Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: There is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure.
You are about to experience the awe and mystery
which reaches from the inner mind to...
- The Outer Limits -
Crazy Alien Creatures,
what could possibly go wrong?...
It has been said that; "Yesterday's science fiction often becomes today's science fact"...
The Outer Limits Season 1 - 1963-64
1) "The Galaxy Being" - September 16, 1963
Allan Maxwell (Cliff Robertson), the owner of the radio station KXKVI is illicitly using the station's equipment to research electromagnetism in the microwave background noise. He inadvertently makes contact with an alien from the Andromeda Galaxy on his 3D television. The alien is also working in secret because, as the alien tells Maxwell, "You are a danger to other galaxies." During their exchange, Maxwell finds out the electromagnetic field is actually what the aliens believe to be the afterlife. Their conversation is interrupted when Maxwell's nagging wife drags him to a banquet in his honor. Despite the alien's warning for Maxwell not to apply too much power to the station's transmission, while he's at the banquet the on-air disc jockey decides to turn the transmitter to full power in order to reach more listeners. The power surge causes the microwave creature to be pulled out of the television. Although it has no desire to cause harm, its very presence causes radiation burns, electrical blackouts and electrical explosions. While authorities mobilize to attack the "hostile" alien, Maxwell desperately tries to find a way to return it to its home planet. His wife is accidentally shot by the nervous police, but the alien saves her life and then issues a warning to the gathering crowd. (This episode was broadcast just before the accidental discovery of the cosmic microwave background.)
Runtime: 3:46Opening Control Voice: The secrets of the universe don't mind. They reveal themselves to "nobodies" who care.
Closing Control Voice: The planet Earth is a speck of dust, remote and alone in the void. There are powers in the universe inscrutable and profound. Fear cannot save us. Rage cannot help us. We must see the stranger in a new light - the light of understanding. And to achieve this, we must begin to understand ourselves, and each other.
2) "The Hundred Days of the Dragon" - September 23, 1963
An East Asian government plans to take over America by replacing White House officials and leading corporate executives with duplicate agents. They want to force the United States to pull out of Asia. The expected winner of the next presidential election is candidate William Lyons Selby (Sidney Blackmer). While on the campaign trail, he is killed and replaced by a foreign agent who has had his face molded (using a new medical serum that temporarily plastisizes the skin) to resemble Selby. The mole, masquerading as Selby, is eventually elected. Though he fools the nation, the president's daughter begins to suspect that the man is not her father. She reveals her concerns to the Vice-President, Ted Pearson (Phillip E. Pine), who had also been targeted for replacement, but the attempt is unsuccessful.
Opening Control Voice: Somewhere south of the Mongolian border and north of the Tropic of Cancer, in that part of the world we call the Orient, a slumbering giant has shaken itself to wakefulness. Passed over in most histories as a nation forgotten by time, its close-packed millions in the short span of twenty years have been stirred to a fury by one man: Lee Ching Sung. A benevolent despot in his homeland, Sung stands as an irresponsible threat to peace in the eyes of the rest of the world. William Lyons Selby, candidate for the presidency of the United States, predicted by every poll, survey and primary to be a certain winner in the forthcoming election.
Closing Control Voice: To Theodore Pearson, not even so monstrous a crime as the assassination of William Lyons Selby justifies an act of war, because there is no war as we knew it, only annihilation. A great American has been killed in the service of his country. Now it is the job of those who continue to serve to carry on guarding our freedom with dignity and unrelenting vigilance.
3) "The Architects of Fear" - September 30, 1963
Although not set in any specific era, the story takes place during a Cold War period in which a nuclear holocaust is imminent. In an attempt to avert a confrontation between military powers by uniting the world against a common enemy, a group of scientists physically transform one of their own into an alien being to stage a fake invasion. This is achieved by surgically altering scientist Allen Leighton (Robert Culp). Complications arise when the alterations also affect Leighton's mind, compounded by his strong attachment to his pregnant wife (Geraldine Brooks).
Opening Control Voice: Is this the day? Is this the beginning of the end? There is no time to wonder. No time to ask "Why is it happening? Why is it finally happening?" There is time only for fear, for the piercing pain of panic. Do we pray...or do we merely run now and pray later? Will there be a later...or is this the day?
Gainer: Now I don't care what reading of history you take. The pattern is always the same. Whenever a bacterium invasion strikes or a fire rages or a wild beast roams the streets. Then and only then do men stop fighting each other and work together to save themselves. A common enemy, a common fear. That is the only answer. If all the men of the Earth are threatened by an enemy from a hostile planet... well, gentlemen, we are going to create that enemy.Closing Control Voice: Scarecrows and magic and other fatal fears do not bring people closer together. There is no magic substitute for soft caring and hard work, for self-respect and mutual love. If we can learn this from the mistake these frightened men made, then their mistake will not have been merely grotesque. It will have been at least a lesson - a lesson at last to be learned.
4) "The Man with the Power" - October 7, 1963
An unassuming university professor, Harold Finley (Donald Pleasence), develops a device that, implanted in the brain, gives the user telekinetic powers. Although disregarded as a milquetoast by his wife and coworkers, the teacher impresses the U.S. space agency. But as the experiments with him go on, he learns that his subconscious has been using the power to take revenge on those who have dismissed or demeaned him. Discovering that his invention is to be implanted in the brain of an ambitious astronaut with questionable motives, the teacher becomes determined to stop the operation.
