Talk:The Outer Limits (1963 TV series)

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Attn: Motor[edit]

Motor, I just discovered all the work you've done on this series. I'm interested in contributing, but only on the original 1963-64 series. I'd like to modify the infobox somewhat to include the cinematographer (an important distinguishing mark of the old episodes), and move the cast list to a separate section (because there are no regular actors and it looks messy in the box). I tried to find the infobox on the Wiki templates but it looks like it's been changed. If there's a template we're supposed to follow, could you point me to it? Otherwise, I'll be "bold" and make a few changes and wait for your comments.

As you say, the cinematograhy was a distinguishing mark of the old episodes... so it should probably be mentioned in this article too -- in the form of a general overview of the cinematography of the old series. Does your book ref (below) include plenty of stuff you could include (and cite the source)? I've been hoping for a way to expand this article for while. - Motor (talk) 16:58, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

P.S. There is a very well researched book on this series by David J Schow that would answer almost any question you might have. Unlike many books on TV series, it's not afraid to be critical of the show's weaknesses. Slowmover 20:13, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

The template is here. If you are planning to modify the template please keep in mind that it is used across all OL articles, new and old series. So if you wanted to move the guest stars out of the template, you would be breaking a lot of pages... and unless you want to fix all those new series articles too, I don't recommend it. You can make an argument for creating another infobox template just for the old series, but I'd rather keep a unified box if possible. Anyway, I look forward to seeing your contributions. Thanks for the book ref, I'll look it up. - Motor (talk) 22:45, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm going to try a few variations in the Sandbox. I'll post back here after that. Slowmover 22:24, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Motor, here's what I did. I created a new template, Template:OuterLimits60sEp, identical to original template, except I added the cinematographer credit. I changed The Galaxy Being to use this template. I will check back for comments before propagating the change to other episodes. One other change is that I moved the Director credit above the Writer credit, as I believe this is the normal "hierarchy" for films & TV. Slowmover 21:16, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I've added the cinematographer field to Template:OuterLimitsEp as an optional field and switched back the galaxy being as a test. It shouldn't affect the new episodes without a cinematographyby entry. We'll see how that goes. - Motor (talk) 23:22, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I couldn't figure out how to do an optional field. Much better idea. Slowmover 15:19, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I meant to do it when you first mentioned it, but I got sidetracked. I'm not against the idea of a new infobox for old episodes, but I'd rather it was a last resort (infoboxes tend to breed). - Motor (talk) 16:12, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Q re model in 1995 series credits[edit]

If anyone could find the name of the model that appears in the introduction to the 1995-2002 Outer Limits series, I would appreciate it. She appears as the apple's core as well.

History of 1995 revival[edit]

Does anyone have any info on the process by which the new television series got commisioned? Who was involved? Why did they want to recreate it? How long did it take them to convince MGM? Date when they finally got the go-ahead etc etc. At the moment, the 1995-2002 section is a bit bit sparse and needs more info. It does represent the bulk of the shows after all, even if the original series was more iconic. I did a google, but couldn't find anything substantial. Anyone have a book documenting TOL and could fill it out a bit? Motor 13:34, 2005 Apr 18 (UTC)

DVD for season 1[edit]

Season one is coming out on DVD this fall. - unsigned comment by

Which season 1? Season 1 (1963) or Season 1 (1995) - Motor (talk) 12:05:56, 2005-08-24 (UTC)
The original series has been out on DVD for a few years now (2 box sets). See Slowmover 20:13, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
The data regarding the DVD release for season 1 is definitely inaccurate. A comment on IMDB dated November 11, 2003 states that the first season (of the new series) and the six teaser discs had been released. And searching reveals that the first four seasons have been released (or at least so it seems). byeee 21:33, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Okay, according to this page, the first set of DVDs was released September 3, 2002. byeee 21:44, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

lack of summary[edit]

There is no synopsis of the show on this page, there should be! Scorpionman 01:41, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

