Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Outer Limits - The Wrap-Up

Here we are, at the end of our 49 episode journey. Unlike Season One, it wasn't easy coming up with a "Top Ten" list for Season Two. In fact, we're taking advantage of the fact that it was essentially a half-season, and narrowing it down to our top 5 picks. (Any more and we may just have to pick from the tripe. -PE)


Our Season 2 Top Five Lists

Peter's Picks:
  1. The Inheritors
  2. Cry of Silence
  3. Expanding Human
  4. Soldier
  5. The Invisible Enemy (and see! I did have to scrape the bottom-PE)
John's Picks:
  1. Soldier
  2. Demon With A Glass Hand
  3. The Inheritors
  4. Cry of Silence
  5. The Invisible Enemy

Season 2 Best Actor

Peter's Pick: Steve Ihnat "The Inheritors"

John's Pick: Lloyd Nolan "Soldier"


Season 2 Best Actress

Peter's Pick: None

John's Pick: Arlene Martel "Demon With A Glass Hand"



Season 2 Best Babe 

Peter and John's Pick: Marriana Hill



Season 2 Best Bear

Peter and John's Pick: The Sand Sharks "The Invisible Enemy"



Our Picks for the Best of The Outer Limits

Top 10 Outer Limits episodes

Peter's Picks:

  1. The Man Who Was Never Born
  2. Architects of Fear
  3. Corpus Earthling
  4. The Inheritors
  5. The Sixth Finger
  6. The Special One
  7. The Zanti Misfits
  8. The Forms of Things Unknown
  9. It Crawled Out of the Woodwork
  10. The Hundred Days of the Dragon

John's Picks:
  1. Soldier
  2. Corpus Earthling
  3. Demon With a Glass Hand
  4. The Architects of Fear
  5. Tourist Attraction
  6. The Zanti Misfits
  7. The Man who Was Never Born
  8. The Sixth Finger
  9. Inheritors
  10. The Invisibles

Best Actor

Peter's Pick: Robert Culp "Architects of Fear"

John's Pick: Lloyd Nolan "Soldier"

Best Actress 

Peter's Pick: Salome Jens "Corpus Earthling"
John's Pick: Vera Miles "The Forms of Things Unknown"

Best Babe 

Peter and John's Pick: Mariana Hill


Best Bear

Peter and John's Pick: The Zanti Misfits (was there any doubt?)



We've pleased to report that we've had more than 50,000 hits on the site since we started.

Your Top Ten Visited Episodes are:

  1. Architects of Fear
  2. The Galaxy Being
  3. The Invisibles
  4. It Crawled Out of the Woodwork
  5. Demon with a Glass Hand
  6. Behold! Eck
  7. Soldier
  8. The Invisible Enemy
  9. The Forms of Things Unknown
  10. The Inheritors 

We look forward to hearing your picks, so bring on the comments!

52 comments:

  1. My Top Ten for both seasons, in order:

    1) Fun and Games
    2) The Zanti Misfits
    3) The Invisibles
    4) A Feasibility Study
    5) Corpus Earthling
    6) The Duplicate Man
    7) Don't Open Til Doomsday
    8) The Architects of Fear
    9) The Invisible Enemy
    10) The Chameleon

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  2. Award for most erotic episode:

    Behold, Eck!

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  3. This part is always fun! Season 2 Top Five Episodes: 1)The Duplicate Man, 2)The Inheritors, 3)Demon With A Glass Hand, 4)Wolf 359, 5)Keeper Of The Purple Twilight Best Actor: Steve Ihnat, (The Inheritors) Best Actress:Gail Kobe (Keeper Of The Purple Twilight) Best Babes: Sarah Shane (Wolf 359), Constance Towers (The Duplicate Man), Marianna Hill (I, Robot), Best Bear: The Megasoid. The Best Of The Outer Limits: 1)The Guests, 2)The Duplicate Man, 3)O.B.I.T., 4)The Man Who Was Never Born, 5)Fun And Games, 6)The Architects Of Fear, 7)The Inheritors, 8)The Forms Of Things Unknown, 9)It Crawled Out Of The Woodwork, 10)The Bellero Shield and Second Chance (tie). Best Title Of The Series: The Architects Of Fear. Best Control Voices (in no order): Architects (opening), Man Who Was Never Born (closing), The Invisibles (opening), The Mice (opening), Second Chance (opening, only one), The Inheritors (Part One, closing).

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  4. Saddest Moment Of The Outer Limits: The ending of the WACT blog, hopefully to remain open as a forum for all OL fans everywhere.

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  5. Episode that, dis-ir-regardless of where it is in your top 10, you'd use to 'sell' an OL virgin on watching lots more episodes?

    My pick: Architects of Fear

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  6. My final top 10

    1. The Architects of Fear
    2. The Man Who Was Never Born
    3. The Zanti Misfits
    4. Demon with a Glass Hand
    5. Corpus Earthling
    6. The Guests
    7. Fun and Games
    8. A Feasibility Study
    9. The Bellero Shield
    10.Don't Open Until Doomsday

    MVP and RIP: Robert Culp

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  7. I already gave a top ten for the whole series last time, but here's a top five for S2:

    1. Demon with a Glass Hand
    2. The Inheritors
    3. The Duplicate Man
    4. Soldier
    5. Wolf 359

    Best Actor:
    (tie) Michael Ansara and Steve Ihnat

    Best Actress:
    Arline Martel

    Best Babe:
    Marianna Hill

    Best Bear:
    The sand sharks! (but honorable mention for the limbo being, just because he inspired a lot of imagination with a limited appearance, including the insane limbo song in this weekend's Tavern post)

    Best OL blog hosts:
    (tie) John Scolari and Peter Enfantino; you guys rock!

