The Outer Limits (1963–1965)
14 user 3 critic

The Sixth Finger 

A scientist hires a miner to be the human subject in an experiment to speed-up evolution, which slowly turns the miner into a highly intelligent, alien-like being.


James Goldstone

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Episode complete credited cast:
David McCallum ... Gwyllim Griffiths
Jill Haworth ... Cathy Evans
Edward Mulhare ... Professor Mathers
Nora Marlowe Nora Marlowe ... Mrs. Ives
Robert Doyle Robert Doyle ... Wilt Morgan
Constance Cavendish Constance Cavendish ... Gert 'the Bread' Evans
George Pelling George Pelling ... Policeman


A scientist experimenting with speeding up human evolution, hires on uneducated, but bright Gwyllim, from the nearby Welsh mining town. He proves a devoted lab assistant, but not content to stick to animal subjects, Gwyllim speeds up his own evolution, becoming a super genius with 6 fingers and a huge cranium. With such mental powers does the rebellious, former coal miner acquire equivalent wisdom and maturity too ? Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

14 October 1963 (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?


David McCallum (Gwyllim Griffiths) later played Joshua Hayward in The Outer Limits: Feasibility Study (1997). Along with Leonard Nimoy, Cliff Robertson, Barbara Rush (who appeared with him in The Outer Limits: The Forms of Things Unknown (1964)) and Peter Breck, he is one of only five actors to appear in both The Outer Limits (1963) and The Outer Limits (1995). See more »


The entire story line illustrates the misperception that evolution is a directed process leading to improvements in a species. The actual processes of evolution were known long before the time of original airing. See more »


Control Voice: [Closing Narration] An experiment too soon, too swift, and yet, may we not still hope to discover a method by which within one generation the whole human race could be rendered intelligent, beyond hatred, or revenge, or the desire for power? Is that not, after all, the ultimate goal of evolution?
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Featured in Men in Suits (2012) See more »


The Well-Tempered Klavier
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

Welsh miners with Yorkshire accents and pistol-packing policemen...
11 February 2011 | by kducklin2See all my reviews

Truly one of my favourite OL episodes, but I have to agree with the other UK reviewer about the truly extraordinary world that it creates for British audiences.

Not only is the town apparently located in Wales whilst the cast all speak in a sort of bastardised Yorkhire dialect (with a couple of Cockney accents thrown in), but - and this slays me every time I watch "Sixth Finger" - the motorcycle cops who square off against the creature immediately reach for their sidearms. For those non-Brits who aren't aware, few of our policemen back in the 1960s would have been allowed anywhere near a pistol or rifle. (Even today only specially-trained officers are allowed to carry guns.)

For all that, it's a cracking tale, very well told, with great performances from the leads. Sadly, as I pen this review I note that Jill Haworth passed away just a few weeks ago, of natural causes but at only 65. RIP.

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