The Outer Limits: Season 1, Episode 4

The Man with the Power (7 Oct. 1963)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 220 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Milquetoast college teacher Harold lacks tenure, and the ability to stand up to anyone, especially his shrewish wife. But after a brain operation so he can aide in a space project to mine ... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Harold J. Finley
Priscilla Morrill ...
Vera Finley
Fred Beir ...
Steve Crandon
Frank Maxwell ...
Dr. Sigmund Hindeman
Paul Lambert ...
Dr. Henschell
James McCallion ...
Dr. Tremaine
Harry Ellerbe ...
Dean Radcliffe (as Edward C. Platt)
Ann Loos ...
Emily Radcliffe (as Anne Loos)
Paul Kent ...


Milquetoast college teacher Harold lacks tenure, and the ability to stand up to anyone, especially his shrewish wife. But after a brain operation so he can aide in a space project to mine asteroids, a giant electrical vortex appears when he's angry at someone, unleashing the earth's Magnetic Fields against the offender. Harold is unaware of the new power of his Id, while the rocket scientists are thrilled at compliant Harold's conscious ability to focus massive energy. Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

7 October 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Finley levitates the rock, the wires holding up the prop are visible. See more »


Control Voice: Deep beyond the kindest, gentlest soul may lurk violent thoughts, deadly wishes. Someday Man will learn to cope with the monsters of the mind. Then, and only then, when the human mind is truly in control of itself, can we begin to utilize the great and hidden powers of the universe.
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User Reviews

A subconsciously unpleasant Pleasence.
28 November 2012 | by (Edinburgh.) – See all my reviews

Donald Pleasence is the star of this episode, playing a man who has been given a great gift, he has been given the power to harness and use great amounts of energy. This gift was bestowed upon him by a surgical procedure that had to be tested out before it could be used on astronauts, in an attempt to aid them in their work. It's not long until the first astronaut is about to undergo the procedure but before that happens Pleasence starts to discover a disturbing side-effect. It turns out that anyone who upsets him will then be harmed by some strange, potentially fatal force of energy.

Directed by Laslo Benedek and written by Jerome Ross, this is a very mature and intelligent piece about power, how it needs to be controlled and how too much of it can be damaging. It's not unlike Forbidden Planet (as another reviewer has already mentioned here) and I class that as a good thing. The Outer Limits travelling to the inner mind makes for some impressively intense moments, helped immensely by the cast.

Pleasence has rarely, perhaps never, been less than great and here he exudes class and skill from start to finish with his wonderful portrayal of Harold J. Finley, a man who has never managed to get where he wanted to be in life and blames a lot of his failure on his unsupportive wife, Vera (played by Priscilla Morrill, who also excels in one or two key moments in the second half of the episode). Fred Beir and Edward Platt have very different roles (with the former playing an astronaut and the latter playing a dean who wants to keep Harold focused on his job) but provide equally solid performances.

It's not quite as good as the previous episode, "The Architects Of Fear" but this is another classic tale from The Outer Limits.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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