    Best in-house all-around OL wizard-in-chief:
    David J. Schow

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  8. Top Episodes of season 2
    1/ Demon with a Glass Hand
    2/ The Inheritors (Part 1)
    3/ Soldier

    Worst Episodes S2
    1/ Counterweight
    2/ Behold Eck!
    3/ The Promonition
    4/ Expanding Human
    5/ The Probe
    6/ The Invisible Enemy
    7/ The Brain of Brahms
    8/ The Inheritors (part 2)

    Best actor tie Robert Culp, Steve Ihnat
    Best actress/babe/least used potential: Mariana Hill

    Any chance of signing off in glorious high style by reprinting the interview by the man who was the heart and soul of 'The Outer Limits' - the incomparable Joe Stefano, from Ted's 'Illustrated Review'?

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  9. SEASON TWO Top Five:

    1. Demon with a Glass Hand
    2. The Inheritors
    3. Soldier
    4. Wolf 359
    5. Cry of Silence

    Best actor: Have to go along with that Steve Ihnat/Michael Ansara tie.

    Best actress: Arline takes it, as well. Honorary mention: Sara Shane

    Best babe: Who else but Marianna Hill? Still, Joan Freeman ain't too shabby...

    Best Bear: I'll have to go with the "Keeper" aliens, although the rubber ducky-like Sand Shark is the most conceptually interesting (and Wolf 359's evil God is the spookiest!).

    Best OL authority: Who but DJS?

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  10. My top 5 for S2, pretty much based on the old rewatchability:

    1. Demon With a Glass Hand
    2. The Duplicate Man
    3. Expanding Human
    4. The Inheritors
    5. Cry of Silence

    I'm down with Ihnat for best actor, Hill for best babe, but I just don't find a best actress performance for S2 that jumps out at me. I'll go along with the sand shark however.

    My overall favorites are still all S1, but slightly different from last time, "Feasibility" nosing out "Guests". I'm sure that'll change again:

    1. The Invisibles
    2. Corpus Earthling
    3. OBIT
    4. The Form of Things Unknown
    5. Don't Open Till Doomsday
    6. Architects of Fear
    7. Nightmare
    8. The Man Who Was Never Born
    9. Feasibility Study
    10. The Zanti Misfits

    ...SOME HAVE BEARS THRUST UPON THEM
    Here's a question for my OL brothers and sisters as we wind this down: it's been oft said, usually with derision and or regret (sometimes from the creators), that the OL bears were an appeasement to the Network--a commercial necessity that lowered the overall quality (and, by implication, maturity) of the show.

    Would you have wanted a OL to be a Bear Free Zone? Do you think it would have been a better series?

    Peter and John, you guys have done a fantastic thing here. Watching in production order, in such fun, fine and august company (or at least July) has been a rare and enriching treat, and often funny as hell. I've appreciated this amazing series all over again. And thanks, DJS, for quarterbacking this big game, and my fellow regulars for such consistently engaging posts, as well as archival contributions from the early days of OL fandom.

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  11. Larry B.-

    Hello no! IMHO the worst episodes were the ones without any bears. I'd elaborate, but I'm off to work. Take care guys and gals!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for putting up with me to John, Peter, DJS, Gary, Ted, Larry B., Larry R., David H.x2, Mark, UTW, Walker, Lisa, Jim, bobby, hockey, et al. I sometimes felt like I had barged into a private club party and I didn’t know the secret handshake, but it was one I was determined not to miss because this show meant so much to me growing up. It’s in big part responsible for the profession I chose, which was often exactly about NOT growing up. I’m grown up, now, for better or worse, and raising another generation fan of another medium. And whereas I didn’t have time to comment specifically or extensively on all posts (I had to hit and run), I assure you that I read them all and enjoyed them immensely.

    I knew, despite being a rabid fan, my knowledge on this show would never match up to the expert insights offered by the heavyweights aboard, so I kept to the lightweight counter jabs and jive, and personal musings. If it was too much me; mea culpa, that’s just how it intersected. Peep? This was also a valuable part of my AA program (Avoid Alzheimer’s), so thanks for the synapse stimulation. There’s always more to learn listening or reading than yammering.

    I must confess that, as someone who’s written for a series, I would have been horrified to have something I pumped out in a week for a series analyzed and hoisted like a carcass to be dissected for logic, discontinuity, or plain sheer silliness as we’ve done here. No wonder the WGA requires minimums, and the health care plan is so generous with therapy. But remind me to assiduously avoid any fan site should I ever have the Stefano luck to be the showrunner for a series I created. That’s a ‘probe’ too far. And Milton Krims, please forgive us.

    Thanks again to John and Peter for offering this forum, and filling it with such a rich cornucopia of all things TOL. See you all in the Borderlands.

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  13. Second season top 5:

    1. The Inheritors
    2. Demon with a Glass Hand
    3. The Duplicate Man
    4. Soldier
    5. Cry of Silence
    Honorable mention: Wolf 359

    Best actor: Michael Ansara, "Soldier"
    Best actress: Arline Martel, "Demon"
    Best babe (tie): Arline Martel ("Demon") and Sara Shane ("Wolf 359" -- it's the pout)
    Best bear: Mr. Trent
    Happiest surprise: "The Inheritors" (finally gave it the attention it deserves, and it landed in my series top 10)
    Biggest letdown: "The Invisible Enemy" (I was prepared to enjoy it as a '50s-style, space jockey-meets-space monster flick, or at least as an Ed Woodian crap-terpiece, but it's just too disjointed and inept to have fun with; I almost threw a beer bottle at my TV)

    Series top 10:
    1. Don't Open Till Doomsday
    2. O.B.I.T.
    3. The Zanti Misfits
    4. The Guests
    5. The Inheritors
    6. Demon with a Glass Hand
    7. Corpus Earthling
    8. The Invisibles
    9. The Man Who Was Never Born
    10. The Architects of Fear

    Series best actor: Robert Culp, take your pick
    Series best actress: Miriam Hopkins, "Don't Open Till Doomsday"
    Series best babe: Joanna Frank, "ZZZZZ"
    Episode I'll watch for a quick OL fix: "The Guests"
    Episode I'd show to uninitiated friends: "Demon with a Glass Hand"
    Episode I'd show to uninitiated acquaintances: "Don't Open Till Doomsday" (what better way to see if they're going to become friends?)
    Episode I tried to convert my wife with: "The Architects of Fear" (she made it to Allen Leighton's lab freakout, said "This is boring and disturbing at the same time," and went to bed; win some, lose some)

    More TK...

