The Outer Limits
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  The Outer Limits (1963)
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The Outer Limits is an American television series that aired on ABC from 1963 to 1965. Similar in style to the earlier The Twilight Zone with more science fiction than fantasy stories, The Outer Limits is an anthology of discrete story episodes, sometimes with a plot twist at the end.

The series was revived in 1995, airing on Showtime from 1995–1999, then on Sci-Fi Channel from 1999 until its cancellation in 2002.

The Outer Limits originally was broadcast from 1963 to 1965 on the U.S. television broadcasting network ABC; in total, 49 episodes.

It was one of many series influenced by The Twilight Zone and Science Fiction Theatre, though it ultimately proved influential in its own right. In the un-aired pilot, the series was called Please Stand By, but ABC rejected that title.

Series creator Leslie Stevens retitled it The Outer Limits. With a few changes, the pilot aired as the premiere episode, "The Galaxy Being". Writers for The Outer Limits included creator Stevens and Joseph Stefano (screenwriter of Hitchcock's Psycho), who was the series' first-season producer and creative guiding force. Stefano wrote more episodes than any other writer for the show.

Future Oscar winning screenwriter Robert Towne (Chinatown) would write "The Chameleon", which was also the final episode filmed for the first season. Two especially notable second-season episodes "Demon with a Glass Hand" and "Soldier" were written by Harlan Ellison, with the latter episode winning a Writers' Guild Award.

The former was for several years the only episode of The Outer Limits available on laser-disc.The first season combined science-fiction and horror, while the second season was more focused on 'hard' science-fiction stories, dropping the recurring "scary monster" motif of the first season. Each show in the first season was to have a monster or creature as a critical part of the story line.


First-season writer and producer Joseph Stefano believed that this element was necessary to provide fear, suspense, or at least a center for plot development. This kind of story element became known as "the bear". This device was, however, mostly dropped in the second season when Stefano left.

The show's first season had distinctive music by Dominic Frontiere, who doubled as Production Executive; the second season featured music by Harry Lubin, with a variation of his Fear theme for One Step Beyond being heard over the end titles.

Like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits had an opening and closing narration in almost every episode, by the 'Control Voice' (Vic Perrin). Both shows were unusually philosophical for science-fiction anthology series, but differed in style. The Twilight Zone stories were often like parables, employing whimsy (such as the Buster Keaton time-travel episode "Once Upon a Time") or irony, or extraordinary problem-solving situations (such as the episode "The Arrival").

The Creation of the Outer Limits


The Outer Limits was usually a straight action-and-suspense show which often had the human spirit in confrontation with dark existential forces from within or without, such as in the alien abduction episode "A Feasibility Study" or the alien possession story "The Invisibles".

As well, The Outer Limits was known for its moody, textured look in many episodes (especially those directed by Byron Haskin or Gerd Oswald, or photographed by Conrad Hall) whereas The Twilight Zone tended to be shot more conventionally—although there are, of course, notable exceptions to these rules of thumb on both series.

However, there is some common ground between certain episodes of the two shows. As the authors of The Official Outer Limits Companion have noted, several Outer Limits episodes are often misremembered by casual fans as having been Twilight Zone episodes, notably such "problem solving" episodes as "Fun and Games" or "The Premonition".

The series fared rather poorly in the Nielsen ratings at the time of initial broadcast (as reflected in its cancellation after only 1 and 1/2 seasons) in comparison to the more popular Twilight Zone series. However, the series was well-liked by those who did watch it. Many decades later, revered horror writer Stephen King called it "the best program of its type ever to run on network TV."



The Outer Limits
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Do not attempt to adjust the picture.



The Outer Limits (1995)
There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture.

The Outer Limits is an American television series that originally aired on Showtime, the Sci Fi Channel and in syndication between 1995 and 2002.

The series is a revival of the original The Outer Limits series that aired in the 1960s.Similar in style to The Twilight Zone with more science fiction than fantasy stories, The Outer Limits is an anthology of discrete story episodes, sometimes with a plot twist at the end.

Over the course of the series, 154 episodes were aired.


After an attempt to bring back The Outer Limits during the early eighties, it was finally relaunched in 1995. The success of television science fiction such as Star Trek sequels, The X-Files, and anthology shows such as Tales from the Crypt convinced the rights-holders, MGM, to revive it.

A deal was made with Trilogy Productions, the company behind such cinema hits as Backdraft and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and the show would run on the pay-tv channel Showtime. The episodes appeared in syndication the following season (the same arrangement as MGM/Showtime series Stargate SG-1 and Poltergeist: The Legacy).

It continued on Showtime until 2001, when Sci Fi quietly took over production. It remained in production until 2002 before finally being canceled, after a total of 154 episodes—far more than the original incarnation of the show. In the revived show, the Control Voice was supplied by Kevin Conway.

The new series distanced itself from the "monster of the week" mandate that had characterized the original series from its inception; while there were plenty of aliens and monsters, they dramatize a specific scientific concept and its effect on humanity.

Some episodes illustrating this difference include "Dark Rain" (biochemical warfare causes worldwide sterility), "Final Exam" (discovery of practical cold fusion power), "A Stitch in Time" (a time traveler tinkers with history), as well as several episodes revolving around a human mutation known as Genetic Rejection Syndrome (humans mutating into violent creatures) as a result of a government experiment.