Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Outer Limits and Us... and the Schedule!

Before we begin, we feel it's appropriate to set the stage explaining our history with The Outer Limits.

John: My first exposure to The Outer Limits would have been in the mid to late 70s. While I can't remember the first episode that I saw growing up, I will never forget the monster from the most memorable one... the human-faced ants, the Zanti Misfits. I was such a fan of those little guys that I bought a life-size one when Sideshow released them a number of years ago.

Peter: I'm not old enough (believe it or not) to have caught OL on its initial run so it would have been probably on one of its first syndications in the mid to late 60s. I think the first memories I have of OL is of the creature with the boomerang from "Fun and Games." I do remember the Zantis giving me nightmares and causing a deep fear of bugs (especially the kind with human heads). I also can very clearly recall sitting on the edge of my couch while Adam West hung on the edge of his rock in "The Invisible Enemy." Having watched a few of these already in the past couple weeks, I've marveled at how close in style they are to Thriller, at least in the photography, shadows, and atmosphere, if not in the themes.

JS: I don't know if this is true for many of you, but for the most part, my memories of The Outer Limits are of the monsters themselves, and not the stories from which they sprang.

PE: Absolutely. OL provided some very memorable nasties for grade school lunch time discussion.

JS: That said, I'm looking forward to revisiting the series—If I had to guess I'd say I've probably only seen half of the episodes, and of those many have long since been forgotten. But there are some that have stuck with me through the years; one of which I will be providing the special "Spotlight On" entry for. But that's still a number of weeks away, so I won't spoil the surprise.

PE: I'm looking forward with some trepidation. Some of these are bound to disappoint my memories. I just pray the Harlan Ellison fans aren't as rabid as the "Pigeons." I think what excites me most is the surprises we have lined up for our readers this time.

Need a tease? Check out a few commercial promos here.

If you followed A Thriller A Day, we thought that we'd point out how we'll be doing things a little bit differently with We Are Controlling Transmission. As previously noted, we'll only be running episode reviews Monday through Friday. And this time out, we've decided to approach the episodes in production order, as opposed to broadcast order. To that end, here is the schedule in advance so you can keep in sync with us.

1/3 The Galaxy Being
1/4 The Borderland
1/5 The Human Factor
1/6 Tourist Attraction
1/7 The Architects of Fear

1/10 Controlled Experiment
1/11 100 Days of the Dragon
1/12 The Man with the Power
1/13 A Feasibility Study
1/14 Specimen: Unknown

1/17 The Sixth Finger
1/18 The Man who Was Never Born
1/19 Moonstone
1/20 OBIT
1/21 Nightmare

1/24 Corpus Earthling
1/25 The Zanti Misfits
1/26 It Crawled Out of the Woodwork
1/27 The Mice
1/28 The Invisibles

1/31 ZZZZZ
2/1 Dont Open Til Doomsday
2/2 The Bellero Shield
2/3 Forms of Things Unknown
2/4 Children of Spider County

2/7 The Mutant
2/8 Second Chance
2/9 Fun and Games
2/10 The Guests
2/11 Production and Decay of Strange Particles

2/14 The Special One
2/15 The Chameleon (last ep of first season)
2/16 Wrap up and look back at Season One
2/17 Cold Hands Warm Heart
2/18 Soldier

2/21 The Invisible Enemy
2/22 Counterweight
2/23 Behold Eck
2/24 Wolf 359
2/25 Keeper of the Purple Twilight

2/28 Expanding Human
3/1 Demon with a Glass Hand
3/2 Cry of Silence
3/3 I Robot
3/4 The Inheritors (Part 1 & 2)

3/7 The Duplicate Man
3/8 The Brain of Colonel Barham
3/9 The Premonition
3/10 The Probe

Rather than giving you a cumulative rating, Peter and John's individual ratings will be listed separately (so it will be clear for you to direct your hate mail to Peter). Ratings will be in the form of 0-4 Zanti Misfits:

In the absence of commentaries on the DVD sets, we have assembled a panel of Outer Limits experts to provide special "Spotlight On" essays for particular episodes. If you followed A Thriller A Day, several names will be familiar to you, however we're pleased to say you'll find a few new voices as well. Watch for our daily reviews to be posted each morning, and the "Spotlight On..." essays for the episode of the day in the afternoon.