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  14. BEAR ESSENTIALS

    To answer to Larry B.'s very good question, to me it wouldn't be The Outer Limits without the bears. If that makes it the "monster of the week" show detractors were/are fond of calling it, then so be it. But as DCH and I put it in way-back-when time, the bears are

    "a vehicle or representation of the thing -- if not the actual thing itself -- that matters most [in an episode]. Grotesque, beautiful, or both, the bears are physical embodiments of the longing, befuddlement, and temporal joy of human experience, and their shocking (and occasionally extraneous) presence leaves little recourse but to react. And, upon reacting, we can't help but think."

    (That may sound highfalutin, but it's just a riff on Joseph Stefano's rationale for the bears' presence in his series canons.)

    Besides, since when are monsters scary only to kids? Would we still watch old faves like The Creature from the Black Lagoon or newer gems like The Descent if freaks and demons still didn't have the power to frighten us?

    Personally, I'm suspicious of people who've lost the capacity for that kind of pure shock (or worse, never had it in the first place); it has some elemental kinship with sympathy and compassion -- something living in the frequently monstrous NYC hammers home to me about once a week. In all but a few episodes, The Outer Limits demands that we look beyond even the ugliest surfaces, and I'm grateful for getting that lesson early on.

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  15. We've made it almost three months with no real issues with folks being able to post, and in the last few days we've had several regulars get blocked by the site's spam filter. If you enter a comment and it disappears after you refresh, shoot Peter or I a quick email and we can mark the comment as not spam.

    Sorry for the glitch so late in the game!

    John
    resrvordog (at) earthlink (dot) net

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  16. It's painful to do a blog-ending (or nearly so) ratings wrap-up. It's like the bittersweet feeling after the last Christmas present's been opened: You're elated and jaded and, most of all, wishing you could start tearing into it all again, back when everything was a new discovery.

    SECOND SEASON TOP 5:

    1. Demon With a Glass Hand
    2. The Inheritors
    3. Soldier
    4. The Duplicate Man
    5. Cry of Silence

    REVISED SERIES TOP 10:

    1. Forms of Things Unknown
    2. Demon With a Glass Hand
    3. A Feasibility Study
    4. The Architects of Fear
    5. The Man Who Was Never Born
    6. The Bellero Shield
    7. The Zanti Misfits
    8. The Invisibles
    9. Nightmare
    10. Don't Open Till Doomsday

    THIS POLL GOES TO "11" AWARD:

    11. Corpus Earthling

    Mundane-to-OL Series Exchange-Rate SPECIAL MENTION (10 TOLs = 13 mundane shows):

    12. It Crawled out of the Woodwork
    13. The Galaxy Being

    BEST ACTOR: S1--- Robert Culp (Body-of-Work Award)
    S2--- Steve Ihnat ("The Inheritors")

    BEST ACTRESS: S1--- Miriam Hopkins ("Doomsday")
    S2--- Arline Martel ("Demon")

    BEST BEVY OF BABES (*Special Joe Stefano "sleek sack of sin" Alliterative Division):

    S1--- Salome Jens, Barbara Luna, Joanna Frank, Vera Miles
    S2--- Arline Martel, Sara Shane, Marianna Hill, Joan Freeman

    BEST BEAR: S1--- those misfit Zantis, of course
    S2--- (tie) animated plant from "Counterweight"; the Plag ("Wolf 359")

    BEST BULL: "I've never seen a telemetry system before...part of it might be like this." (Jefferson Rome [Mark Richman] in "The Probe")

    BEST BEAR-ON-A-STICK: The sand shark ("Invisible Enemy")

    BEST STICK-ON BEAR: The recycled Zanti in "The Mutant"

    MOST SARDONIC CONTROL VOICE COMMENT:
    S1--- "They will join the hu---I almost said the HUMAN race." ("The Invisibles")

    S2--- "It is the Devil's Puppeteer who stretches his fingers to answer the question... What will happen next?" ("The Inheritors," Part 1)

    MOST PRESCIENTLY CRISSCROSSED CV COMMENT:
    "Couldn't we be under some supermicroscope, right now?" ("Wolf 359"---in anticipation of "The Probe")

    TIRELESS, THANKLESS EFFORT AWARD: To our hosts, John Scoleri and Peter Enfantino

    BLOG MVP: The illustrious and endlessly informative David J. Schow

    BEST NEW FRIENDS AWARD: To all of you whom I met as a result of the WACT blog. May the Bifrost ever bridge the gulf between us.

    Larry B---
    "SOME HAVE BEARS THRUST UPON THEM" - Great point that I'm surprised we didn't discuss more during the blog. Yes, the nerwork insisted. Yes, Stefano---and later Brady---chafed under the edict. But, man, didn't they turn a Turdo into a treasure in response to the pressure, at times?! Marvel, chuckle or jeer---it wouldn't have been the same show without the bears. Like the medallions in "Demon With a Glass Hand," they served as a focusing element for the dramatic (or "melo-") presentation of often profound themes.

    Imagine the lost poignance if there had been no Thetan, merely a crashed "alien" craft, carrying maybe a carny-mermaid alien lifeform. Just a power-play meant to frighten the world via technological display.

    If the Zantis had been completely humanoid criminals... The all-important xenophobia element, at the heart of all dramatic fantasy, would have been sacrificed. At best, it might have functioned as a "hard-science-fiction" show.

    Personally, I'll take my science-"fiction" out there, beyond the edge, past those outer limits.

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  17. No CONTEST, this PRIZE blog has GREATLY ENLARGED my ECSTASY beyond when I WON an AWARD trip to NIGERIA with ANGELINE LOVER from a SPECIAL OFFER on the INSURANCE NOTIFICATION in a VIAGRA prescription. XXX, to everyone.

    NOTE: This has been a test of the emergency spam filter system. Should this have been an actual posted comment, well, it would have looked pretty stupid.