Runtime: 2:08Opening Control Voice: In the course of centuries, Man has devoured the Earth itself. The Machine Age has dried up the seas of oil. Industry has consumed the heartlands of coal. The Atomic Age has plundered the rare elements uranium, cobalt, plutonium leaving behind worthless deposits of lead and ashes. Starvation is at hand. Only here, in the void of space, is there a new source of atomic power. Above us, in the debris of the solar system, in the meteorites and asteroids, are the materials needed to drive the reactors. Yet in their distant, silent orbits, these chunks of matter are beyond the reach of man, beyond the reach of human hands, but not beyond the reach of human minds. Driving along a country road in an ordinary car is a modest man: Harold J. Finley, quiet and profound...
Vera Finley: You wouldn't hurt anyone even if you could. You're not a violent man. You've never hated anyone, never.Closing Control Voice: Deep beyond the kindest, gentlest soul may lurk violent thoughts, deadly wishes. Someday, Man will learn to cope with the monsters of the mind. Then, and only then, when the human mind is truly in control of itself, can we begin to utilize the great and hidden powers of the universe.
Harold Finley: Not to hurt them, no, Vera. But I have this power. It acts whether I want it to or not.
Vera Finley: No, Harold, you don't have any power. You've always been quiet. You told me yourself you're too mild, you're too weak.
Harold Finley: No more, Vera! I could split this ceiling open if I wanted to! I could crash down these walls. I could splinter this whole block into bricks and rubble.
Vera Finley: Harold, you're a little man, a nobody. You don't have any power.
5) "The Sixth Finger" - October 14, 1963
In a remote Welsh mining town, a scientist discovers how to speed up evolutionary mutation. Gwyllim Griffiths (David McCallum), a disgruntled local miner, volunteers for the experiment, enabling the scientist to give him enhanced mental capabilities and, incidentally, a sixth finger on each hand. But when the mutation process continues while outside of the scientist's control, the mutant miner takes over the experiment. Now equipped with superior intelligence and telekinetic powers capable of great destruction, Griffiths decides to take revenge on the mining town he loathes.
Runtime: 5:33Opening Control Voice: Where are we going? Life, the timeless, mysterious gift, is still evolving. What wonders, or terrors, does evolution hold in store for us in the next ten thousand years? In a million? In six million? Perhaps the answer lies in this old house in this old and misty valley...
Gwyllm: The whole town must be utterly destroyed. An example must be made.Closing Control Voice: An experiment too soon, too swift. And yet may we not still hope to discover a method by which within one generation, the whole human race could be rendered intelligent, beyond hatred, or revenge, or the desire for power? Is that not, after all, the ultimate goal of evolution?
Prof. Mathers: You're wrong.
Gwyllm: The human race has a gift, professor. A gift that sets it above all the other creatures that abound upon this earth. The gift of thought, reasoning, understanding. The highly developed brain. But the human race has ceased to develop. It struggles for petty comfort and false security. There is no time for thought. Soon there will be no time for reasoning and man will lose sight of the truth.
Gwyllm: Don't be afraid. I came back because I knew you were here.
Cathy: What have you done.
Gwyllm: I was going to destroy everyone. Suddenly, it no longer mattered. I evolved beyond hatred or revenge, or even the desire for power. I feel myself reaching that stage in the dim future of mankind when the mind will cast off the hamperings of the flesh and become all thought and no matter. A vortex of pure intelligence and space. It is the goal of evolution. Man's final destiny is to become what he imagined in the beginning when he first learned the idea of the angels.
6) "The Man Who Was Never Born" - October 28, 1963
Astronaut Joseph Reardon lands on Earth, only to find it a barren wasteland. He meets Andro (Martin Landau), a grotesque creature who reveals that it is the year 2148, almost 200 years in the future of Reardon's time. Andro explains he is one of the few survivors of a biological disaster created by a scientist named Bertram Cabot, Jr. Reardon realizes that he needs to see if he can return to his own time, taking Andro along. While traveling through the time rift, Reardon mysteriously vanishes, leaving Andro alone in trying to prevent his disastrous future from occurring. Andro is able to hypnotize anyone into seeing him as a normal human, and he begins searching for a way to stop Cabot's work, even if this means killing him. It becomes clear that he has gone too far back in time; Bertram Cabot, Jr., hasn't been born yet, and his future parents Noelle (Shirley Knight) and Bertram, Sr., are engaged. Andro unsuccessfully tries to convince Cabot that he should not marry Noelle, but begins to fall in love with Noelle himself. When Andro tries to shoot Cabot, he hesitates and is captured. His true appearance is discovered, and he flees the scene. Noelle follows him and he explains his desperate mission. Noelle confesses that she has fallen in love with Andro, too. She convinces him to take her back to the future, avoiding any possibility that she and Cabot will have a child. Unfortunately, Andro disappears just as the ship arrives in "his" time.
Runtime: 1:43Opening Control Voice: Here, in the bright, clustered loneliness of the billion, billion stars, loneliness can be an exciting, voluntary thing, unlike the loneliness Man suffers on Earth. Here, deep in the starry nowhere, a man can be as one with space and time; preoccupied, yet not indifferent; anxious and yet at peace. His name is Joseph Reardon. He is, in this present year, thirty years old. This is the first time he has made this journey alone...
Andro: [Decrying the present condition of mankind] But man was too busy, too busy going to the moon, too busy clubbing his brothers over the head with its new found toy, the atom, to anticipate and resist the parasite that was to suck out his right to immortality.Closing Control Voice: It is said that if you move a single pebble on the beach, you set up a different pattern and everything in the world is changed. It can also be said that love can change the future, if it is deep enough, true enough and selfless enough. It can prevent a war, prohibit a plague, keep the whole world... whole.