Check back tomorrow for a Season One Primer from the leading authority on all things Outer Limits, and then return on Monday for our look at the premiere episode of The Outer Limits: "The Galaxy Being."

And now we'll leave you with one last promo video to whet your appetite...


  1. Reading about you guys first catching OUTER LIMITS on the reruns makes me feel old as dirt. I actually watched it when it was first broadcast in 1963-1965. I loved it and watched it at least once on reruns in the late 1960's. When I got my first betamax I taped the entire show around 1980. Then of course I bought the dvds a few years ago. I'm really looking forward to your reviews of each episode and the comments from the other OUTER LIMIT fans.

  2. New Year's Eve, 1999. ABC was doing the whole retrospective approach in their self-promoting advertisements while people are waiting for the ball to drop, or whatever. The network blitzed through a catalogue of its own logos through the years. But first up, before anything else, was Vic Perrin as the Control Voice saying, "There is nothing wrong with your television set ..." I was thrilled they chose that as lead-off, and the thrill was definitely nostalgic: It evoked the very FIRST time I heard those words, waaay back in 1963.

    Here we go ... again ... and Ein Gutes Neues to those who join us here.

  3. > Ratings will be in the form of 0-4 Zanti Misfits:

    So four Zanti Misfits is the worst rating and zero is the best, right? ;-)

  4. Oh no--production order! This will get confusing, since the disks are in broadcast order.

    I'll dig out my volumes of The Outer Limits: An Illustrated Review, a great magazine that came out in the mid to late 70s and was the first in-depth review of the series I saw. Anyone else remember when channel 9 in NY started running the shows once a week on Saturday afternoon circa 1978? It was a big deal at the time!

    1. Jack, I remember seeing the late 70's WOR ch 9 transmissions of Outer Limits. It was my first exp. seeing the show so it was very exciting to be viewing them for the first time. I vividly remember seeing Corpus Earthling as one my first ones and being wowed by it. Ch 9 in NYC used to show a lot of cool stuff, Thriller, UFO, Voyage to Bottom of Sea, Fright Night, Godzilla films, etc.

  5. Don't worry Jack - we'll give you a daily reminder of what's next on tap!

  6. Today we're featuring Kronenbourg 1664 on tap. First round's on John (literally).

  7. I envy you guys seeing some of the episodes for the first time, or for the first time in a while -- I'm eager to read your impressions. I went through a period of OUTER LIMITS over-saturation and laid off for quite a few years, so cheers to you both for taking this on, and for getting me watching/writing about it again in the process.

  8. Everybody:

    I freely admit I bullied John & Pete into the "production order" approach, which reflects the order in which the shows were MADE as opposed to broadcast, and thus makes it easier to keep track of how the series evolved from show to show. The broadcast order -- the post-facto arrangement decided by network guys later -- would cause an overview to jump all over the place in terms of chronology; it would be like talking about Book 7 in a series before Book 3.


    You'll be happy to know that the creator of THE OUTER LIMITS: AN ILLUSTRATED REVIEW is still among us, and may in fact pop up on this very site. Stay tuned.

    Mark H.:

    I hereby nominate myself as the prime victim of OUTER LIMITS over-saturation. The weird thing is, all these years later, there's STILL new or recent stuff to talk about. Why, just this past year I found out ... but no. Wait for it.

    Keep your eyes tuned to this site for upcoming news of a very important OUTER LIMITS-oriented "screening event" to take place in the LA area in February.

  9. When OL premiered in fall of '63, I had just hit that lousy, awkward time of life (at age 12 or so) when young men are supposed to abandon monsters and fantasy for other pursuits. I HATED those years...and unfortunately, the Outer Limits was too dark, complex and generally morbid in tone to hold my interest. I watched a lot of the 1st season, but with little emotional involvement; I think I liked "Specimen Unknown" the best (as did much of the viewing public), which gives you an idea of my level of sophistication at the time. I bought the first issue of the OL comic book, the first board game, and those pathetic bubble-gum cards---but, alas, even the GLOB OF DOOM failed to amuse or enthuse.

