The Outer Limits (1963–1965)
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14 user 1 critic

Nightmare 

A stranded team of soldiers are captured and experimented on by demonic looking aliens.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Bill Gunn ...
David Frankham ...
Capt. Terrence Ralph Brookman
Bernard Kates ...
Dr. Whorf
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Lt. Esra Krug
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Chief of Staff
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Gen. Benton
Lillian Adams ...
Lisa Mann ...
Krug's Governess
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Storyline

A stranded team of soldiers are captured and experimented on by demonic looking aliens.

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Release Date:

2 December 1963 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This episode was one of John Erman's earliest jobs as a director, and depicts Earth soldiers who've been captured and are being tormented by aliens on a mostly barren set, consisting of a few rock-like props and doorways. It bears many striking similarities to the 3rd season episode of Star Trek, Star Trek: The Empath (1968), also directed by Erman. In it, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy (and the Empath, played by Kathryn Hays) spend the majority of that episode on a mostly bare set consisting of a few props and dark curtains, also being tormented by aliens. See more »

Quotes

Ebonite Interrogator: Are you ready to talk, Dix?
[Dix tries to speak, but no words come out]
Ebonite Interrogator: Perhaps you could speak if there was someone here you really wanted to speak to.
Dix's Mother: [Appears in a hallucinatory vision] Arthur. Arthur. You can talk to your mom, can't you, baby?
Pvt. Arthur Dix: Mom?
Dix's Mother: [Hugging and affectionate] Oh. Oh. You can talk. Tell me what they want to know.
[Dix shakes head]
Dix's Mother: Then whisper it to me then, baby. Whisper all about it.
[Dix whispers in her ear]
Ebonite Interrogator: Private Dix. You may go.
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Connections

Referenced in Star Trek: The Empath (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Joseph Stefano vs. Rod Serling.
8 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

This episode brought Joseph Stefano, the series creator and writer of this episode, into conflict with Rod Serling. Serling fully supported the military and authority, and many of his "Twilight Zone" episodes revolved around the military. In Serling's script for "The Rack," a man who broke under torture in the Korean Conflict is blamed for being weak and failing America. In Serling's view, the military was always right.

"Nightmare" is a new view of this situation; the quotes of the general in the episode are essentially correct about the number of American prisoners who were broken in the war. Serling couldn't imagine American soldiers permitting torture, especially on other Americans. This despite such things as the Tuskeegee Syphillis Project and the exposure of soldiers to atomic blasts to determine the effects of radiation. One wonders how he'd react to Abu Gareb, water torture, and the show "24" in which torture is approved as standard American heroic action.

For those who think these "old TV shows" were simplistic compared to today's shows with CGI, sexual content and viral-marketing web sites, consider this; have there been any modern shows that dared raise a debate about their premises like the ones raised by Stefano and Serling? Would anyone produce a series arguing against the right-wing paranoia presented in "24?"


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