up on work a little.

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  19. > Stoney Burke is still largely MIA except for the stray VHS copy.

    FYI, "Stoney Burke" was aired on TNT in the 1990's with clean copies.

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  20. > ENDNOTE:

    Anything new about the two unsold pilots: "Mr. Kingston" (starring Peter Graves) and "Stryker"?

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  21. I'd kill to see this but there's no way I can attend the screening. Is an eventual DVD or blu-ray release too much to hope for?

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  22. Anon:

    I missed those TNT showings. Also figured it might show up on the Western Channel or something by now, or that someone would have made gray-market copies of the TNTs.

    Maybe Netflix will cough up STRYKER and MR. KINGSTON next!

    BB:

    The sticking point with THE HAUNTED is that nobody seems to know who owns the rights, and if CBS did, they failed to renew copyright in 1993.

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  23. Clarification: By "third iteration," I don't mean that there are three complete, cohesive versions. The GHOST cut is very likely close to what I saw ... but until I see a "broadcast version," or some collector's tape of a transmission as they originally viewed it, I can't be sure. For one thing, the vault elements were all on separate reels, and as-such it seems they might have been sweetened just a bit before being released as a "feature cut." Indeed, the only difference between the vault elements and the GHOST cut might be that they are spliced together properly. GHOST certainly seems to have maximized every single scrap of extra footage, and — pure speculation — there may have been no time or money to "make it better." But this is not confirmable until I see an out-in-the-world version of GHOST.

    It'll turn up; just you wait. It'll turn up if for no other reason than to prove me wrong!

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  24. > ENDNOTE:

    "Hero's Island" was on TCM ten years ago.

    We need a Daystar DVD release:
    "The Marriage-Go-Round" (Fox)
    "Hero's Island" (United Artists/MGM)
    "Incubus"

    With the proper credentials, it will be interesting to dig United Artists/MGM vaults because "Stoney Burke" is a United Artists/MGM.
    In one episode of "Stoney Burke" episode entitled "The King of the Hill" (guest starring Allyson Ames), you can hear stock music from Frontiere's "Hero's Island".

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  25. Thanks to the Social Security death records, I have confirmed (more or less) that Tony Taylor (Anthony Milford Taylor) died 2/17/2008. I don't know where this leaves Contempo III Productions -- the rights holder for INCUBUS -- as Tony seemed to have no heirs or relatives. Sad.

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  26. I know one of the private collectors who has a print of The Haunted (not the person who won it on ebay last year). I'm sure if a bunch of people were willing to put up some cash and we could raise a decent sum, it could probably be pried out of him. Don't know how many OL fans want it but if we could put together a few grand, I'm sure he'd make a copy.

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  27. Stevens 1970s plan for a BIG SCREEN OUTER LIMITS
    I met and had dinner with Leslie Stevens at the first annual science fiction and fantasy film convention in LA about 1972. Stevens told me about his plans for a big screen OUTER LIMITS and a new series called THE OTHER SIDE.

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  28. I was hoping instead this would be about unfilmed Outer Limits scripts (I am especially interested in knowing what the unfilmed story proposals by Richard Matheson, Theodore Sturgeon and A.E. Van Vogt) were, as well as Leslie Stevens' "Earth Tapes" proposal. I'm certain there were far more even than what was included in the OL Companion.

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  29. Ultimate Tactical Warrior, I feel EXACTLY as you do about the 2nd season. I saw some of these when they were FIRST-RUN, and they stuck with me forever. About 10 years ago, I watched reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel when those idiots were running it Sunday nights at 2 AM, just because I hadn't seen the 2nd season in 3 decades, and still don't have them in my collection. A few clunkers, but a lot of terrific stuff (and various people will argue which is which-- that's why it's called "personal taste").

    I've often thought "The Duplicate Man" was remade as "BLADE RUNNER". "The Invisible Enemy" was the 1st time I'd ever seen Adam West outside of "BATMAN". And how many people realize that Jack Kirby wrote an actual SEQUEL to "Wolf 374" as "The Man From Transilvane" / "Genocide Spray" in JIMMY OLSEN #142-143 (Oct'Nov'71) ??

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  30. Gary Gerani, more enjoyable comments. I only recently was reminded that Season 1 ran on Monday nights at 7:30 PM. My GOD! Can you IMAGINE anything this TERRIFYING and disturbing being run THAT early in the evenings, to give the "innocent little darlings" a steady stream of NIGHTMARES?

    Oddly enough, this was the same slot that saw THE MONKEES, and the final season of THE AVENGERS, when some A** H*** decided to yank it off Fridays without warning and put it up against the NUMBER ONE rated show at the time (ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN-- those B******s must have been bent on killing that show, don't you think?).

    And I was 4 YEARS OLD when I first saw OL. HOLY S***!!!!! The thing is, as a kid, I almost never caught every episode of anything. I have very clear memories of which ones I did see, and which ones I somehow never saw at all until I rented all the episodes, in sequence, in the mid-90s. But what I cannot be sure of is, did I see those when they were genuinely first-run-- or during the summer rerun season? Impossible to be sure. I was not yet enrolled in Kindergarden, for God's sake, so, my bedtime may not have been set at 8 PM yet. (My parents seemed to move it back an extra half-hour each year for awhile after that.)

    Tragically, there's no question what KILLED the show was moving it from a successful slot to opposite JACKIE GLEASON. I have no idea how I ever even saw any of the 2nd season first-run (there was no rerun season, was there?). Yet somehow I tuned in "Demon With A Glass Hand" halfway in. What a story to catch at random! Maybe with a "variety" show, we sometimes got bored at the halfway point. Never saw "Demon" from the beginning until midway thru the 70s.

    As an aside, "The Bradbury Building" also appears in "BLADE RUNNER", "I, THE JURY" and "MARLOWE". That's right. Mike Hammer (Biff Elliot) and Philip Marlowe (James Garner) were neighbors!

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  31. This seems to be as good a place as any to post this... a friend of mine in Wales and I were recently having some in-depth discussions about STAR TREK, and one of the things we talked about was "The Alternative Factor". Depending on who you ask, it's either fascinating, the worst thing they ever did, or somewhere in between.

    When I noticed it was directed by Gerd Oswald, the idea hit me that it MIGHT have started life as an unfiled 2nd-season OUTER LIMITS episode. Any thoughts? It sure seems to me the whole thing would have made a lot more sense and worjked much better if it had taken place ON EARTH, if the time-travel aspects were maintained, and if the ONLY thing at risk by a matter-anti-matter explosion was the Earth. Apart from the chaotic and frankly inconsistent storytelling (which strongly suggests mutiple re-writes, each one hurting the finished story more, not helping it), the idea that a single such explosion might destroy "the entire universe" was just one sci-fi idea I found TOO ridiculous even for that show.

    Incidentally, we also think that "CATSPAW" (long a big favorite of mine, despite its bad reputation) might have actually started life as a "LOST IN SPACE" script. Think about it!

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