Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Discuss: The Outer Limits


Rip Jagger said...

Now you're talkin'!

The Outer Limits was one of the scariest things I remember seeing on TV. I never saw them all by any means back in the day, but the ones I caught always had that weird offbeat and downright scary thrill like no TV show I can recollect.

The Twilight Zone is wise and clever but never scary. It's a fable, where as The Outer Limits is a horror story.

Got these several years ago and enjoyed them mightily.

Rip Off

david_b said...

Growing up, I never got to see much of either Twilight Zone or Outer Limits, they just weren't carried by any local affiliates. There was on in Milwaukee, but it was always hard to tune it in via the roof-top antenna, even on a good day.

But from what I have seen, I always thought of TOL as being Twilight Zone's creepy older brother. Delving much more into scary scifi than Twilight Zone, I know I would have liked it.

Edo Bosnar said...

I thought we'd already done this one - but then checked and found it was just a face-off between this and Twilight Zone.
Like I said in the comments there, this was one of the highest quality television shows then or since. I only wish I had seen more of them: like David, where I grew up it wasn't shown by any local stations until I was in high school, at which time I wasn't watching as much TV, so I've only ever watched about a dozen episodes.

By the way, has anyone watched the revived Outer Limits from the 1990s? I've seen a few episodes, and while they're not bad, I think they really don't hold a candle to the originals from the 1960s (kind of like the new Twilight Zone in the 1980s).

david_b said...

Ugh, sorry for my grammer..

I meant to type 'They were on in Milwaukee..'

Rough night.

Anonymous said...

I remember that episode with the aliens that looked liked bugs with creepy demon faces. Ghaaah!

KevinFermoyle said...

Several years ago I received the first season DVD collection of Outer Limits as a Fathers Day gift. To date I still have not watched all the episodes. As scary as the show seemed when I watched it as a kid, I now find many episodes to be v-e-r-y slow moving.

One that does hold up well is "Demon With The Glass Hand" from the second season. Written by Harlan Ellison and starring Robert Culp, this episode is OT at it's best.

Dr. Oyola said...

I've never watched the Outer Limits - I should give it a try, but anyone who says the Twilight Zone was not scary was not a young me, seeing "The Howling Man" episode at 1 AM, and turning off the TV as soon as that weird Moses-looking monk dude says, "That's the devil!" ;)

Edo Bosnar said...

Osvaldo, for the record, I've never said Twilight Zone didn't have its scary moments. And I definitely agree with you about "The Howling Man" episode: I first saw it my senior year of HS (I think), and it thoroughly freaked me out. Still one of my favorites.

Karen said...

I don't like to compare the two shows. They're both great, but they were very different in purpose and tone. One thing that I think sets OL apart is the wonderful music of Dominic Frontiere. It really gives OL a distinctive feel and sets the mood so well.

I do have the show on DVD and pull it out to watch every so often. Of course everyone remembers the monsters, but the show also gave us some of the best science fiction on TV. My personal favorites would include the Robert Culp episodes, "Architects of Fear" and "Demon with a Glass Hand," as well as "Nightmare," featuring a young Martin Sheen, "The Man Who Was Never Born," with Martin Landau, and "The Chameleon" with Robert Duvall. That's an impressive list of actors right there!

Humanbelly said...

I just did a bit of checking-- only 49 episodes! So, two seasons.

I distinctly remember it still being on at night when I was 4 (spring of '65, it would have to have been). They tended to play looooong promo clip commercials in those days, and the one for THE MUTANT stuck with me for the rest of my life-- the eventual reveal of the scientist's newly-emerged grotesque bulging eyeballs. Ugh.

The show must have gone into sydication almost immediately, 'cause I don't think it was ever NOT on (Saturday afternoons? Late Nights?) at some point for most of my childhood. There were soooooo many monster-focused episodes that I simply couldn't get through as a rather sensitive little kid- THE ZANTI MISFITS or the one with the giant mind-controlling trilobites or the one with the giant eyeballs on stalks- they ALL gave me nightmares.

Upon watching a few recently though (my Mom got me a "Best Of" collection for Christmas), geeze, I have to completely agree that the pace could often be guh-lacial, and shorter stories were all too often padded and stretched w/ repetitive events that didn't further the overall plot (self-same trilobite episode). And, wow, when an episode wasn't good, the lack of budget tended to become glaringly obvious (episode w/ oversized daffodils that, uh, spit deadly seeds from their blossoms-- comically awful).

DEMON W/ THE GLASS HAND, though? Wow, that was a good, good piece of television. The rare case where you don't want the story to be over at the end.

Me? I'm definitely still in the Twilight Zone camp, although I compltetly agree that they are very different shows once you get below that veneer of the macabre that tends to link them in our memories.


Dolores Tinari said...

I loved the Outer Limits! Used to watch them with my Dad over the years. If you liked your sci-fi/horror more on the cerebral side, you tended to be in the Twilight Zone camp. If you, like me, wanted to "see the monster", then the Outer Limits was your show!

To Anonymous: that's the Zanti Misfits episode :-)

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