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I viewed the original Outer Limits in real time, when first broadcast
and have since viewed the entire original series again and again in
re-runs and complete on DVD. I find the New Outer Limits WELL MORE than
just a remake of old retread episodes, as some of the more adolescent
commentators have suggested.
With seven (7) years of programs versus just the two (2) years of the original series, the producers and writers have certainly added considerable new original stories and philosophical lines to a much longer running and very well produced (cable) TV series. Plots are intelligent, scientifically accurate projections of the unknown possibilities of the sometimes frightening and imminent future.
While most producers and directors in Hollywood ignorantly view Sci-Fi as indistinguishable from Horror and Fantasy, this series returns to the origins of Science Fiction in the logical, moral and philosophical projections of current new technologies into their possibly fearful near term realizations. This series does this very well and remains unique in its avoidance of the "shoot-em-up" video game monster mentally of much of the current generation. It has brains, history, a message and good entertainment. It is an adult series without unbearable teenage know-it-all fantasies. Hurray!
Now, if we can only get MGM to release the entire New Outer Limits series on DVD instead of just the six poor teaser discs and the 1st season now only available.
The Outer Limits is quite possibly, the best science fiction show since the
X-Files. The Outer Limits is an original 1 hour paranormal show with actors
making complex decisions in unusual circumstances. It explores how far
people will go and how much terror is actually possible in life. The
episodes start will a scary narrator voice and end with his voice. Many
times, the ending is not a happy one, but a more realistic twist of good and
evil. It's hard to just describe the show since they're have been so many
variants. Cloning, murder, alternate dimension, space travel, family
values, time travel, human perfection. You name it, there's been a chilling
tale of it on The Outer Limits.
I highly recommend watching this for Twilight Zone, The Original Outer Limits, X-Files, Millennium, Poltergeist: The Legacy fans. You might not like each episode, but overall, the quality of the shows is very high.
I discovered The Outer Limits in mid-2001 while it was in syndication.
Sadly, I didn't realize that they had just wrapped their final season.
been trying to catch all of the episodes on Sci-Fi, which has an erratic
schedule for this show, to say the least!
I must say that I disagree with most of the negative comments that I've read so far, regarding this program. The series did indeed have some dud episodes -- especially the episodes which pieced together parts of other episodes to somehow make a "new" story. However, for the most part, the show ran 7 seasons with some very original, creative, and fresh concepts that in most cases held my attention until the very end. In fact, I felt sorry at the end of certain episodes that I wouldn't get to see more of the story, as each episode is a self-contained. Unlike many shows than ran for 7 seasons, I did not find a degradation in quality as the show wore on. In fact, my second-favorite episode ("A New Life") was from the final season.
While many writers were involved with the stories shown in The Outer Limits, a few were responsible for the majority of the episodes. It's interesting to take a look at some of the "themes" behind the show in general. The main (and stated) theme of The Outer Limits was to explore human nature and the consequence of human mistakes. However, a viewing of all episodes also reveals a disdain that the writers seem to hold for both the American military and Christianity. There were several episodes in which the military was either the villain, or the protagonist whose mistakes lead to the destruction of mankind. Christianity was frequently shown as the vehicle used to brainwash unsuspecting earthlings into helping aliens accomplish their evil goals. I am neither Christian nor involved with the military, but I found this apparent bias by the writers to be annoying, and sometimes ruined otherwise good episodes.
I liked how The Outer Limits mixed its endings between happy and catastrophic. That made things a bit less predictable, unlike many movies of today where you know in advance that the hero will survive and triumph.
If you're looking for a great episode, try "The Refuge". I won't detail any of the plot for you, since it's best watched without knowing anything in advance. It's from season 2, so I believe you can find it on the Season 2 DVD.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The characteristic that differentiated the original Outer Limits program from every other sci-fi show was the substitution of raw horror for the usual happy ending. Alien visitors came not to teach us, learn from us, or be our friends, but to kill us, eat us, or enslave us. Daring scientific experiments led not to spectacular gains in knowledge, but to horrifying consequences that could not be undone. You had episodes where a visiting alien "scientist" really just came to innoculate our water with the aliens' primary food organism, a researcher's scale model of a planet turns out to be complete with it's own miniature malevolent deity, and more than one voyage into space makes the explorers wish they had stayed home. The new Outer Limits often captured this grim vision of the future. You had episodes where people's lives were just an illusion induced by the hallucinogenic venom of alien spiders that were feeding on them, "fertility clinics" implanting women with carnivorous alien embryos, even a space war in which it was realized that GOD HIMSELF was on the side of the invaders, not man. Naturally not everyone has the mental capacity to appreciate such raw horror, so brilliant episodes like these were punctuated by episodes of quasi-intellectual drivel that discouraged new viewers from ever watching a second show. This is a real shame, because many episodes were easily as terrifying as anything in the original series.