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  18. TOP FIVE OL---

    1.) Architects of Fear
    2.) Demon with a Glass Hand
    3.) OBIT
    4.) Invisibles
    5.) Corpus Earthling

    Rather pointless to try to assign a numerical rating to the other 5 slots. Lots of good S1 stuff from which to choose. "The Inheritors" probably wouldn't make it, but would rate a special mention.

    I'm with most everyone on Steve Inhat and Arline Sax for S2 acting awards.

    But here's a few more that shouldn't be overlooked:

    --Best performance by an actor reading cue
    cards: LLOYD NOLAN

    -- Most unfortunate example of a great emotional finale almost ruined by a carboard, plywood and string-operated space ship: THE INHERITORS

    ---Highest Cheekbones: The nominees:
    Walter Burke ("Invisibles")
    Dee Hartford ("Invisibles")*
    Skippy Homeier ("Expanding Human")

    * Winner

    ---Most maddeningly annoying:
    (TIE)-- June Havoc ("Cry of Silence")
    Harry's Theremin

    ---TOL's biggest LOL moment of all:
    "Rockin'" Arthur Hunnicutt's Rocka-billy
    routine during the climactic rubber frog attack
    ("Cry of Silence")

    ---The award for the single actress whose on-screen husband turned into an alien in OL's all-time greatest ("Architects") and all-time worst episode ("Cold Hands")-- GERALDINE BROOKS

    --The "Moe, Larry, The Cheese ("SLOWLY I TURNED" the Outer Limit's S1 greatness into S2's dreck) award:
    SAM WHITE (ASS. PROD.)

    Speaking of which.....

    ---Scariest Platex Glove:
    (TIE) --- Your proctologist
    WOLF 359

    LR

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  19. It has been great reading the comments praising this show but then I wondered what was the most disappointing aspect of OUTER LIMITS? In what area did they drop the ball or fail to take advantage of something?

    Even taking into account the budgetary restrictions of the show, I'm really sorry that they did not see that the best SF ideas and plots would be available from established SF writers. They did use Harlan Ellison and Jerry Sohl and they did adapt a couple SF stories like Clifford Simak's novelet from GALAXY, but they could have had a policy of hiring even more established SF authors especially from the SF magazines like GALAXY, ASTOUNDING, F&SF.

    Instead they used PERRY MASON writers and crime writers. A missed opportunity to really have a quality show.

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  20. AWC/Hollywood: No private club here (I only knew a tiny portion of this bunch) except the feeling of sOLidarity we're left with after 49 episodes of intensive and quite entertaining commentary. By the way--keep showing your son "the good stuff"!

    Mark and Ted, thanks for your thoughtful answers to my question on the BEAR essentials, and I could not agree more. I remember when I first picked up DJS' hot-off-the-presses trade paperback OL Companion, and how "uncool" I felt that I really liked the parade of extraordinary (and, yes, sometimes silly) aliens/monsters/creatures. I was floored that even the show's creator's looked down on them somewhat. Here I was liking something mandated by a--choke-- TV network.

    But what they did with them, particularly in that first season--was magic. Wouldn't be OL without 'em.

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  21. Bobby Josson---

    Looks like you get your wish: I hope John and Peter won't mind my mentioning that I scanned the JOE STEFANO INTERVIEW from TOLAIR v2. John may have it up on the blog by tomorrow.

    ANTHONY LAWRENCE fans: I also rediscovered a very nice Lawrence Family color pic, ca. 1977---courtesy of Jim Wilson but never used in TOLAIR---that I scanned and sent to John. He's already dropped it into the Lawrence interview at the end of my Outer Limits Tavern appearance with DJS!

    Our hosts are nothing short of monuments to efficiency!

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  22. Glad to see that Steve Inhat is getting Big Love for his The Inheritors (even though I still have to look him up to remember how to spell his last name -- H before N except after I is the formula). His performance still resonates with me and I may revisit that show again in the future (can't say the same for the Ellisons, sorry to say). I'm reminded of Robert Forster and other great supporting actors when I see him act with his eyes. I'd have to say, of all 49 episodes, this was the biggest and happiest surprise for me. Can't wait to see the same kind of nuances from Roddy McDowall in Batman :>

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  23. I'm gonna miss all you guys. *Sniff* Makes me wish the network wasn't run by a bunch of assholes so that the series would've continued, and so could our fun along with it. (Then again, for every "Man Who Was Never Born," there's a "Brain of Colonel Barham" in the cards.)
    My top 10 for the overall series:

    10. Soldier
    9. The Galaxy Being
    8. The Sixth Finger
    7. O.B.I.T.
    6. The Inheritors
    5. Nightmare
    4. The Architects of Fear
    3. Corpus Earthling
    2. Demon with a Glass Hand
    1. The Man Who Was Never Born
    Best Actor-- Robert Culp, "Architects"
    Best Actress-- Vera Miles, "Forms"
    Best Babe (tie)-- Jill Haworth, "Sixth Finger," Marianna Hill, "I, Robot"

    END OF TRANSMISSION

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  24. Thanks Ted, my mouth is watering...

    As for 'the bears' - I've always felt that they were just poetic aliens, and usually mankind (and the military) were was the real villains. Consider that 'The Sixth Finger' and 'The Man Who was Never Born' were mutated humans, 'The Bellero Shield' had a gentle, angelic disposition. Perhaps less than a 3rd, maybe even just a quarter of the show had monsters, in the brainless BEM (bugged-eyed-monster) fashion of the lower grade pulps.

    'The Outer Limits' is ne of those rare occasions where it best segments (mostly the 1st season) were as literate. thematically rich, conceptually dazzlingly (let alone being visually and aurally charged with cinematic excitement) as the very best of written SF. And this si rare. Usually, when when Hollywood TV and movie players step in the genre, they end up with shallow sci-fi (I've always hated that term).

    I think Stefano missed a tricky by not exploring the immensly rich field of written SF he was in, though I think Ellison would still have appeared at his door and produced his works, after all he approached the Brady regime. Kuttner's 'The Twonky' would have been a marvellous choice for adaption. A Jack Finney, a Bradbury, a Sheckley, a PKD, maybe even a Damon Knight.