7) "O.B.I.T." - November 4, 1963
While conducting an inquiry into the disappearance of an administrator at a government research facility, a Senator (Peter Breck) is confronted with paranoia, secrecy, and intimidation. He then learns about an unusual security device that monitors the employees. The Outer Band Individuated Teletracer (known by the acronym O.B.I.T.) is so pervasive that no one can escape its prying eye. After the missing administrator is found alive, and he reveals his knowledge of O.B.I.T., its sinister unearthly origins and purpose become apparent.
Runtime: 4:57Opening Control Voice: In this room, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, security personnel at the Defense Department's Cypress Hills Research Center keep constant watch on its scientists through O.B.I.T., a mysterious electronic device whose very existence was carefully kept from the public at large. And so it would have remained, but for the facts you are about to witness...
Lomax: The machines are everywhere! Oh you'll find them all, you're a zealous people. And you'll make a great show of smashing a few of them, but for every one you destroy hundreds of others will be built. And they will demoralize you! Breaks your spirits! Create such rivets and tensions in your society that no one will be able to repair them! Oh, your a savage, despairing planet and when we come here to live you friendless, demoralized, flotsam will fall without even a single shot being fired. Senator, enjoy the few years left you, there is no answer...Your all the same. Dark persuasion! You demand, insist on knowing every private thought and hunger of everyone. Your families, your neighbors. Everyone! But, yourselves.Closing Control Voice: Agents of the Justice Department are rounding up the machines now. But these machines, these inventions of another planet, have been cunningly conceived to prey on our most mortal weakness. In the last analysis, dear friends, whether O.B.I.T. lives up to its name or not will depend on you.
8) "The Human Factor"- November 11, 1963
At an outpost in Greenland, an officer (Harry Guardino) begins losing his grip on reality after the death of a soldier whom he commanded into an icy crevice. Haunted by the soldier's specter, the officer decides that he must detonate an atomic bomb to obliterate the crevice, and the outpost as well. The post's doctor uses a unique mind probe in an attempt to understand what is driving the officer mad. When an unexpected earthquake causes the probe to malfunction, the minds of the doctor and the officer are switched. This switch enables the insane officer to make plans to detonate the atomic device in the guise of the doctor, while the real doctor is confined to a padded cell.
Runtime: 3:57Opening Control Voice: In northern Greenland, the mountains stand like a wall along Victoria Channel, whose straight course marks the line of the great Baffin Fault. Until recently, not even the Eskimos ventured into this arctic waste; but, today, as in other lonely places of the world, the land is dominated by those instruments of detection which stand as a grim reminder of Man's fear of Man. This is Point TABU, a name given this predominantly underground base by a young officer who explained that the letters in TABU stood for 'Total Abandonment of Better Understanding'. Some two hundred men and a few women make this their permanent residence. Their task is to maintain a constant alert against enemy attack, and be prepared to respond to it, devastatingly.
Major Roger Brothers: [to Dr. James Hamilton] We live in a world of cowards, Dr. Hamilton. Every man is afraid of his brother, and most men try to hide from that awful fact. Even here, the men are afraid to see the evil that is here on this base. And they are responsible for it.Closing Control Voice: A weapon? No, only an instrument: neither good nor evil until men put it to use. And then like so many of man's inventions, it can be used either to save lives or destroy them, to make men sane or to drive them mad, to increase human understanding or to betray it. But it will be men that make the choice. By itself the instrument is nothing until you add the human factor.
9) "Corpus Earthling" - November 18, 1963
Parasitic aliens, with a plan to take over the human race, take refuge in a geologist's laboratory disguised as rocks. Although undetected by ordinary humans, one doctor (with an implanted metal plate in his skull, from an old injury) is able to "hear" the aliens communicate with each other while they discuss their plot. Although the doctor is unsure if what he hears is a delusion or not, the aliens see him as a threat and set out to kill him.
Runtime: 3:03Opening Control Voice: Rocks: silent, inanimate objects torn from the Earth's ancient crust. Yielding up to man over the long centuries all that is in know of the planet on which we live withholding from man forever their veiled secrets of the nature of matter and cosmic catastrophe, the secrets of other worlds in the vastness of the universe, of other forms of life, of strange organisms beyond the imagination of man.
Closing Control Voice: Two black crystalline rocks: unclassifiable. Objects on the border between the living and the nonliving. A reminder of the thin line that separates the animate from the inanimate. Something to ponder on. Something to stay the hand when it reaches out innocently for the whitened pebble, the veined stone, the dead unmoving rocks of our planet.
10) "Nightmare" - December 2, 1963
After the Earth was attacked by the planet Ebon, a group of human soldiers is sent to fight the enemy on their own soil. Captured en route to Ebon, the soldiers undergo physical and psychological torture and interrogation at the hands of the Ebonites. The prisoners become paranoid when their captors claim they have received cooperation. This is further complicated by the appearance of high-ranking Earth officers among the hostile aliens. In the end, it is revealed that this was only a military test, organized by the Earth forces to test their troops' loyalty. Unexpected accidents having occurred during the test, the Ebonites, in actuality a peaceful and honorable alien race, eventually ask for the amoral experimentation to end, but they fail to prevent one last man from being killed.
Note: This episode was initially pre-empted due to the coverage of the state funeral of President John F. Kennedy on November 25, 1963. When the episode did air (in December) it was one of the most watched television episodes aired at the time, and the most-watched television broadcast of any show that week in every television media market in Maine, Wyoming, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee as well as in every media market in Georgia outside of Atlanta.
