The Outer Limits (1963–1965)
7.3/10
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7 user 1 critic

The Man with the Power 

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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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Harold J. Finley
Priscilla Morrill ...
Vera Finley
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Steve Crandon
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Keenan
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Dr. Sigmund Hindeman
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Dr. Henschell
James McCallion ...
Dr. Tremaine
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Doctor
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Dean Radcliffe (as Edward C. Platt)
Anne Loos ...
Emily Radcliffe
Paul Kent ...
Detective
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Storyline

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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7 October 1963 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

From this episode forward, the opening monologue by the Control Voice is shorter. See more »

Goofs

One of the scientists at the space center wrongly describes titanium as a fissionable element. See more »

Quotes

Harold J. Finley: You want me to stay a worm, don't you? Unimportant, unproductive, classroom worm! Some women take their husband by the hands and say, "Together we'll climb to the stars." Not you... never you.
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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.


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