    A stroke of genius on Stefano's part is the canons of the show, which read with that ever so elegant, high-flautin' poetic prose style of rich language, a call to arms for his writers to unfetter themselves and express themselves.

    Thinking about the show used to pain me. It was the same pain that afflicted me when I watched Welles' butchered film 'The Magnificent Ambersons' - his extraordinary follow-up to 'Citizen Kane'. It was the truncated, abortion of the show - by taking it away from Stefano/Stevens and never allowing them to blossom. I shared that anger that Haskin so clearly felt. It was like an open wound. Then somewhere along the line, I accepted it. I was glad that the second season only went 17 episodes. Imagine they had made more of the mundane, tedious pot-boilers. It was cancelled (if it had to be) at the right time for it not to be dwarfed by cack, the way 'Star Trek' was. It never had a 'Spock's Brain' - though some might see Colonel Braham as close. I've come to accept what was and not what could have been.

    It curious that the few decent, artful and classy shows that ABC got on the air, were destroyed by them. Apart from TOL, they also had 'The Addams Family', vastly superior to the mechanical Munsters, which was rushed out by James Aubrey to nix his competitors. 'The Munsters' had better ratings and when that was cancelled, ABC pulled the plug on the own creation, despite good ratings. Even when they were ahead, they soon followed the pack leader. Then, in the late '60s they brought in 'The Avengers' - but got creatively involved and started making decisions that soon lead to that stylish shows demise.

    What has surprised me, is that Stefano and Stevens - who never got that type of creative control - showed so little bitterness, unlike Welles, who harboured painful resentment that made his life far tougher. Stefano, in the pictures posted of him - well, there is a bright mischief laughter and peace about his eyes. It belongs with the finest of not just the genre, but of film. They did wonderful things, those men.

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  25. Wow---good job, Troy Thomas: I forgot Jill Haworth, who, for reasons of personal predilection, could possibly be my favorite.

    On certain nights...

    When she's framed and lit that peculiarly mesmerizing way...

    Then again...

    Skip it.

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  26. Now that we're at the end of the line, here's the WACT Scoreboard, analyzing TOL based on John and Peter's Zanti rating for each episode.

    For the first season, John gave an average episode rating of 2.04 Zantis and for Peter the average was 2.14, which means, in their estimation, overall, season one was slightly better than average.

    If we consider 2.5 Zantis or more the mark of a very good to great show, then both thought fourteen shows were worthy ... but not the same fourteen.

    Both agreed on eleven shows:

    The Galaxy Being

    The Hundred Days of the Dragon

    The Architects of Fear

    The Sixth Finger

    The Man Who Was Never Born

    Corpus Earthling

    It Crawled Out of the Woodwork

    The Zanti Misfits

    The Mutant

    The Chameleon

    The Forms of Things Unknown

    John's tally included Nightmare, Tourist Attraction, and The Invisibles while Peter favored Controlled Experiment, ZZZZZ, and The Special One.

    Both agreed that Production and Decay, Moonstone and Second Chance were the weakest shows, with an average of 1 Zanti or less. Other low scoring shows (average 1.5 or less) comprised Don't Open Till Doomsday, O.B.I.T. , The Man With The Power, The Borderland, and The Children Of Spider County.

    For season one, the biggest differences of opinion were the 2 Zanti spread for Nightmare (John 2.5 Peter .5) 2.5 for The Invisibles (John 2.5 Peter 0) and a whopping 3 Zanti spread for ZZZZZ (John 1 Peter 4). Hmm, I think there might be a Joanna Frank factor in there somewhere.

    Not surprisingly, the season two average dropped, with a 1.75 from John and 1.56 from Peter, meaning the typical season two episode was below average.

    Both gave four shows 2.5 Zantis or better and agreed on three of the four.

    Soldier

    Cry Of Silence

    The Inheritors

    John also ranked Demon With A Glass Hand highly, while Peter included Expanding Human.

    The shows with a 1 Zanti average or less were Cold Hands, Warm Heart, Behold Eck!, I, Robot, The Duplicate Man, and Counterweight, while the 1.5 or less candidates were Keeper Of The Purple Twilight, and The Brain Of Colonel Barham.

    There were fewer differences of opinion for season two with a 1.5 Zanti spread for Demon With A Glass Hand (John 3.5 Peter 2) and Keeper Of The Purple Twilight (John 2 Peter .5).

    So, what does it all mean?

    For the first season John and Peter rated about fifty percent of the shows as very good or better, twenty five percent as average, and twenty five percent as bad.

    The second season is the reverse, with about a quarter of the shows ranked very good or better, twenty five percent as average and about fifty percent of the shows rated as bad.

    Pound for pound, the first season produced twice as many first rate shows as the second season, but despite having the deck stacked heavily against it, the second season was still able to produce some of the best shows of the entire series.

    All the best,

    Glenn :)

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  27. Wow!

    That's quite a summation of our feelings. Thanks for that, Glenn! I think it's about right on the money. You neglected to add that 100% of the time, Peter was right :>

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  28. I agree with everybody thus far, so I'll add a category - Most Potential, Least Delivery:

    The Mutant:
    Warren Oates is a terrible thing to waste.

    The Man with the Power:
    See above; replace Oates with Donald Pleasence.

    The Sixth Finger:
    I know, I know - shut up, Holcomb.

    Tourist Attraction:
    Ralph Meeker vs. Henry Silva vs. very cool fish monsters - what could possibly go wrong?

    Moonstone:
    There's something potentially Lovecraftian in the environment/alien creature interplay. Everything else is as interesting as a wooden shoe.

    The Forms of Things Unknown:
    Shut up, Holcomb, part 2.

    Much of the second season not already covered:
    Insert snore noises here, except for The Probe, in which case insert a depressed sob.

    And also, these:

    Scariest Babe: Olive Deering, The Zanti Misfits

    Most Leaden Hunk: Dash Riprock, The Mutant

    Worst British Dentistry Sported by a Babe: Jill Haworth (RIP), The Sixth Finger

    Most Fecal Bear: Mikie, The Probe

    Bear Featuring the Most Uncomfortable Mix of Sexual and Fecal Properties: Turdo, Don't Open Till Doomsday

    Bear Most Likely to Lay an Egg: (TIE) Simon Oakland, Second Chance; Mike Lane, The Duplicate Man

    Commenter Most Likely to Trip the Spam Filter: Yours truly.