Runtime: 0:38Opening Control Voice: A war between worlds has long been dreaded. Throughout recent history, Man, convinced that life on other planets would be as anxious and belligerent as life on his own, has gravely predicted that some dreadful form of combat would inevitably take place between our world and that of someone else. And Man was right. To the eternal credit of the peoples of this planet Earth, history shall be able to proclaim loudly and justly that in this war between Unified Earth and the planet Ebon, Ebon struck first.
Ebon: Its form of life unknown, its way of life unpredictable. To the fighting troops of Earth, a black question mark at the end of a dark, foreboding journey.Closing Control Voice: The exploration of human behavior under simulated conditions of stress is a commonplace component of the machinery called war. So long as Man anticipates and prepares for combat, be it with neighboring nations or with our neighbors in space, these unreal games must be played, and there are only real men to play them. According to established military procedure, the results of the Ebon maneuvers will be recorded in books and fed into computers for the edification and enlightenment of all the strategists of the future. Perhaps they will learn something.
Stone: There's no leniency for a traitor. None at all. He earned the death penalty all by himself. There's no reason why we should handle Major Jong any differently here than if he were down on Earth. I told you all before we were captured, the only laws we would have here were those we brought with us. We need those laws. Even the questionable ones, even the painful ones. We need them. They remind us that we were civilized enough to make them in the first place.
Jong: Or perhaps to remind us that we are not as civilized as we should be.
11) "It Crawled Out of the Woodwork" - December 9, 1963
A security guard at the gates of NORCO, a physics research center, is brusque when brothers Jory (Scott Marlowe) and Stuart Peters (Michael Forest) drive up, even though Stuart is starting a job with the company. Oddly, the guard slips them a matchbook on which he has scrawled, "NORCO is doomed". When the brothers leave, an energy explosion causes the guard to disintegrate. The next day Stuart meets his boss, lead scientist Dr. Block, and shows him the note, which Block dismisses. Block leaves Stuart in the laboratory with Dr. Stephanie Linden. Linden directs Stuart into an adjacent room and locks him in, allowing an energy entity to attack him. Days later, when Stuart does not return, Jory grows worried. However, when Stuart does show up, the two men fight, and Stuart falls in the bathtub, where he is electrocuted. It is discovered that Stuart had a pacemaker which he didn't have before starting work at NORCO. Investigating the death, police Sgt. Siroleo confronts Block at NORCO. However, Linden is the one who reveals the truth: an entity made entirely of energy was accidentally created there. It can consume anyone just by touching them, and is so threatening that those who get too close to it inevitably die of fright. Dr. Block found a way to control the entity and is keeping it contained while he studies it. When the other scientists demanded its destruction, Block has them frightened to death. He then restores them to life with pacemakers, which will stop working if Block directs his creature to touch them. Dr. Block reappears with a gun and, holding Siroleo and Linden at bay, releases the entity. Siroleo, however, gets the gun away from Block and shoots him. Now he, Linden and Peters must face the uncontrollable energy monster.
Runtime: 2:01Opening Control Voice: His name is Warren Edgar Morley. For the past six months, he has guarded this gate from eight in the morning until six at night, at which time he is replaced by another just like himself. These are the last few moments of his life.
Closing Control Voice: The Conservation of Energy Law... a principle which states that energy can be changed in form but that it cannot be either created or destroyed. And this is true of all energy... the energy of genius, of madness, of the heart, of the atom. And so it must be lived with. It must be controlled, channeled for good, held isolated from evil, and somehow lived with, peaceably.
12) "The Borderland" - December 16, 1963
A British millionaire hires a psychic to contact his dead son, but she is exposed as a fraud by scientist Ian Fraser. Fraser insists that he has a method that can create a bridge to what might be the afterlife, but he needs the energy of a metropolitan power grid to do so. The millionaire agrees to arrange the situation if Fraser attempts to contact the dead son. Fraser agrees and the experiment begins, but the psychic reappears, with a plan to sabotage the experiment.
Runtime: 6:34Opening Control Voice: The mind of man has always longed to know what lies beyond the world we live in. Explorers have ventured into the deeps and the heights. Of these explorers some are scientists, some are mystics. Each is driven by a different purpose. The one thing they share in common is a wish to cross the Borderlands that lie beyond the Outer Limits.
Closing Control Voice: There are worlds beyond and worlds within which the explorer must explore, but there is one power which seems to transcend space and time, life and death. It is a deeply human power which holds us safe and together when all other forces combine to tear us apart. We call it the power of love.
13) "Tourist Attraction" - December 23, 1963
Domineering millionaire John Dexter leads a group of explorers in pursuit of a lake monster that supposedly lives in the waters of San Blas, a South American dictatorship. When the creature is captured, Dexter plans to take it home to further his reputation, but San Blas' dictator, Juan Mercurio, plans to use it to attract tourists. The creature, however, has its own ideas.
Opening Control Voice: In man's dark and troubled history, there are vestiges of strange Gods. This stone statue was once such a god a thousand years gone by in the central mountains of Pan-America. Today, new gods have emerged: the god of power, the god of money. The Republic of San Blas lies west of the Orinoco Basin, slightly north of the equator. Its principle exports are coffee, copra, mahogany, mace and saffron. In a hundred odd years, the reigns of government have changed many times in blood and fire and death. The last of these revolutions was led by General Juan Mecurio, the most absolute and powerful ruler of them all. Only the Indians who live close to old gods in the volcanic uplands are unimpressed. They have seen the coming of conquistadors with the power of their guns and flashing flags, the revolutionaries with the power of their zeal and willingness to die, the Americans with the power of their money and bulldozers with their summer houseboats in the crater lake of Ali Papa with their gadgets and machines and devices.
