A soldier from the far future is accidentally teleported back to our present. The psychiatrist assigned to examine the soldier realizes that he has been bred purely as a killing machine, ... See full summary »




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Episode complete credited cast:
Ralph Hart ...
Jill Hill ...
Marlowe Jensen ...


A soldier from the far future is accidentally teleported back to our present. The psychiatrist assigned to examine the soldier realizes that he has been bred purely as a killing machine, but he believe he can reawaken the warrior's humanity. Meanwhile a second soldier arrives, dedicated to hunting and killing his enemy. Written by Gazhack

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Release Date:

19 September 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is one of two Outer Limits episodes penned by Harlan Ellison (the other is The Outer Limits: Demon with a Glass Hand (1964)) that formed some of the basis of James Cameron's script for The Terminator (1984) - at least according to a lawsuit Ellison brought upon Cameron after the first Terminator movie was released. See more »


Commands issued through the helmets of Qarlo and The Enemy are supplied by two different voice actors, and the actor assigned to each helmet keeps changing throughout the episode. See more »


Referenced in Doctor Who: Sleep No More (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

It's Hard Not to Associate This Story With Terminator
2 October 2008 | by (College Station, Texas) – See all my reviews


I saw this when broadcast in 1964 and retained scattered detail ever since. This episode led me to purchase the second season set of Outer Limits so I could check the accuracy of my memory. (Not perfect. I thought his last name was Kobrigniak but had his 'serial number' as close as intelligibility allows.

My point in this detail is that when I first saw Terminator on VHS tape rented from a video store in 1985, THIS is the association I flashed on. This was before the internet and IMDb so I had no way of knowing Harlan Ellison wrote the script for 'Soldier' but I did review the credits to see if I could determine a link between two stories where soldiers from an apocalyptic future are transported back in time to fight it out in "the present".

Harlan Ellison was a prolific Sci-Fi writer and produced a number of excellent stories both in print and for visual media but I was more into Asimov and barely knew his name in 1964. I don't think the way he does and some of his stories (I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream) leave me cold. However, though I may disagree with Ellison's view of many things, I think he got it right when he claimed credit for the idea behind Terminator. The details are different and the franchise has evolved into a time travel conundrum that writers are still playing with in Sara Conner Chronicles, but where else have you heard of the basic premise?

The future in the 40s, 50s, and early 60s was almost always a bright utopia. ("The Marching Morons" not withstanding) This is not true in 'Soldier' and I think the similarities with Terminator are to many to ignore.

Ellison probably should not get a credit saying "based on" but certainly you might describe The Terminator as "inspired by a story by Harlan Ellison". Cameron would have been 10 years old when this played on TV. Maybe he did not 'memorize' it the way I did seeing that broadcast at age 17, but I'll bet he saw it...even if he does not really remember doing so. Memory works that way. "Inspired by".

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