What did you have in mind... the introduction says:
"The Outer Limits is a television series from the United States. In its original incarnation it ran for two seasons from 1963 to 1965 in black-and-white. It was revived in 1995 and ran for seven seasons until 2002. Similar in style to the earlier The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits is an anthology science fiction show in which each episode is a self-contained story with a plot twist."
Given that every episode is different, but follows the above format I don't see what else there is to say about the show in a synopsis. The page List of The Outer Limits episodes contains links to a large number of episodes for which individual synopsis have been done. - Motor (talk) 22:07, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Control Voice Speech and Music[edit]

I beleive there are at least three different versions of the Control Voice speech referenced in the sidebar box. The original (Galaxy Being, 100 Days of the Dragon) is similar to what is presented, but it is a little longer.

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat; there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits.

Sometime in season one it was shortened and the section on louder and softer was dropped and the ending also edited.

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits.

In season two the speech was shortened even further.

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits.

I'm not sure that the speech as written in the sidebar was actually used - it is an abriged version of the original - unless there were four versions. I'm checking my episodes to verify. The David Schow book documents this pretty well. The second version of the CV speech was used for the greatest number of episodes.

I have to check this against actual episodes and will report back here with edits if needed.--Zendream 06:50, 5 March 2006 (UTC)Zendream 03-05-06

  • I think you are right in everything you say above. In my opinion, the sidebar should show the original (longest) version of the CV speech. It's the ultimate in trivia to document all the shorter versions and what episodes they were used in. Feel free to verify the speech and fix it! Slowmover 17:47, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Also, in Season Two, Harry Lubin did the music. In season one there was no opening music, but there was a short music passage in the opening for season two, with the full theme over closing credits. The Harry Lubin theme uses what sounds like a Theremin, which curiosly, is a throwback to 50's Sci Fi. --Zendream 06:50, 5 March 2006 (UTC)Zendream 03-05-06

>>>You are 100% correct about the 3 versions. I can't read them without hearing it in my head. Are you certain about the accompanying music not being in the first season?

Proposal to split this article[edit]

I may take a while to get around to it, or someone else may beat me to it, but I think the original and revival series should be separate articles, as with other revived TV series (eg, Star Trek). There is plenty more to write about the original series, which I'm interested in doing, and it is quite different from its 1990s revival. The article could either be completely split or this article could be kept as an overview, with the sections linking to detailed articles on each series. I'm putting this note here as advance notice and asking for comments. 21:56, 17 March 2006 (UTC). The preceding edit is by me. For some reason, I keep losing my login to WP today. Slowmover 21:59, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

The only reason I would consider a split worthwhile is if we have the problem of the article becoming unmanageably large and detailed. Should we be fortunate to find the article becoming too large and detailed, then I'll back a split... but at the moment I don't see any point. - Motor (talk) 01:12, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
On a different point, I hope you're going to continue to upload screenshots for the episodes. Are you choosing and creating them yourself or are you sourcing them from somewhere? I ask because the selection has been very good, IMHO. Slowmover 18:11, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I am planning to do the lot... it's just a matter of finding the time to watch the relevant episode and grab a good shot. - Motor (talk) 21:03, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Episode category[edit]

Currently, we have all the episodes in the category "The Outer Limits episodes"... I think there's a good case for having three categories... one main, and two sub-categories:

The Outer Limits episodes
  |                      |
Old series          New series

This page describes the process for sub-cats. It's straightforward, but it does mean small edits to a lot of pages. Is it worth it? - Motor (talk) 11:04, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes. You must have been reading my mind. I was looking at the categories last night for the first time. It's not as useful as it could be because you can't tell which series an episode belongs to. I also looked at how it was done for "Star Trek" and thought it wouldn't be hard to change. I have no problem doing a lot of minor edits. Slowmover 15:47, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Motor, thanks for helping. I was running out of steam there at the end. I think the category looks a lot better now.Slowmover 22:45, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Also suggest separating this into two separate articles, one for each series. The 1995 series is a remake with new principals, not simply a continuation. Avt tor 17:53, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


It might be noteworthy that in Hackers (film), Dade Murphy hacks a television station to watch the Outer Limits.