    It wasn't until 1978 that I unexpectedly encountered the vital literary link that would eventually lead me to OL Nirvana in the person of one DJS (a story for another time). At last, I was ready (and able) to appreciate the unique body of work that comprises this great series.


  10. We're gonna try to get started tonight.

  11. Like several of your readers, I too saw these first run on television way back when, so perhaps my affection for the series is tinged with nostalgia, however I enjoyed the series then and still do. (In fact somewhere I still have the old Outer Limits trading cards stashed away...)

    Great blog posts -- looking forward to your reviews.

  12. I just found your blog through and it looks like a winner in my book! The original OUTER LIMITS to me was such a great series filled with interesting mood, style, emotional content along with great storytelling. I believe the first episode of the OUTER LIMITS I saw was as a kid in the 70's. I recall my family was visiting someone's home and the TV was on with the first episode The Galaxy Being showing. How about that for an introduction and what are the odds! I believe it took some time for me to see other episodes, but the seed was planted! Anyways I look forward to all the entries of this blog! I now return control...;)

  13. So cool, you do this Outer Limits Classic blog! Since born in the 80s, I never knew there was an original series when I first saw the 90s remake of "The Outer Limits" on TV. I always was a fan of scifi/fantasy B-movies and it really was a blast when I discovered two dvd boxes featuring the complete 60s original series! I just finished season one, so I'm right now into this stuff, really enjoying your beautiful reviews! Thanks a lot and greetings from Germany :D

  14. Your signal is coming through strong Rich.

  15. 50th anniversary and we got a fine book by DJS. But still no Blu-Rays...snif, snif... :-(

  16. I wouldn't have thought production order would mnatter with this show, it being an anthology, as opposed to both STAR TREK and THE NEW AVENGERS, where it turns out there was a lot of character growth and other details as it went (more with ST that many people imagine). But what the hey. I've seen networks trotally screw the logic of somethings by running them at random (and this includes certain stretches of WKRP and NIGHT COURT's 2nd season).

  17. The Zanti Misfit makes a cameo on "The Mutant" with Warren was in the cave and you see him briefly....has
    there ever been an explanation of why he appeared briefly?
    Was glad to see it again...scared me as a kid when first saw on original broadcast with Bruce Dern...I never hear anyone ever questioning or even aware that the Zanti was in another episode...has it ever been addressed in an interview with people involved with original series?

  18. Thirty years ago this month, I found a copy of "The Outer
    Limits Companion" at a museum shop in downtown Washington.
    Being a huge admirer of the series I was as "happy as a school boy and as giddy as a drunken man"! Recently, was finally able t secure a copy of volume 1 of " The Outer Limits" An Illustrated Review", having only had the second volume for these past decades. I plan on being a regular visitor to your site from now on. Best Wishes

  19. Love to see New OL with stress on Black Projects, Area 51 Tech & X Tech alone. New cast, FX, CG, story lines but use same 60s Intro BUT updated for digital realm alone, Id be awesome.
    Only recall old Twilight Zone redo for 90s. Never OL.

    Sample OL titles:
    OL The Black Projects
    OL Monsters from ARea 51
    OL Space Nation.
    OL Millenium.
    OL 2020.
    & sub storylines, plots, casting etc.

  20. Hello David and all TOL fans ! - Im Paul Merrill, 62 and a lifelong fan of the original series (tho, the reboot series was very good too). When i had a delivery job many years ago i met Stefano and spoke briefly with him re TOL at his home, and also remember seeing some TOL props at the home of FJA back in '69, and again in '80s-'90s. Fans have waited over 60 years for TOL Movie !!! Please Send out the TOL Petition NOW !!!....also, please post info & pics of the new TOL Blu-Ray set !!! Thx and Bye for now !


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