The Outer Limits is a unique show that includes material that appeals to a very large/diverse audience without "selling out" like many Hollywood movies. The science fiction aspect is authentic and detailed while simple enough and explained well enough to be understood by any interested viewer. Each episode will provoke ongoing thought. The cast changes from episode to episode, however there are a couple stories/characters which are revisited time and again. You will also recognize some known faces. It seems almost every time I see the show there is a famous actor/actress playing one the main characters. I remember Alyssa Milano, Kevin Nealin, Natashia Henstrich, Ryan Reynolds and many others that fail to come to mind (sp?). There are many great episodes; I recommend finding and watching the episode "Ship". I do not know which season it is from.
There are many things i love about the new outer limits. Since the series
is done in a disconnected episodic manner (like the old series), each
is fresh and unpredictable. There are no characters that need to survive
from episode to episode, and that leaves the writers with a lot of
In a way, the unpredictability of the storylines becomes almost
in that i'm always expecting an atypical ending and am surprised when it
The stories are a varied mix; some can fill us with hope by showing us the beauty of what humans can be, others illuminate the dark depths of our souls leaving us to shake our heads in quiet despair for our shared future. They can appear to be dark and grim throughout, but end with a rainbow, or turn happiness on its ass and leave you feeling empathically violated. Unfortunately, sometimes the episodes are none of the above and are standard-fare tv crap. Luckily, the crap is in the minority.
The content of the episodes usually explore ethics, philosophy, "what if?" situations, our fears, our virtues - basically what makes humanity tick. A reasonable percentage of episodes leave me remembering the issue it exposed years later.
I think the type of episode that annoys me that most in this series (and was probably the brainchild of an executive looking to save on the budget) is their version of the "clipshow". In these episodes, they take clips of previous episodes and weave them together in a new storyline...usually CHANGING the premises and story upon which the original clips were based. This type of episode is like finding the rotten core when eating a tasty apple. I'm glad we usually only see one at the end of each season.
Some notable episodes (by no means exhaustive) are: "Afterlife", "Summit", "Stream of Consciousness", "Glyphic", "Lithia", "The Light Brigade", "In Our Own Image", and "Second Thoughts". There's some bad episodes out there, too. If you see one, don't be discouraged.
I haven't seen all the Outer limits episodes, but when I have tuned in
I've seen some quite good episodes almost like a one-hour movie with
good (if lesser known) guest stars. Others have been embarrassing to
watch or just plain average, it seems the way they did things was to
have mostly low budget "filler" episodes and save up for a great,
blockbuster episode every now and then.
The Outer Limits seems to offer both the best and worst of TV, I say overall it's not a bad effort but viewers like me may lose patience when it starts to seem like a long time between good episodes. I'm surprised the show ran as long as it did, with every science fiction-themed show outside of Star Trek and Stargate being cancelled at the first opportunity.
No, I have not seen the original series and I won't compare the two if I had. This series is filmed in Canada in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. The series is well-written in a different story each week. Some are little out there but most of the time it is the quality of the story telling. I loved the Afterlife episode with Clancy Brown and Barbara Gerrick and the Deprogrammers episode with the irresistible Brent Spiner as a Deprogrammer in a world where humans have become slaves to a lizard reptilian species. It's funny how the lizards and reptiles are our favorite evil aliens like V but anyway he has three days to program a man who is totally brainwashed in serving the alien species on earth. The stories are usually a little out there but very entertaining to watch.
I've only seen about 20% of the Outer Limits series. Some episodes are great, others just mediocre. However, "Think like a Dinosaur" stands in a league of its own. Never have I thought so much about an episode of a sci-fi series. The greatest aspect of this episode is its ability to elicit intense introspection; to imagine yourself in the protagonist's shoes and know you must make such a difficult decision. The clear, warming humanity of the "unbalanced equation" is overwhelming, which is why the choice is so painful. The ending still gives me chills. Imagine what the protagonist must be feeling when he sees her again. This episode is a brilliant depiction of morality and ethics clashing with science. I haven't yet seen the topic handled better.
This series should have really competed against The X-Files when the show was first broadcasted in 1995. The Outer Limits uses great storylines and shockful horror scenes, which will definitely scare an adult. When i first saw this series, i started to have some nightmares over it. But not for long!
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