The Outer Limits (1963–1965)
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The Architects of Fear 

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


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 | See All (1) »

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Release Date:

30 September 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The brief shot of Allen Leighton midway through his transition into an alien creature was devised by actor Robert Culp and makeup artist Fred Phillips, and was filmed without the knowledge or participation of director Byron Haskin. See more »


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 »


[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

Scared the $#!% out of me in 1968
2 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was too young to see OL episodes when they were first broadcast in 1963, but when I was six years old, I saw them as reruns on TV in Los Angeles back in 1968. After forty years, "Architects of Fear" still stands out in my mind as the scariest thing I ever saw. Why, oh why did my parents ever let me watch it? I'll never know. I can still remember sitting there on the front room floor covering my eyes with my hands when the monster appeared, occasionally peeking between my fingers. Why doesn't Hollywood create monsters like these anymore? I'm tired of the constant diet of little grey guys with the wide black eyes, or vicious dread-locked aliens dripping with saliva and multiple rows of teeth. Those don't scare me near as much as Robert Culp's monster did in "Architects of Fear". Outer Limits truly created aliens that were unique, weird and bizarre. The monster/aliens from other OL episodes like "Galaxy Being" and "Bellero Shield" are additional examples that freaked me out as a kid. I really would like to see some unique and ingenious aliens return to Hollywood. I'm tired of the same old aliens being dished up time and time again.

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