Control Voice: [Act One narration] Moving through the deep, protected only by a tank of air and a hunting spear, the scientist/explorer descends beyond the San Blas shelf; but, all unknown to him, the observer is, himself, observed. Hidden in the sinuous rills of seaweed, sightless eyes, blind for centuries, stare out of the abyss. The legendary creature of the deep, sensing through neuro-receptors in its skin, becomes aware of the alien invader - Man...Closing Control Voice: The forces of nature will not submit to injustice. No man has the right, nor will the checks and balances of the universe permit him to place his fellows under the harsh yoke of repression. Nor may he again place the forces of nature under the triple yoke of vanity, greed and ambition. In the words of Shelley, "here lies your tyrant who would rule the world immortal".
Control Voice: [Act Four narration] Stressed and strained by constant drilling of ultrasonic beams, the concrete face of the dam cracks and falls. Ten million tons of pressure build towards ultimate collapse...
14) "The Zanti Misfits" - December 30, 1963
Military forces have cordoned off a California ghost town awaiting the arrival of a spacecraft from the planet Zanti. The leaders of that world have decided that Earth is the perfect place to exile their undesirables. They threaten "total destruction" if their penal ship is harassed. Ben Garth, a bank robber on the run, unwittingly crosses into the cordoned-off area and approaches the Zanti ship, triggering a massive jailbreak. Earth's nervous soldiers attack the Zantis, killing them all, then fearfully await the expected reprisal. Instead, they receive a message from the Zanti leaders, thanking them. Since the Zanti cannot kill their own kind, they instead sent them to the galactic experts on killing the humans of Earth.
In 1997, TV Guide ranked this episode #98 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes.
The Outer Limits - The Zanti Misfits - Full EpisodeOpening Control Voice: Throughout history, compassionate minds have pondered the dark and disturbing question: what is society to do with those members who are a threat to society, those malcontents and misfits whose behavior undermines and destroys the foundations of civilization? Different ages have found different answers. Misfits have been burned, branded and banished. Today, on this planet Earth, the criminal is incarcerated in humane institutions.....or he is executed. Other planets use other methods. This is the story of how the perfectionist rulers of the planet Zanti attempted to solve the problem of the Zanti misfits.
Hill: Fifteen minutes is not a long time. In our conception of time. For them it could be long enough to conquer a world. When a country allows itself to be coerced, it has to suffer the consequences.Closing Control Voice: Throughout history, various societies have tried various methods of exterminating those members who have proven their inability or unwillingness to live sanely amongst their fellow men. The Zantis merely tried one more method, neither better nor worse than all the others. Neither more human nor less human than all others. Perhaps merely... non-human.
Grave: So far the only real consequence is uncertainty.
Hill: I've always felt that was one of the worst things a country could suffer.
15) "The Mice" - January 6, 1964
A convict volunteers to be a human guinea pig for a matter transportation experiment. In reality the experiment is supposed to be an exchange of scientists between Earth and an alien race, the Chromoites. As problems arise and researchers die, the convict is blamed, but it may also be a sinister plot to turn the world into a food source for the alien creatures.
Opening Control Voice: In dreams, some of us walk the stars. In dreams, some of us ride the whelming brine of space, where every port is a shining one, and none are beyond our reach. Some of us, in dreams, cannot reach beyond the walls of our own little sleep.
Closing Control Voice: Hunger frightens and hurts, and it has many faces, and every man must sometimes face the terror of one of them. Wouldn't it seem that a misery known and understood by all men would lead Man not to deception and murder, but to faith, and hope, and love?
16) "Controlled Experiment" - January 13, 1964
Martians maintain inconspicuous monitors on Earth. The Martian agent Deimos is contacted by Phobos One, a researcher who wants to investigate the concept of "murder". Using a machine that can manipulate time, they review the same murder scene over and over again. Phobos One, however, is unable to resist the opportunity to tamper with time. Episode star Barry Morse says that this was a pilot for a proposed science-fiction comedy series that was subsequently broadcast as an Outer Limits episode. It is the only comedy episode of The Outer Limits.
Opening Control Voice: Who has not seen the dark corners of great cities, whose small and shabby creatures wander without purpose in the secret corners of the night? Without purpose? There are those whose purpose reaches far beyond our wildest dreams.
Closing Control Voice: Who knows? Perhaps the alteration of one small event may someday bring about the end of the world. But that someday is a long way off, and until then there is a good life to be lived in the here and now.
17) "Don't Open Till Doomsday" - January 20, 1964
In the 1920s, a pair of newlyweds receive a mysterious gift: a strange box with a small peephole. The groom, curious, stares into the peephole and suddenly disappears. Forty years later, an eloping couple arrive at the now-decayed home and rent a room from the eccentric owner. The young bride subsequently disappears as well, as does her father who comes in search of his missing daughter. The vanished have all transported into an alternate dimension, imprisoned there by a monstrous alien who offers to free them if they will help lure other victims into the trap, a part of the creature's plan to conquer our universe.
Runtime: 3:43Opening Control Voice: The greatness of evil lies in its awful accuracy. Without that deadly talent for being in the right place at the right time evil must suffer defeat. For unlike its opposite good, evil is allowed no human failings, no miscalculations. Evil must be perfect or depend upon the imperfections of others.
