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"The Outer Limits"
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"The Outer Limits" More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A Sad Commentary On Our Times

Author: ryon-2 from Portland, Oregon USA
10 October 2004

When I was growing up, the two great sources of what for me was "real" science fiction was the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits. Some of those episodes just creeped me out, and years later, they still do. While the Twilight Zone occasionally had morals to its stories, the Outer Limits stories were more often an exercise in fear and terror, bereft of any moral.

This was because the stories created by the chief writer of the Outer Limits was going through psychological problems of his own, and the stories that he wrote came to him in his car as he drove along. Had his psychologist been more successful, the earlier Outer Limits would probably be like the dribble that is the new Outer Limits today.

Some how all the terror has been leached away and what we see are a series of predictable episodes that have ham-fisted morals that fit right in with the cynical '90s. There are only a few basic themes in the new version, and all the rest is just a predictable variation of "virus destroys all but a few people," "Mankind is bad and must be dealt with" (by alien or androids-- it changes each week), "Don't watch out or what you create may end up controlling you," and a few other limited themes. There was nothing really new here.

And to make the series all the more depressing was that nobody ever on. The good guy/hero thinks he does but no! -- he dies, everybody dies, and then there's the moral. It's '90s cynicism that's just there to hammer down dull, and downbeat episodes where almost nobody ever comes out alive and happy.

While 90 per cent of the episodes are a waste of time, there are a few good ones; you just have to sit and wade through all of the crappy ones to find a good one. For good science fiction, go and buy the videos or DVDs of the original series; those will either terrify you or give you things to think about. Unlike with the new series where you've seen a few, you pretty much have seen them all, with the originals they are all uniquely different from the others.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A pale imitation of the classic original

Author: bregund from San Francisco
20 February 2004

The original Outer Limits was a groundbreaking show: even now, forty years later, the program is thoughtful, provocative, and imaginative. It was sci-fi with a human twist, showing real-world problems against a backdrop of aliens, monster, mad scientists, and powerful political interests. The show was steeped with Shakespearean themes of love, murder, betrayal, faith, family quarrels, romance, redemption, and greed, all cleverly offset against, for instance, the site of a man in an alien costume or a woman who was actually a queen bee. This process of pairing two seemingly dissonant halves has proven to work well in other forms of entertainment, most notably the Singing Detective. It was a formula that worked well for the 1960s anthology series, because it provided both real substance and genuine entertainment, a void which the X Files was to fill later on in the 90s.

The 90s version of the Outer Limits lacks the sense of drama, and the magic, that the 60s version had. Sure the special effects are better, but the writing is horrible. Every time I watch this show, it's one of three storylines that they beat into the ground:

1) Mad scientist invents something, can't wait to try it out, tests it on himself, guess what happens (and there's always an evil board of directors out to stop his funding).

2) Human beings are being slowly changed into something else, and the mystery will be revealed at the end of the show.

3) Aliens (or a robot) have an ulterior motive, and it's not a good one.

Oh, and you totally can't tell that they shot the series in Vancouver.

Where is the drama, the acting, the great writing that the original show had? For example, Sally Kellerman, Martin Landau, and Chita Rivera are fantastic in the Bellero Shield, my favorite OL episode. You have a greedy, ambitious Kellerman, a slightly loopy but brilliant Landau, Chita's weird dance-like movements and vaguely threatening presence, an alien murder, a wealthy industrialist, a spooky old house, and excellent writing. Now that is an OL episode that none of the new episodes can even begin to compare with. You feel something for each of the characters, and the storyline pulls you along.

On the new OL, you can't care about the characters; they are flat, dull, lifeless, unlikable. You can't identify with any of them, it's like they are made of flexible plastic or something. And everyone is either good or evil, and the writing goes out of its way to make sure that the evil characters are pure evil and nothing else. Like the one about the cloned robot who was put down by the greedy businesswoman at the end of the show, only to have the robot come back to life again and strangle her. Gee, I didn't see that one coming. Who wrote this crap?

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Everything old is new again?

Author: Lea from Canada
20 July 2001

I know a lot of purists out there hate the new version of The Outer Limits but you know, sometimes you just got to go with the flow. There are some episodes of the original that can never be out done and the same with the new - The Down To Earth episode of the new TOL is one of those - the scene between Colin Mochrie and C. Ernst Harth in the diner one of the funniest I've seen in a long time - the whole episode was comedic and when you think about it, not really such a far stretch of the imagination.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

If you like Dune, European Myths, or Earth: Final Conflict, this is for you!

Author: JW_Deeks from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
27 January 2003

All the episodes that I have seen so far have a moral. Usually a warning to mankind, and most are delivered with poetic justice. This is so much like Greek, Roman, Norse, etc. Myths and all the Dune movies/series. ("Dune" (2000) (mini), "Children of Dune" (2003) (mini), Dune (1984)) They are all good, well, special, and very thought prevoking.

As I just said this is usually a warning to mankind, usually in a hidden way. You'll see the most obvious answer but behind it there is something even more intense. Just watching these episodes will give you a feeling that I have only ever felt watching seasons 2-4 of Earth: Final Conflict. It's an amazing and invigorating and I'm proud to say that if you live in Canada, you can now get it weekdays at 6 pm on SPACE, I only hope you'll go see what I am talking about... This is an AMAZING SHOW!!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Unforgettable and Lovable.

