The Outer Limits (1963–1965)
14 user 2 critic

Controlled Experiment 

Two Martians, equipped with a device for controlling time, try to understand the human phenomenon of murder. They choose a crime of passion in the lobby of a shabby hotel. However, what seems like a simple assignment rapidly runs out of control.


Leslie Stevens (uncredited)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Barry Morse ... Phobos
Carroll O'Connor ... Deimos
Grace Lee Whitney ... Carla Duveen
Robert Fortier Robert Fortier ... Bert Hamill
Bob Kelljan Bob Kelljan ... Frank Brant (as Robert Kelljan)
Linda Hutchings Linda Hutchings ... Arlene Schnabel (as Linda Hutchins)


When Deimos, who is the owner of a pawnshop, receives the visit of Phobos, they present their Martian identification to each other. Deimos is a Martian agent based in an outpost on Earth disguised of pawnshop a long time ago to observe the Earthlings. Phobos is a supervisor with a time controlling device worried with the atomic energy that has come to understand what a murder is. Soon they receive a message to go to a low budget hotel to witness a murder in the lobby of the hotel. When they arrive, they identify the blonde Carla Duveen that is waiting for her boyfriend Bert Hamill that has had sex with his lover. Phobos uses the time controlling devise to repeat the murder many times to understand the details. However the experiment runs out of control and they receive a report that the future will be affected by the event. Will they fix the problem? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Plot Keywords:

time travel | See All (1) »







Release Date:

13 January 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was an unsuccessful backdoor pilot for a potential spin-off series featuring the characters of Phobos and Deimos. See more »


When Carla was frozen in time she could be seen swaying slightly. See more »


Phobos: [observing a couple kissing] Any chance they get.
Deimos: It's harmless.
See more »

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User Reviews

3 August 2011 | by joewasikSee all my reviews

One of the non-speaking characters, the one on his own left sitting on the couch, drops a newspaper when the gun goes off. The newspaper's headline: "I Let Go of the Bumper and the Bus Ran Over Me." Amazing what you can do with a high-def TV.

Second factoid, the actress playing Arlene Schabel (upstairs love interest), has her name spelled Linda Hutchins in the credits. She is otherwise known as Linda Hutchings.

Several members of this episode's staff, the blonde actress (mentioned in other reviews) the production manager Lindsley Parsons, production associate John Erman, makeup supervisor Fred Phillips, art department Richard Rubin, assistant director Robert Justman, went on to work on Star Trek projects.

Special effects Ray Mercer went on to work on Star Wars.

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