    Thanks everyone, and goodnight.

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  29. A toast to John, Peter and DJS for rearing this beast of a blog!

    I look forward to an annual date with The Outer Limits, with WACT as my co-pilot.

    And how about a Black Lagoon Blog after y'all are done fussing with the caped crusader? I'm calling the Spotlight on DJS' pinball game.

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  30. A stroke of genius on Stefano's part is the canons of the show, which read with that ever so elegant, high-flautin' poetic prose style of rich language, a call to arms for his writers to unfetter themselves and express themselves.

    Bobby --

    May want to re-read the relevant sections of the OLC. I believe Joe created the 'canons' as a shiny plaything to get the suits off his back. Am I mis-remembering that, DJS?

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  31. My girlfriend, and fellow fan Noel (after whom Shirley Knight's character was named in a past life), is dismayed at the lack of OL studs in attendance during these final comments! Prepare for an onslaught ASAP!! David McCallum will be vindicated!

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  32. Hollywood-

    As the posts went on, you really made some funny comments at the end that gave me a good laugh. Thanks for that. It was a good stroke of luck for everyone that you became a part of this blog.

    Mr. Holcomb-

    The introduction of 'Posse' alone, was worth following this site. Unfortunately, I haven't watched 'Bad Company' yet, but I'm sure it will be a winner. I'm also very grateful for you and your brother's OL guide. You made a cerebral show that much more deeper with your essays.

    Larry R.-

    Nobody get jealous, but I've got to say that you have been my favorite commentator. A good combination of wit, along with a sly sense of humor. Mel would be proud.

    Jim Barwise-

    A very nice guy that happens to have a very cool last name. Thanks for your positive comments.

    Larry B.-

    Another great guy who's kindness made me feel the most welcome when I started out on the blog. Larry, after doing some snooping about you on IMDB, what intrigues me the most with your extensive body of work is your play the 'Whyos.' Are you an Irish American gangster buff such as myself?

    Ted Rypel-

    Glad I got to know you through your spotlights. Cleveland has always interested me after I read about the mob war from the 1970's. Do you plan on seeing the film 'Kill The Irishman?'

    Everyone else: Lisa, Horne, Gerani, Hockey, Walker, Bobby J., and anyone that I've forgotten to mention, a big thank you for the hours of entertainment and knowledge you've provided me. I feel like I've been through an OL college course.

    John, Peter, and DJS-

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What else more can I say? If it was up to me I'd have everybody get together at some OL tavern for a lengthy discussion. Too bad that's not very realistic given everyone's different location and varying work schedules. Still, I'll give everyone a toast and wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors!

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  33. A big teary hug to everybody here for bringing us all together for this wonderful blog! This will be a go-to place for all OL fans, and there are more all the time -- at least let's HOPE we're not the last generation! I don't think we will be...and as others discover the show they can come here and see what happens to longtime fans. Let's hope they don't run away in horror! More likely they will be jealous that they didn’t catch the fever earlier. The camaraderie here is the best and it reinforces the great capability of the web to bring people together who otherwise wouldn’t meet but should!

    I'm thinking about my all-time top dozen list, strictly personal, just the episodes I always want to see again, for various reasons. Some junkier ones in here, too, but I like them! I'm not going to rank them, but here they are, and I like so many more but these just pop up for me when I think about the show in an overview way. I think I would also use “Architects of Fear” as the perfect example of an episode to use to introduce someone to the series.

    1. Feasibility Study -- sublime, sad, heroic, unforgettable. I've always loved this. Haunting!

    2. Architects of Fear -- same words to describe as the above, actually. Marvelous acting, really virtuoso stuff.

    3. The Man Who Was Never Born -- ditto. Beyond great.

    4. The Sixth Finger -- I know this one doesn't always make the grade around here, but I love McCallum's big head and all the Welsh accents. And I still think Gwyllm dies at the end...

    5. Expanding Human -- Yes, Skip Homeier and Keith Andes make this kind of dreary So.Cal Jekyll & Hyde tale work for me.

    6. Tourist Attraction -- something about the bull-like Meeker and the machismo Silva, plus the weird sexual arrangement between Meeker and his secretary, make this always work. And I love the sea monsters.

    7. I, Robot -- Hey, I like Adam Link's voice and his sad eyes.

    8. Nightmare – minimalist, eerie, disconcerting. Great acting, too. And good man-screams!

    9. Soldier – good acting, wonderful Ansara performance, psychic cats. Perfect.

    10. Zanti Misfits – your Zantis, my wah-wah bugs…classic invasion story that also makes you itch all over.

    11. Hundred Days of the Dragon – completely paranoid, very 1960s smart, horrible to consider and still terrifying and gruesome at the end when Selby gets his face smushed.

    12. The Galaxy Being – overall so intense, wonderful alien, Cliff Robertson is perfect – smart and compassionate; the wife and the other people learns something about the universe and are humbled, and Gene “Buddy” Maxwell! So great!

    I intend to come here all the time to check out things I didn’t get to absorb fully, and to use this as a resource when I re-watch the show from now on!

    Love you guys!! Xoxoxo lisa and I will be there for “Batman” of course!

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  34. UTW---

    Most definitely I'll see the movie. I wasn't that far away when the car-bombing occurred! (Some would say not close enough.) It was moderately surprising at the time (around the TOLAIR days) because we weren't aware that we still had such an entrenched mob presence here. The heyday of the Cleveland mob scene was way back when Eliot Ness came from Chicago to be our Safety Director. He presided---in frustration and embarrassment---during the four-year reign of the never-caught Kingsbury Run Torso Murderer (twice as many mutilated victims as Jack the Ripper). We've had our grisly moments.

