Second Chance (The Outer Limits)

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"Second Chance"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 23
Directed by Paul Stanley
Written by Lin Dane (teleplay & story)
Lou Morheim (teleplay)
Cinematography by Kenneth Peach
Production code 27
Original air date March 2, 1964
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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List of The Outer Limits episodes

"Second Chance" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on March 2, 1964, during the first season.

Opening narration[edit]

When fear is too terrible, when reality is too agonizing, we seek escape in manufactured danger, in the thrills and pleasures of pretending-in the amusement parks of our unamusing world. Here, in frantic pretending, Man finds escape and temporary peace, and goes home tired enough to sleep a short, deep sleep. But what happens here when night comes? When pretending ends, and reality begins?


Frustrated and disillusioned physicist Dave Crowell (Don Gordon) has found a temporary and undemanding job - 'piloting' a flying saucer mock-up spaceflight simulator at a third-rate amusement park - to escape from his former Defense Department employers' demands to develop more effective weapons of mass destruction. However, an alien from the planet Empyria (Simon Oakland) stealthily modifies the attraction into an actual interplanetary spacecraft; and, passing himself off as a weird roving sideshow, invites aboard a group of misfits, each of whom is refusing to confront unpleasant realities in his/her life. The Empyrian offers the group a second chance to better themselves - an opportunity to colonize a small planetoid called Tythra that, paradoxically, will threaten both the alien's home world and Earth, just 82 years down the line; and which, if inhabited, its orbital path controlled to avert the disaster. However, to turn this dream into a reality, each must overcome an entrenched unwillingness to face his or her own true nature to pull together as a group. As violence escalates quickly between the distressed abductees and the flight crew, with one passenger accidentally being ejected into space during a physical altercation, Crowell eventually manages to convince the Empyrian that the operation is doomed to failure; he explains that it is against human nature to expect someone to freely accept their shortcomings and admit their failures. Instead, he advises him to seek help directly from Earth's governments and scientists, in order to initialize a proper collaboration for the sake of each individual, by asking for volunteers to accompany them to Tythra - he assures the alien that he would probably have a whole ship full of people willing to receive a second chance at life. Approving of Crowell's choice, the Empyrian states that "he trusts his judgment", and reverses the course of the ship to return the reluctant abductees back to Earth.

Closing narration[edit]

This episode has no closing narration.


The original script for this episode was written by Sonya Roberts (previously having written 3 episodes of 77 Sunset Strip) and titled 'Joy Ride', and takes place at 'Jollyland', (changed to 'Joyland') Lou Morheim retained the basic plot in his rewrite, but where Roberts approached the silly plot in an intelligent and at times humorous manner, Morheim geared the story, because ABC wanted monsters and simplistic stories, to be more conventional and threw out most of the emotional depth and humour of the characters. In 'Second Chance', for example, as The Empyrian walks around handing out free tickets, he frightens whoever he encounters by suddenly appearing in front of them, in 'Joy Ride' when Dave and Mara first spot him their reaction is not terror but a growing awe as he saunters up wearing a sandwich board that reads 'GREETINGS EARTHMEN, I AM FROM THE PLANET EMPYRIA IN OUTER SPACE', another example is, in 'Second Chance', the Empyrian forces Arjay Beasley to buckle his safety belt, for the (real) journey into space, by hypnotizing him with his Alien medallion, in 'Joy Ride' he achieves this by getting Arjay to "pretend" everything is for real, pulling out his ray gun and threatening to burn him to a cinder if he doesn't, Arjay playing along with the game complies laughing. Sonya Roberts had her name removed from the script, believing it to be inane, she had her credit changed to Lin Dane.[1]



  1. ^ Schow, David; Frentzen, Jeffrey (1986). The Outer Limits: The Official Companion. Ace Trade. pp. 223–225. ISBN 978-0441370818. 

External links[edit]