Closing Control Voice: Without that deadly talent for being in the right place at the right time evil must suffer defeat, and with each defeat doomsday is postponed for at least one more day.
18) "ZZZZZ" - January 27, 1964
Ben Fields is an entomologist seeking a live-in lab assistant to stay at the home he shares with his wife Francesca. Regina, a mutant queen bee in human form, is searching for a human mate to prolong her species' life span and applies for the job.
Runtime: 4:22Opening Control Voice: Human life strives ceaselessly to perfect itself, to gain ascendancy. But what of the lower forms of life? Is it not possible that they, too, are conducting experiments and are at this moment on the threshold of deadly success?
Closing Control Voice: When the yearning to gain ascendancy takes the form of a soulless, loveless struggle, the contest must end in unlovely defeat. For without love, drones can never be men, and men can only be drones.
19) "The Invisibles" - February 3, 1964
A secret society known as the Invisibles recruits three outcasts to help them with their aim of infiltrating the U.S. government. They are to attach psychic alien parasites to key government leaders to bring them, and the world, under alien control. One recruit is actually an undercover agent assigned to bring down the Invisibles, but is his cover really as good as he thinks?
The Outer Limits - The Invisibles - Full EpisodeOpening Control Voice: You do not know these men. You may have looked at them, but you did not see them. They are newspapers blowing down a gutter on a windy night. For reasons both sociological and psychological, these three have never joined or been invited to join society. They have never experienced love or friendship, or formed any lasting or constructive relationship, but today, at last, they will become a part of something. They will belong. They will come a little closer to their unrealistic dreams of power and glory. Today, finally they will join th... I almost said the human race, and that would have been a half-truth, for the race they are joining today is only half human.
Larry Hillerman: [to his new recruits] Welcome, gentlemen. The society which you have voluntarily joined is called "The Invisibles." It is subversive and illegal. It is also powerful and large and it is ready. When the invisibles have become the masters of everyone and everything on this planet, you, the vanguard of this virile and violent inevitability, will sit so high that mankind will come to recognize you by the lines in the soles of your feet.Closing Control Voice: You do not know these men. You may have looked at them, but you did not see them. They are the wind that blows newspapers down a gutter on a windy night and sweeps the gutter clean.
20) "The Bellero Shield" - February 10, 1964
A scientist (Martin Landau) builds a powerful laser weapon. One night, a benevolent alien from a light world travels down the laser to earth. The scientist's wife (Sally Kellerman) tries to shoot the alien with a laser gun, but he raises a powerful shield. The scientist and the alien share knowledge with one another. When the scientist leaves, the wife shoots the alien in order to gain control of his shield technology. During a demonstration, she raises the shield but is unable to take it down, trapping herself inside. The alien, believed to be dead, comes to her rescue and lowers the shield before dying. The woman, left insane with guilt at killing the alien that only thought to help her, believes herself to still be trapped within the shield as the episode ends.
Runtime: 1:44Opening Control Voice: There is a passion in the human heart which is called aspiration. It flares with a noble flame and by its light, Man has traveled from the caves of darkness to the darkness of outer space. But when this passion becomes lust, when its flame is fanned by greed and private hunger, then aspiration becomes ambition, by which sin the angels fell.
Richard Bellero, Sr.: [Arguing with Judith Bellero] I spend every hour, every dollar, and every dream developing men and means that are devoted to the prevention of war. That says how much I hate war! And yet I am not sickened or enraged, even by war, as I am by a single soul like yours. Your ambition is singularly the most active form of violence I have ever encountered!Closing Control Voice: When this passion called aspiration becomes lust, then aspiration degenerates, becomes vulgar ambition, by which sin the angels fell.
21) "The Children of Spider County" - February 17, 1964
A group of young prodigies has vanished, and it appears that they came from the same remote area. A government agent sent to investigate this finds that one young prodigy is still there, and his alien patriarch is planning a family reunion somewhere other than Earth.
Opening Control Voice: In light of today's growing anxieties it has become more absolute that the wealth of nations consists in the number of superior men that it harbors. It is therefore a matter of deep concern, and deeper consequence, when four of the most magnificent and promising young minds in the country suddenly disappear off the face of the Earth...
Closing Control Voice: The wealth of nations, of a world, consists in the number of superior men that it harbors, and often it seems that these men are too different, too dreaming. And often, because they are driven by powers and dreams strange to us, they are driven away by us. But are they really so different? Are they not, after all, held by the same things that hold us, by strong love and soft hands?
22) "Specimen: Unknown" - February 24, 1964
An astronaut finds a strange organism attached to the outside of his team's spaceship. Exposed to light and air inside it develops into a beautiful flowerbut it has a deadly scent, and an aggressive growth habit. When the astronauts seek to return to Earth for help, they bring the invasive new species with them.
Opening Control Voice: For centuries, Man has looked to the skies and sought to uncover the mystery of the universe. The telescope brought into focus the craters on the moon and the canals on Mars, but it was limited and Man's insistent hunger for knowledge and experience would not be satisfied until he broke the massive chains of gravity and set foot himself on a planet other than his own. Project Mercury was his first venture into space, a testament to his technical ingenuity and courage, a green light to a hundred other projects which would take him still further. This is Project Adonis. A laboratory orbiting a thousand miles above the earth, a tiny far flung world connected only by radio and memory, and inhabited by a handful of men dedicated to removing the unknown for future space travelers. At ten minutes after six, on January 8th, Lieutenant Rubert Howard stumbled upon something clinging to the wall of the space lock that appeared alive. He called them space barnacles for temporary identification. They were not.