Author: anonymous from Vancouver, Canada
29 September 1998

It's a shows which moves you, a show makes your heart start beating again (uh... I meant, beating faster.) I have to confess that not every single episode in this tv series is charming tho'. Some of them are very boring to me, put-me-into-coma. BUT, there're some really very terrific epsiodes such as Mind over Matter, A Stitch in Time, Refuge, and Last Supper. They make you wanna see every episode in The Outer Limits!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Episode: "Think Like a Dinosaur"

Author: rlcsljo from Hollywood, ca
14 August 2002

Aliens that look like velociraptors help humans travel through space through a transport/duplication process. When the "copy" arrives, the "original" is supposed to be destroyed. You guessed it, something goes wrong and there are two of them (Linnea Sharples). Since the "equation must be balanced" for the process to work, Colantino is given the job of eliminating the duplicate. He vacillates between killing her and destroying all the others that have been transported, if the equation is not balanced.

Opinion: Very good "personal" drama from the best of the sixties. Colantino really keeps you guessing until the end about what he will do. Sharples plays the innocent until the end. It also has a pretty good nude scene by Sharples.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

No Limit to the Imagination

Author: lewisrailway from York, England.
3 February 2002

Anyone reading my opinion of "Star Wars" might think i would be equally scathing about what is generally known as the New Outer Limits,but they would be wrong! Firstly because the old Outer Limits was before my time so i cannot draw comparisons and secondly because as a whole the NOLis faultless,and gets everything right that SW did not.The whole series is Science Fiction DRIVEN i.e.the episodes explore ideas of the Possible; in "The New Breed" a scientist engineers molecular sized machines to repair the human body , and here in the UK a boy has just been cured of cancer by the development of hunter-killer white cells. Every story has a bizarre twist [The Light Brigade is a perfect example] and superb actors/actresses such as Amanda Plummer,Robert Patrick and Chris Sarandon are used to great effect. The special effects [even though they include CGI, which i loathe] are astounding,indeed far better than many Hollywood blockbusters! By now you have guessed that i love this show,so it is really irritating to know that it is not available to buy on video--it used to be for rent from Blockbuster, but not any more! Favourite episode? Boy thats a tough one! Probably #1] A Stitch In Time #2] The Light Brigade #3] Trial By Fire. Rating as a series-9/10 or 4.5 *

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great stuff!

Author: James D. Buttram (jasonbeast@aol.com) from Fairfax, VA
30 November 1999

Yeah, so I was hopelessly addicted to "The Twilight Zone" as a kid. "Outer Limits" is the only science-fiction anthology-type show that has really grabbed me since then. There are actually a lot of similarities, and the quality of acting and writing is very close as well. "Vaccine" and "Monster" are outstanding episodes, and though I can usually see a plot-twist from a mile away, I was blindsided by the twists in both of these.

It helps that, in every episode, there is at least one well-known actor or actress in the lead role. Granted, these aren't A-list movie stars, but familiar and talented. Nicole De Boer, Jason Patrick, Maria Conchita Alonso, and Henry Rollins (!) have all been on at various times.

Overall rating: **** out of *****

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Some gems, but mostly fecal matter

2/10
Author: lothos-370-690020 from United Kingdom
3 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When the series first started I was looking forward to it. I'd seen some of the original series on late night TV while working night shifts and hoped the new version would live up to its predecessor. In a word no. Some episode were genuinely thought provoking and despite the tedious and extremely patronising ending monologues I gave it a real go. However, after seeing the world end for the 50th unoriginal time, I had stop watching. For example, at the end of the FIRST series an episode called The Voice of Reason , has Aliens in human form hearing stories of how other alien invasions threatened their own evil schemes. Thats right, they had so many earth's gonna get it soon episodes to pool from, they could make a repeats show based solely on that premise, and that was from the first season only! And they didn't stop there, trust me.

As I said there were some really good ideas here and there but you had to wade through a lot of crap to get to them. I gave it 2/10 cause that was the good to bad episode ratio in my opinion.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Actually better than the original

Author: domino1003 from United States
6 December 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a fan of the original version of "The Outer Limits" and was skeptical when they brought this version on. How can you top the original? I was glad to watch, because I love this series even more. A lot of the stories are INCREDIBLY creepy. They have top notch casting (Charlton Heston among them), and a moral. It's too bad that they didn't make more than they did (SciFi Channel tried for a while),but I am thankful that they made the ones they did.

Among my favorites:

1) The Sandkings: Beau Bridges plays God. And you KNOW what happens when you play God: YOU get played. Lloyd Bridges is also in this episode.

2) The Voyage Home: 3 space explorers are on the way home, when a creature pops on board and kills 2 of the crew members. The alien SAYS that it wants to go to Earth on a peaceful mission, but the surviving crew member has to make a choice: believe the alien and bring it to Earth, where it may possibly destroy it, or stay away from Earth, knowing that he can never return?

3) First Anniversary: Matt Frewer finds the perfect woman and marries her. A year later, things turn scary as she start to look...alien. Is it all in his mind?

4)Music of The Spheres: Kirsten Dunst and others hear this music, which starts to transform them. What is the purpose of the music?

5) The Surrogate: Heather Donahue decides to become a surrogate mom for a medical clinic. Soon, she finds she's being shadowed by a government agent. Even worse, something is going on, and it has A LOT to do with her child.

Try to catch the episodes on television or rent the DVD's.

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