Control Voice[edit]

"We now return control of your television set to you - until next week at the same time when the Control Voice will take you too...The Outer Limits" has to be added.


The alien on the Outer Limits episode "The Bellero Shield" was the very first to be seen in a major American media outlet that had features that have come to be the stereotypical alien: small nose and mouth, no ears, oval or almond-shaped eyes, oddly shaped head.

It has been shown that the very first people ever to have claimed to have been abducted by aliens, Barney and Betty Hill, initially described the aliens they met on September 20, 1961 as humanoid and non-threatening. But 12 days after the February 10, 1964 airing of the "Bellero Shield" Outer Limits episode, under hypnosis, Betty Hill described the aliens as having facial features almost identical to the alien appearing in the Outer Limits. That description has appeared, virtually unchanged, in every subsequent case of alien abduction.

See The Eyes that Spoke and Close Encounters with Alien Abductions

Is there any objection to including a section such as the one I wrote above? TCav 18:26, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Consistency Problem with Other Articles[edit]

This article has some inconsistent content regarding the show's relationship to the Terminator films when compared to other articles. The articles for the Outer Limits episodes 'Soldier' and 'Demon with a Glass Hand' as well as the article for the Terminator Film state that it is 'often erroneously cited' that Harlan Ellison sued James Cameron. In those articles, some agency representing Cameron or his film offers a cash settlement and motion picture credits in exchange for no lawsuit. I do not know which is true, but I thought it would be useful to bring this to the reader and writership of this article. - (talk) 10:00, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Looking Deeper at "Bears"[edit]


"(Several episodes did, however, have no discernible "bear," among them the two-part segment "The Inheritors," the aforementioned "Demon With A Glass Hand" and "Soldier," and the oddball comedy effort, "Controlled Experiment".)"

Rather: the bear in these episodes can be more or less reconciled with the previous comment, "In some cases, it was nothing more than an unusual force directed by a person or other being." The bear would reasonably be: The Inheritors, the fear of our children becoming "alien" to us (holding opposing views or values) - intergenerational alienation; Demon With a Glass Hand, the fear of extinction, the fear of superman (Trent or "Gilgamesh")/inferiority, or (superficially) the Kyben; Soldier, the fear of being programmed/loss of individuality or freedom; Controlled Experiment, the fear of aliens/observers, loss of privacy, or manipulation.

Voideater (talk) 18:03, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Biggest Difference: Series 1 vs. Series 2[edit]

The biggest difference between the two Series is that the first often, indeed, "asserted the triumph of the human spirit, often in confrontation with dark existential forces" while the second often left the protoganists broken and defeated when confonted with those same forces (darker human emotions, alien interference, etc.). From this, some comment might be made regarding the socio-politico climates of the times in which each was made, and the two series can be generally differentiated as being optmistic versus pessimistic.

Voideater (talk) 18:15, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Need your help to recreate The Outer Limits[edit]

One user deleted all 150 articles of TOL episodes - and merged them into one single page. Please, help to recreate The Outer Limits! The discussion page for vote is here. Krasss (talk) 21:53, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Further discussion: Talk:List of The Outer Limits episodes‎ Krasss (talk) 10:25, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Request for comment on articles for individual television episodes and characters[edit]

A request for comments has been started that could affect the inclusion or exclusion of episode and character, as well as other fiction articles. Please visit the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Notability_(fiction)#Final_adoption_as_a_guideline. Ikip (talk) 08:16, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Pilot Episodes???, there is only One.[edit]

To clear things up only 'The Forms of Things Unknown' was made as a Pilot for another series. 'The Borderland' was one of the first episodes in production for 'The Outer Limits' and is not a Pilot, 'Controlled Experiment' was what Leslie Stevens called a bottle show, made quickly (4 days) and cheaply to save the production money and again is not a Pilot. Where did this three Pilots nonsense originate? (talk) 15:25, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