Closing Control Voice: There are many things up there. Evil and hungry, awesome and splendid. And gentle things, too. Merciful things... like rain.
23) "Second Chance" - March 2, 1964
A disgruntled carny operates a carnival ride that resembles a spaceship. However, an alien modifies the attraction and makes it a real spaceship. Passing himself off as part of the attraction as a birdlike being, the alien invites aboard a group of people, all of whom refuse to face the stark realities of their lives. Trapped aboard the spaceship, they are offered the opportunity to colonize another planet. To succeed, however, they must overcome their own unwillingness to face their true natures.
Opening Control Voice: When fear is too terrible, when reality is too agonizing, we seek escape in manufactured danger, in the thrills and pleasures of pretending... in the amusement parks of our unamusing world. Here, in frantic pretending, Man finds escape and temporary peace, and goes home tired enough to sleep a short, deep sleep. But what happens here when night comes? When pretending ends, and reality begins?
24) "Moonstone" - March 9, 1964
Researchers at a moon base discover an alien organism. They find out it's a vast repository of an alien intelligence that has fled the tyranny of its home world. When the alien tyrants arrive to take back the organism, the researchers have to decide what should be risked in the pursuit of knowledge.
Opening Control Voice: In Man's conquest of space, his own moon must be the first to surrender. From there he will step his way across the heavens to the edge of infinity. Each step will be as uncertain as the last, yet each will bring him closer to ultimate truth... Lunar Expedition One: Here a handful of brave scientists and technicians pave the way to the future. Their mission: to collect information that will eventually enable Man to inhabit the Moon; to use the Moon as a springboard to the stars. Once during each twenty-four hour period, a force of three, commanded by General Lee Stocker and including Lieutenant Travers and Major Clint Anderson, makes its slow, uncharted way across the lunar surface, a surface whose depths and desires are, as yet, unprobed...
Closing Control Voice: The steps man takes across the heavens of his universe are as uncertain as the steps he takes across the rooms of his own life and yet if he walks with an open mind, these steps must lead him eventually to that most perfect of all destinations, truth.
25) "The Mutant" - March 16, 1964
An astronaut comes to an outpost on an alien planet to investigate a death among a group of scientists who are studying the possibility of colonizing the planet. The scientists include Julie, his old flame. They all seem to behave strangely but won't explain why. They are particularly nervous around Reese Fowler, a researcher who constantly wears goggles. A scientist attempts to leave a scribbled note in the astronaut's pocket. As the scientist exits the room he bumps into Fowler, who seems to read his mind and then destroys him. The astronaut is led to a remote cave where he discovers that the others live in fear of Reese, who developed superhuman abilities when he was exposed to the planet's chemical rainfall, which caused him to mutate. Reese, knowing he would lose his abilities once in space, holds the others captive. The astronaut must somehow overcome a man who can read minds, and kill with a touch.
Runtime: 2:10Opening Control Voice: At this very moment, our horizon is menaced by two explosive forces both man-made: one is a deadly wonder, the other wondrously alive. Both forces have compelled man to reach out for worlds beyond his own, new worlds where he may find peace and room to grow. This is the first of those new worlds. The United Nations of Earth have claimed it and called it Annex One. It is almost identical to Earth, except that there is no night. Sunlight is constant. Early reports from the small expeditionary team stationed on Annex One indicated that the ancient planet appeared to be suitable for colonization by Earth's overflowing population, but the most recent reports have contained unspoken, oddly disturbing undercurrents. And the United Space Agency has decided to investigate. The man chosen: Dr. Evan Marshall, psychiatrist.
Closing Control Voice: The forces of violence and the forces of nature compel Man to reach out toward new horizons where peace and sanity may flourish, where there is room to grow. But before we run, should we not first make certain that we have done all that can be done here to end madness, quiet the disturbers of peace, and make room for those who need so little room to grow in?
26) "The Guests" - March 23, 1964
A young drifter finds an old man dying by the side of a remote country road. He goes to an old house, looking for help. The inhabitants are all unhelpful, mean-spirited, and avoiding reality. All with the exception of a soulful young woman. Strangely compelled, the young man is forced to go upstairs. There he discovers that the house is the lair of an alien, keeping the group of desperate humans captive until it can comprehend every characteristic of humanity.
Runtime: 2:06Opening Control Voice: There was a moment in time when those who were brilliant and powerful also were playful, and when they took recess from their exhausting and magnificent strides toward glory, they replenished their darker passions with fun and games. On the planet Earth, such pastimes have been civilized and drained of all but their last few drops of blood.
Laura: You said you'd explain.
The Senator: When civilized creatures have conquered all that they believe to be worth conquering, then one conquest remains. One elusive conquest. Pleasure. Here on Andera, we are finished with warring, and plundering is done. Our citizens enjoy self-respect, peace, and affluence. But a high order of civilization does not lift the low order of passion. And so such passions must be both appeased and controlled.
27) "Fun and Games" - March 30, 1964
Mike Benson and Laura Hanley, are offered a chance for redemption. They can save Earth from being utterly destroyed -- over a period of several years -- for the entertainment of a jaded extraterrestrial audience. They would provide alternative entertainment by battling to the death two primitive aliens, who are likewise fighting to save their own, distant world.
The Outer Limits - Fun and Games - Full Episode
28) "The Special One" - April 6, 1964
Roy and his wife Aggie are delighted but puzzled when they meet Mr. Zeno, who explains that he is a government educator sent to cultivate the mind of their gifted son, Kenny. Roy becomes worried, however, when he discovers that Kenny is learning things that are not accepted by earthly science. When Roy discovers that the government education department knows nothing about any "Mr. Zeno," he confronts the educator only to discover that he is an alien, reeducating children in a plot to take over the world. Kenny now has superhuman knowledge, and the question is, where do his loyalties now lie?
