The Outer Limits: Season 1, Episode 3

The Architects of Fear (30 Sep. 1963)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 274 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

A secret group of scientists decide to surgically alter one of their members into an 'alien', in order to convince the world that an alien invasion is imminent. They hope that such a threat... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Allen Leighton
...
Dr. Phillip Gainer
Martin Wolfson ...
Dr. Herschel
Geraldine Brooks ...
Yvette Leighton
Hal Bokar
...
Hunter (as William Bush)
Clay Tanner ...
Second Hunter
Lee Zimmer
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Storyline

A secret group of scientists decide to surgically alter one of their members into an 'alien', in order to convince the world that an alien invasion is imminent. They hope that such a threat will force all governments to make peace with one another. However such a complex plan has many vulnerabilities... including the wife of the volunteer. Written by Gazhack

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bare chested male


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30 September 1963 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

When Leighton is wheeled from the operating room to the elevator, the floor is visible. There is no break in the solid floor as one would normally see upon entering a real elevator. Obviously no elevator was actually used and the elevator doors were probably moved by hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Control Voice (uncredited voice played by Vic Perrin): [film footage of people running out in the streets and a missile in the sky] Is this the day? Is this the beginning of the end? There is no time for wonder, no time to ask why is it happening, why is it finally happening. There is time only for fear, for the piercing pain of panic. Do we pray now, or do we merely run now and pray later? Will there *be* a later, or is this the day?
[a mushroom cloud explodes before the film projector is shut off]
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References From Here to Eternity (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Despite cheesy special effects, a very, very effective and original episode.
27 September 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Mankind seems on the brink of self-destruction. Distrust and hatred combined with thermonuclear technology is making the possibility of an Armageddon seem more and more likely. As a result, a small group of scientists meet in private to discuss what can be done to avert disaster. The solution is to somehow unify mankind--unify them all in a common cause. The cause? Fear. Their plan is to take one of their members and subject them to a long series of bizarre operations in order to create an 'alien'--and one that is seen as a threat to mankind! Robert Culp (a frequent guest on this show) is volunteered for this awful mission. It's awful not just because of the pain involved with the surgeries but horrible because he'll lose his wife and past in the process.

While the special effects for the creature are pretty archaic due to the show having a very, very low budget, the episode gets extremely high marks for originality as well as a great twist on Cold War paranoia. Exciting and well worth seeing--and it's among the best and most memorable shows in the series.


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