The Outer Limits: Season 1, Episode 8

The Human Factor (11 Nov. 1963)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi
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At an isolated military installation in Greenland, Major Brothers (Harry Guardino) has allowed one of his men to die after falling in a crevasse. Suffering from hallucinations, he goes to ... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Joe De Santis ...
Colonel William Campbell (as Joe de Santis)
Major Harold Giles
Shirley O'Hara ...
Dr. Soldini
John Newton ...
Matty Jordan ...
Art Alisi ...
Ingrid Larkin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jane Langley ...


At an isolated military installation in Greenland, Major Brothers (Harry Guardino) has allowed one of his men to die after falling in a crevasse. Suffering from hallucinations, he goes to Dr. Hamilton (Gary Merrill). Hamilton has invented a device that allows him to read the thoughts of another person. Hamilton and Brothers connect via the device, but then a power surge causes the unthinkable: the minds of the two men switch bodies. The deranged Maj. Brothers is bent on destroying the whole base. Unfortunately, his mind is in the psychiatrist's body, and the other base workers know nothing of the mind switch. Written by Ken Miller <>

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Release Date:

11 November 1963 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although this episode shares its title with an episode of The Outer Limits (1995), namely The Outer Limits: The Human Factor (2002), it was not a remake of this episode and they have no connection beyond the title. See more »

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User Reviews

Even for "The Outer Limits", this one has a really wacky plot!
25 June 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

By the way, although the summary refers to the actor playing the psychiatrist as 'James Merrill', he is in fact Gary Merrill and it is shown correctly in the cast listing on IMDb.

The show begins at a remote outpost in Greenland. Harry Guardino plays a Major who has just had one of his men die in the line of duty. Following this, Guardino appears to be losing his mind and he's sent to see a psychiatrist (Merrill). Now here is one of those "Outer Limits" impossible plot twists--Merrill is using some experimental mind device to actually look inside Guardino's head. And, an earthquake hits at that moment and the minds of the guys are switched!! But the more serious problem is that the madman is REALLY mad--and he's out to kill everyone! Can the folks at the base recognize what has happened before it's too late? This is a pretty ordinary episode--neither good nor bad. While the idea is far-fetched, Guardino and Merrill both did good jobs and managed to make the ridiculous seem possible. Worth seeing if not brilliant--though the ending is, oddly, rather sweet in some ways. Look for movie/TV regulars Ivan Dixon, Sally Kellerman and James Sikking in the episode as well.

By the way, I wonder if any of this led to the final episode of the original "Star Trek" series. That's because in that one, there are LOTS of similarities. Kirk changes bodies with an insane woman--leading to some hilariously bad acting--and one of the most notoriously bad episodes of the series.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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