The Outer Limits (1963–1965)
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It Crawled Out of the Woodwork 

An energy-being, created by accident, overruns an experimental power station. Personnel whom it has killed, are restored to life, with electronically-controlled pacemakers and are forced to... See full summary »




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Episode complete credited cast:
Gaby Christian (as Barbara Luna)
Joan Camden ...
New Sentry
Gene Darfler ...
Warren Edgar Morley
Tom Palmer ...
Detective Sgt. Thomas Siroleo


An energy-being, created by accident, overruns an experimental power station. Personnel whom it has killed, are restored to life, with electronically-controlled pacemakers and are forced to service the being, by a fanatical scientist, who pretends to be looking for a way to destroy it. After the force kills a security guard, and a newly-hired scientist, 2 men; the first being the psychologically disturbed brother of the recently-killed hire, the other, a cop, attempt to uncover the station's secret. Written by Columbus Frothingham

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Release Date:

9 December 1963 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Scott Marlowe and Michael Forest, who play brothers in this episode, both worked on Star Trek; Mr. Forest on the original series (as Apollo, in Who Mourns For Adonais?), and Mr. Markowe on The Next Generation episode, Ensign Ro. See more »


When Det. Sgt. Siroleo is advised to have the energy being lured back to the pit by having all power cut off, he makes a call requesting this be done. When the energy being is returning to the pit, he is somehow able to activate the switch closing the door to the pit before power is restored. See more »


Prof. Stephanie Linden: We have to find a way to break or change the Conservation of Energy Law.
See more »

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User Reviews

Still Another Terrific Episode From A Landmark Series
26 April 2017 | by See all my reviews

Well, we had a pouring night here in NYC yesterday...the perfect weather for taking in yet another ubercreepy episode of "The Outer Limits." The episode for me last night was No. 11 in the series, "It Crawled Out of the Woodwork." I had not seen this episode in a good many years and only recalled a few spotty scenes from it; never a good sign, going forward. And now, for the life of me, I don't know why I had such a poor recollection of it, as this turns out to be still another dynamite episode from this landmark series. This ep was created by perhaps my favorite triumvirate of "OL" talent: It was scripted by series producer Joseph Stefano, directed by Gerd Oswald, and featured ever-impressive, moody, noirish cinematography by the great Conrad Hall. These three would go on to work together on three more excellent "OL" outings, namely "The Mice," "The Invisibles" and "The Forms of Things Unknown," those latter two being in my personal Top 5 "OL" episodes. Anyway, this episode concerns the strange happenings that have been transpiring at the NORCO research lab in California. After a night-shift cleaning lady vacuums up a strange dust ball, the darn thing is somehow transformed into a ravening energy monster, similar in appearance but swifter- and jerkier-moving than the one that had appeared in episode No. 4, "The Man With the Power." It is a tremendous special effect, actually. Later, when a rising physicist, Stuart Peters (played by future "Star Trek" alumnus Michael Forest), starts his new job at NORCO, he is trapped in a corridor with the energy monster and is scared to death. The head of the facility (Kent Smith, who had starred in one of my favorite films of the '40s, "The Spiral Staircase," here sporting a superthick European accent) brings him back to life by dint of some revolutionary pacemaker device (as he has apparently done with numerous other NORCO employees), although Peters later dies again when his brother accidentally propels him into a water-filled bathtub. That brother, Jory, played by Scott Marlowe, becomes suspicious, and with his new galpal Gaby (another future "Star Trek" alumnus, the yummy Barbara Luna, who now, pretentiously, spells her name BarBara), starts to snoop around. A police officer, Sergeant Siroleo (very well portrayed by Ed really IS a top-notch cast in this one!) goes to NORCO also to do some investigating, leading to all sorts of mishegas, as the energy monster is released from its confining Pit. This episode showcases some very impressive acting by all concerned and another highly literate Stefano script, although the Luna character is a bit undeveloped (scriptwise, not physiquewise, of course). The scene between the two brothers in the bathroom is particularly well played, and the actors who come up against the energy monster (including film noir character actor Ted De Corsia) all manage to look convincingly scared out of their wits. The episode features one tremendous moment guaranteed to make anyone jump; the one in which Jory speaks of his brother's "nice smile," and we jump cut to a close-up of Stuart's death grimace, as he lies on the floor at NORCO. Asner is given my favorite line of this particular episode, when he discusses Stuart's autopsy, and remarks "If he'd been in any better health they'd have given him a morning show on television." Funny! Unusual for Season 1, this episode features no teaser going in; we cut straight to that cleaning woman in the NORCO lab. I've always liked the mini teaser that "TOL" gave us at the outset, as when the actual scene crops up later in the show, it usually feels like the return of a recurring nightmare; like a bad deja vu. Anyway, the bottom line is that this is still another terrific episode, as Season 1 continued to blow the minds of its 1963 audience.

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