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  35. Ted Rypel-

    The Torso murders is a fascinating true crime story that surprisingly isn't as infamous as you'd think it would be. I've read the graphic novel regarding the crimes which was pretty good, but a lot of it was fictionalized. The best 'summary,' I've read was on TRU t.v.'s website. They need to make a movie about that! Poor Elliot Ness, though one sort of gets the impression that he was more of a political hack then a hero. The Untouchables was one of the worst movies to ever get such acclaim and awards. Very lame movie.

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  36. "Are you an Irish American gangster buff such as myself?"

    Guilty, Tom/UTW, particularly the early gangs (though I was soooo disappointed in GANGS OF NEW YORK--a wasted opportunity). And I also hated THE UNTOUCHABLES film. Yikes. And thanks for the kind words--been a pleasure chatting westerns with ya. Hope you keep digging THE DAKOTAS.

    Lisa: swell sentiments there. Expanding humans unite!!!

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  37. LARRY B---

    "Production and Decay'ers" UNITE! That was my favorite day on WACT; the intense back and forth--which seemed to go on throughout the entire day--was both fun and exciting; I couldn't WAIT to check in and see who-wrote-what about that crazy show. When David Horne capped it off with his spotlight re: his childhood reaction to the episode, it seemed to provide the perfect ending to a vigorously contentious, yet good-natured day of blather.

    UTW- Thanks for the compliment. I've just enjoyed being on the sidelines here, watching and listening to the true experts and pioneers of TOL.

    And that's what I think was the most exciting thing about WACT--that once Ted Rypel joined us, we were in the daily company of the true OL pioneers (DJS, GARY G)...the guys who, through their love and insane dedication, persevered in those primitive, pre-video, pre-Internet years of the 1970's and somehow managed to find a way to transform their enthusiasm into printed-readable-tangible reality, to the great benefit of all of us who were starving for something--ANYTHING on this great TV milestone.

    WACT now stands as a FORUM, a repository, a virtual MUSEUM..with the daily input and expertise of these gentlemen, the Holcombs, and everyone else now preserved for the future; most important, perhaps, are the numerous contributions of DJS, from the reprinted pages of the "mighty tome" to the detailed and telling reminiscences of his life's quest to document and preserve his unique passion for TOL.

    Then, to the museum's irrepressible curators, John and Pete, for their enterprising brilliance in establishing this thing and keeping it up and running.

    Lastly, to Lisa, whose spirited posts have provided so much sparkle to the lives of a bunch of us older, middle-age dudes who, if she weren't around, may have been somewhat more earthy (and noxious) than we were; I know I tended to watch my manners more than usual.

    And, lest we forget the omnipresent influence of a certain comedy trio that hovered over WACT, I relate a brief experience, which happened this past Monday:

    I'm in the local grocery store at the most nerve-jangling, crowded, chaotic time (late afternoon). I was standing in one of many LONG check-out lines, along with many increasingly grouchy, grumbly people. Up ahead was the cashier (a middle-aged woman who happens to be a "Curly" fan) frazzled beyond belief. She looks out, sees me at the end of her line, raises her hands in the air, and shouts out--loud enough for the whole joint ot hear:

    "WHERE'S SHEMP WHEN YOU NEED HIM?"

    The folks around me looked at ME like I was nuts. But, at that instant in time, I felt all the pain, frustration and hurt flow out of my being and drift upwards towards the cosmos, as I softly murmured the words "Yes, the Stooges exist to heal all of mankind's ills...." or some such bullcrap.
    ----------------------------
    And now, we all head back to our daily lives. I do so with a touch of sadness in the realization that "step-by-step, inch-by-inch" we leave a little more of our youth behind us here, but go on having been enriched by the experience.

    Hope to stay in touch with all of you.

    Larry R

    PS-- Have you stopped to think that Robert Culp, whose dynamic, riveting performance in "Architects" has garnered top honors here repeatedly, is NOT ON SCREEN in human form for the final third of the show? How 'bout THAT!

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  38. Once again, as usual, I'm a bit tardy, but I wanted to jump in the pool and splash a well done on Pete and John for a blog well done. Fun too! I'm kind of surprised that such a serious show has brought out the fun side in this great and all knowing group, but it has. I think that comes from our collective fondness for the show and the chance to share our kid like enthusiasm for what was a very solitary experience back during the original broadcast days on ABC. I wish I had pals that dug the show as much as I did, but sadly that was not the case.

    Thanks, John and Pete for getting us "kids" together to chat about our favorite monster show! I know it is SF, but it was the monster of the week show at my house!

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  39. Larry R---

    A well-spoken summation of the Stooges' lasting value, and a cool grocery anecdote! Do these fateful Stooge opportunities seek out you and you alone? You must exude Eau de Stooge pheromones! "Am I mortified!"

    UTW---
    Remember how, in our interview in the OL Tavern, DJS kept having aversion reactions whenever I brought up the subject of Cinefantastique? I experience a similar deep-seated hostility when approached about the Torso Killer of Kingsbury Run and his Eliot Ness connection...

    Around 1980, my agent at the time nixed my developmental novel project that posited a supernatural-thriller framework that explained why Ness never caught the grisly murderer because: a) the world isn't interested in a series of murders in Cleve-burg (now London is a different story, being a REAL city); and b) no one cares about Eliot Ness, since his story has run its course on the old Robert Stack TV show.

    Don't make me address my Hulk-out reaction to these cavalier Big Apple opinions on a nice blog like this.

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  40. Ted Rypel-

    Sorry to hear that, considering there was potential for a novel. I'm unfamiliar with the publishing world. Would you get the same resistance now, 31 years later? Maybe not about the Torso Killer, but a story set in Cleveland? Not saying that I know more then your agent, but I would have thought the location wouldn't so much matter as the plot.

    Larry B.-

    I love 'Gangs of New York,' mainly because of Daniel Day Lewis's performance. I'm not a Dicaprio basher, however, I do feel he was sort of miscast. Being that you are from Liverpool, you're kind of like Owney Madden, the Irish gangster that managed heavyweight champion Primo Carnera. Film Noir fans might like to know that they were the inspiration for the novel and film 'The Harder They Fall.'

