The Outer Limits: Season 1, Episode 32

The Forms of Things Unknown (4 May 1964)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 186 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 2 critic

Two female friends poison a sadistic blackmailer, then while fleeing happen upon an isolated house containing a time machine. Kasha his lover, & Leonora the daughter of the blackmail target... See full summary »

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Title: The Forms of Things Unknown (04 May 1964)

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Kasha Paine
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Colus (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Scott Marlowe ...
Andre
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Leonora Edmond
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Two female friends poison a sadistic blackmailer, then while fleeing happen upon an isolated house containing a time machine. Kasha his lover, & Leonora the daughter of the blackmail target, fight to bury him before the idealistic inventor Tone is able to re-animate the murdered man, by tilting him back into the past. Written by David Stevens

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4 May 1964 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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The episode was actually a pilot for a proposed series to be called "The Unknown". When it was rejected by ABC, producer Joseph Stefano used it for the final episode of the first season of this series. See more »

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User Reviews

Film Noir Masterpiece
18 December 2009 | by (Camden, NJ (The Forbidden Zone)) – See all my reviews

And so, once again, I reach the end of the 1st season. I first saw this story when it was first-run --or perhaps on a rerun, if it was... either way, it was almost definitely during that 1st season when the show was on early Monday nights, just as the Tara King AVENGERS were years later. (Funny thing, my favorite "Tara" episode was THEY KEEP KILLING STEED, which blatantly swiped from THE HUNDRED DAYS OF THE DRAGON, which had aired in the same time slot on the same network years earlier.)

I never saw this again until I rented it in the early 90's. I've played the entire 1st season back twice now, so I've seen it 4 times now. I was completely shocked, surprised and blown away when I saw it the 2nd time, after so many years. WHAT THE F***??? Looking at the credits, I see this was the work of Joe Stefano and Gerd Oswald. But they'd done so many episode of OL, and none of them were quite like this!!

The story seems almost relatively simple... but not the way it's told. You feel like you're watching some kind of avant-garde European "art" film. All the weird camera-angles, the bizarre edits, the strange language, the intense expressions of people's faces. It's like some twisted, otherworldly version of Shakespeare... perhaps that's what they were after?

Barbara Rush is so beautiful, yet so tragic. Who'd believe she would later wind up in my vote for the absolute WORST episode of the Adam West BATMAN a few years later?? I found out she was a regular on PEYTON PLACE (as was Tippy Walker, who I fell for watching her early film). Made me wonder how things would have been if she'd been on DARK SHADOWS instead. Vera Miles, meanwhile, is reunited with Stefano (after PSYCHO, heh).

David McCallum is genuinely other-worldly in this. Perhaps, like Lugosi in Dracula, he really is "undead". His facial expressions make him seem something not quite human.

The house and its corridors reminds me of the 2 other "haunted house" stories OL had that year-- Stefano's own DON'T OPEN UNTIL DOOMSDAY and the very similar THE GUESTS (which, in the long run, I came to like much more). But this time out may be Stefano's unsung masterpiece.

Crime melodrama? Science-fiction? Art film? Poetry? All of the above? What a hell of a way for Stefano to depart the show. One can only wonder what might have been if he had stayed... if he hadn't pulled his own vanishing act, just as "Tone" did in the last scene.


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