Closing Control Voice: The mold of a man stems from the mind of a child. Educators and emperors have known this from time immemorial. So have tyrants.
29) "A Feasibility Study" - April 13, 1964
A suburban neighborhood awakens one morning to find out that everyone has been transported to another planet. The planet's race intend to study the feasibility of enslaving humans for manual labor. Instead, the aliens must overcome humanity's susceptibility to disease and the willpower of humankind's resistance to slavery.
Opening Control Voice: The planet Luminos: a minor planet, sultry and simmering, incapacitated. Earth scientists have concluded that there could be no life on Luminos, that it is too close to its own sun, that its inhabitants would be victimized by their own blinding atmosphere. But there is life on Luminos, life that should resemble ours, but doesn't, desperate life suffering of great and terrible need. The Luminoids have begun to search the universe in an effort to gratify that need. They seek a planet on which life is healthy, vibrant, strong and mobile. They need such people: to do their work, to labor and slave for them, to manufacture their splendored dreams. The Luminoids need slaves and they have chosen the planet off which their slaves will be abducted. Not too many at first... a neighborhood perhaps... a neighborhood like mine, or yours. Those who will be abducted sleep in dreamy ignorance, unaware that they are about to become the subjects of a grotesque and sophisticated experiment: a feasibility study.
Closing Control Voice: "Do not enter upon or cross this area. Do not touch or remove possibly radioactive dirt or rocks. If you have any knowledge concerning this disappearance, please contact your nearest police department." It could have happened to any neighborhood. Had those who lived in this one been less human, less brave, it would have happened to all the neighborhoods of the Earth. Feasibility study ended. Abduction of human race: infeasible.
30) "Production & Decay of Strange Particles"- April 20, 1964
While experimenting on subatomic particles, a team of physics researchers start a reaction that consumes one scientist after another. The reaction grows towards a terrible climax, and the survivors fear that they may be powerless to stop it.
Runtime: 1:45Opening Control Voice: In recent years, nuclear physicists have discovered a strange world of sub-atomic particles, fragments of atoms smaller than the imagination can picture, fragments of materials which do not obey the laws of gravity. Antimatter composed of inside-out material; shadow-matter that can penetrate ten miles of lead shielding. Hidden deep in the heart of strange new elements are secrets beyond human understanding-new powers, new dimensions, worlds within worlds, unknown.
Closing Control Voice: As Man explores the secrets of the universe, strange and inscrutable powers await him. And whether these powers are to become forces of destruction or forces of construction will ultimately depend upon simple but profound human qualities: Inspiration. Integrity. Courage.
31) "The Chameleon" - April 27, 1964
A flying saucer has landed in a remote part of the United States and then wiped out a military patrol sent to investigate. Concerned that the saucer contains nuclear materials, the authorities decide on a wild scheme: to send Mace (Robert Duvall), an alienated CIA daredevil, to infiltrate the ship. Genetically modified to pass as an alien, he finds that he is beginning to think as an alien, and he begins to question his allegiance and his very nature.
Opening Control Voice: The race of Man is known for its mutability. We can change our moods, our faces, our lives to suit whatever situation confronts us. Adapt and survive. Even among the most changeable of living things, Man is quicksilver-more chameleon-like than the chameleon, determined to survive, no matter what the cost to others... or to himself.
Mace: I don't think you understand me, General. I'm not interested in becoming a hero. Nor do I have an overdeveloped sense of duty. I'm doing this because I'm nothing more than an instrument for action. Mr. Chambers knows that also. Between missions, I cease to exist. I am what I've done, and that's not always very pretty. But being ugly is better than being nothing. I have no one, I care for no one, and I'm cared for by no one. So all I have is what I can do.Closing Control Voice: A man's survival can take many shapes and the shape in which a man finds his humanity is not always a human one.
32) "The Forms of Things Unknown" - May 4, 1964
The plot involves two women who kill a blackmailer. Driving through the countryside with the body in the trunk, looking for a place to bury him, they take refuge from a storm in a house containing a blind man and a strange young inventor named Hobart (David McCallum) who is experimenting with time. Unlike the traditional "time travel" devices, this one is intended to "tilt the cycles of time" and bring the dead back to life...which is what happens to the murdered blackmailer. (Originally planned as a pilot program, for a new television series to be called The Unknown, this episode was filmed with two different endings and was allotted double the normal production time. In the pilot version: Andre reveals there is no Thanatos plant, and was thus not dead. The time tilter did not in fact work; Hobart was not dead but merely in a coma; and lastly, Kassia uses the pistol to kill Hobart, thinking he is attacking Leonora.)
Runtime: 1:24Opening Control Voice: There is a fear that is unlike all other fears. It has a special, clammy chill, a deadly gift for inspiring deeper, darker dread. It is the fear of unentered rooms, of bends in lonely roads. It is the fear of the phone call in the middle of the night, of the stranger you recognize, perhaps from a nightmare. It is the fear of the unexpected, the unfamiliar. It is the fear of the unknown.
Closing Control Voice: Murder, madness, and other lurking horrors are the raw certainties that await you in the depths of the unknown. And no switch of time, no twist of plan can cancel your meeting with it. For some night, in some blind panic, you will venture into the world of dark reality. And on that night, you will keep your rendezvous with the unknown.
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