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  41. UTW---

    There's no true barometer of what the publishing industry wants at ANY time. But that ship has sailed for me. The bitterly ironic point is that since then there have been several books and films about both Ness and the Torso Murderer. Believe me, based on your demonstrated understanding of story values alone, you likely know more than that agent.

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  42. Boy, it's hard to let go, isn't it? This has become a daily fix for many of us (although, actually I was out yesterday and so am now late coming back here). A couple final responses to earlier notes in this thread, and then I'm REALLY out (well, maybe):

    hockey24hours: I too would pick Architects of Fear for the uninitiated, though look how that worked for Mark H.! Maybe Zanti Misfits or It Crawled Out of the Woodwork instead?

    Larry B.: My vote goes for the bears as well, even if (or perhaps especially because) many were sympathetic rather than scary. It's true that in some cases the bear was extraneous to the plot, and in others it was misused (usually shown too early or too often), but it just wouldn't have been OL without them. I think in general, poor episodes like The Probe and all, this show was one of those stews that happened to turn out right, and if you mess around too much with any particular ingredient, it won't be the same.

    AWC and UTW: I had slight contact with Peter and John prior to this, but not with any of the others, so it wasn't really a club until we all joined it and formed it. I'm glad we all got along so well--in a way, we're "the inheritors" of the OL legacy. (Or perhaps AWC's son is, now?). It's been great trading impressions with both of you and the others.

    Mark H.: Love the description "boring and disturbing at the same time." I wouldn't apply that to "Architects," but it works for some other episodes!

    John S.: I'll have the spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, and spam.

    Walker and Bobby J.: I second your comments about science fiction writers. The early 60s was the end of a particularly fertile period in the field, and there was a lot of great material they could have drawn upon. And yet . . . see earlier comment about messing with the stew. Maybe it's for the best.

    Peter E.: Thank goodness you were always right. Where would be if you weren't?

    Lisa: I missed the posts for I, Robot and Expanding Human, but I'm with you on both. And hey, my dad, a New Englander who spent part of his youth in L.A., actually knew Skip Homeier, although I have no good stories to pass along. I think they were in school together. He said he also was in high school with Johnny Sheffield, who played Boy in the Tarzan movies (he said the latter was somewhat snobby and arrogant), and he lived across the street from Marshall Thompson. As a kid in Connecticut, I always pictured L.A. as a fantasy land where you lived among the stars . . . even if they were only B-level stars.

    Larry R.: Thanks for the reminder of the PADOSP day. It was happy for me to discover that I wasn't the ONLY person in the entire world who had strong feelings about the episode. Okay, hook-handers--form a line, grasp hooks, and begin shuffling! By the way, I really appreciated your comments about the music from time to time--I always liked the OL music, but more in a nostalgic fashion than anything else. You helped us see it in a different light (hmm--or hear it in a different acoustical setting?)

    That's it. I'll miss you guys, but it was a great ride, and we did, as promised, experience the awe and mystery. See you at the Tavern some day!

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  43. Tom/UTW: Liverpool...the capitol of Dublin.

    Larry R and David H: Ahhh, who can forget the Siege of Particle Decay Hill? That was fun, wasn't it. Talk about underdogs! (or any other caped canine superhero) I can still hear the cheers when Captain Horne showed up with those reinforcements.

    David H: Thanks for weighing on the Bear Question. Seems pretty across-the-board on OL bear fondness.

    Are we leaving yet? Where's DJS?

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  44. Larry B---

    What's wrong? Did you need a ride somewhere?

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  45. Ted Rypel-

    Just saw 'Kill The Irishman.' Great gangster film. I strongly recommend it.

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  46. Horne-

    Thanks for the kind words my good man.

    Now everybody, let's get drunk and go on the 'Thriller' blog and trash it!!!!!!!!!!

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  47. Thanks, Tactical Tom, I'll be sure to catch it.

    Wow---a gang of drunken Thetans, Megasoids and Flat Zantis descending on poor THRILLER? Sounds like a Stefano nightmare. Imagine the damage they'd do on BATMAN!

    David Horne was absolutely right: There was nothing exclusive about this OL club. It formed on the fly and achieved its chemistry through the passionate enthusiasm and valid insights of everyone who hopped aboard the WACT Express. Hell, it would have been nice to have MORE. But we'd have all been less enriched if any of you guys hadn't joined in.

    You, Wayne Carter and Lisa...David Horne himself---I only exchanged with Larry Blamire and Peter Farris here for the first time, though I had known of them---I'm delighted to have met ALL of you here and absorb your valuable opinions. We've all grown by opening our minds to input from others here. I've never seen a more civil forum, where people who could differ sharply in opinion could still remain respectful and friendly. Gonna miss it...

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  48. The 'secret handshake' for this 'club' turned out to be just great love for the show. Thanks again to everyone for sharing it here. We're all aboard now. What a joy ride.

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  49. My Top 10 episodes of the show:

    1 Demon With A Glass Hand
    2 The Sixth Finger
    3 The Bellero Shield
    4 Corpus Earthling
    5 Forms of Things Unknown
    6 The Architects of Fear
    7 A Feasibility Study
    8 Solier
    9 The Man Who Was Never Born
    10 The Human Factor

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  50. The Top Ten

    1)Demon With A Glass Hand
    2)The Duplicate Man
    3)The Mice
    4)Moonstone
    5)I, Robot
    6)O.B.I.T.
    7)The Forms of Things Unknown
    8)Cry Of Silence
    9)Keeper Of The Purple Twilight
    10)Second Chance


    Best Actor: Robert Culp
    Best Actress: Geraldine Brooks
    Best Babe: Mimsy Farmer
    Best Bear: Chromomite in “The Mice”
    Best Score: Harry Lubin
    Best Photographer: Conrad Hall
    Best Writer: Harlan Ellison
    Best Director: Gerd Oswald

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  51. I don't know if the etymology has a direct link back to our TOL, but the May 2013 issue of Los Angeles magazine has a photo spread (of paraplegic models in a 'space age' motif) titled "Outer Limits".

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  52. We are incapable of executing our own Outer Limits website. But you are not. You are practiced executioners. We thank you.

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