The actor Barry Morse who appeared in "Controlled Experiment" explicitly states on p. 196 of his autobiography entitled "Pulling Faces, Making Noises: A Life on Stage, Screen & Radio" that "Controlled Experiment" was a failed TV pilot for a science-fiction comedy series that eventually aired as an Outer Limits episode, as Leslie Stevens was involved in producing it. Unless you have reliable information that Barry Morse was mistaken, I think you should put this back. I am tracing sources for "The Borderland", so on the latter, as the Control Voice says "Please Stand by...".
I should add that I put this in only on the basis of the then-extant version of the WP article on "Controlled Experiment" but confirmed it subsequently (without, I regret, adding a citation). --WickerGuy (talk) 00:44, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
And a Leslie Stevens tribute site (covering his whole career) "" also states that "The Borderland" was a proposed pilot for a new series. Not sure how well this fits the WP category for a reliable source. I can't find anything else to confirm it though. Suggest we state that actor Barry Morse claims that CE was a proposed pilot, and leave it at that.--WickerGuy (talk) 00:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

The Outer Limits The Official Companion page 86 - "No One Believed Leslie Stevens When he prepared to complete an Outer Limits episode in four days...until he went ahead and did it. The skeleton of "Controlled Experiment" was typed up by Stevens on a New York to L.A. flight. and the show took four and a half shooting days to complete. At £100,000 it was the cheapest Outer Limits ever. Stevens dubbed this last minute life-saving technique the "bottle show" - as in pulling an episode right out of a bottle, like a genie." and "When they know you can do it, and do it fast, you become the fire department, to bail the show out of trouble." said Stevens "And when your really scared, you find yourself using every bit of your expertise to do a show that will be enormously inexpensive...and still be effective." I think this disproves Barry Morse's recollection of it being a pilot to start with, who knows perhaps Stevens tried to sell it as a Pilot after production was complete but it definitely didn't start as one. And any way I don't think ABC makes pilots for CBS and given both 'My Favourite Martian' and 'The Outer Limits' both began transmission in September 1963 its a good bet that 'Martian' was already in production when 'Controlled Experiment' was being shot!? 'The Borderland' the first episode to be filmed after the 'Please Stand By' pilot 'The Galaxy Being', can find nothing to state this started as a pilot either, who knows perhaps in script form Stevens wrote it as an alternative pilot for 'Please Stand By', perhaps this is where the preposed pilot idea comes from. So I stand by my statement 'The Forms of Things Unknown' was the only episode made as a pilot for another series, If you can prove otherwise - I look forward to any new information. (talk) 11:39, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

While various web-sources say CE was made as a possible competitor to My Favorite Martian, Morse's autobiography says no such thing. He merely says it was a pilot for a proposed science-fiction comedy series, which eventually aired as a Limits episode. Outer Limits was produced by an independent company called "DayStar" which I suppose could be conceivably be producing pilots for both NBC and CBS. But you're right that chronologically, CE would have had to have to be produced wayyy back to be a competitor for My Favorite Martian. It was actually shot on 27 June-2 July 1963, wayyy too late for the MFM idea. The author of The Outer Limits Official Companion (pub 1999), David Schow, had a longish article on Limits in Epi-Log magazine back in 1992 much of which is verbatim what you quoted.
Re "Borderland". The Leslie Stevens tribute site is based in France and is maintained by a French fellow named Thomas Rucki who has a rather ubiquitous web-presence (lots of user reviews on and elsewhere) and his main interest seems to be film music. Apparently, he's very gifted at identifying repeated music cues. However, he is currently the only source I know for saying "Borderland" also is a series pilot ("Borderland" and "Controlled Experiment" and the actual pilot "Galaxy Being" are three of the only 4 episodes written and directed by Leslie Stevens). I don't think Rucki fits WP's criterion for reliability, so I think all refs on WP to this being a pilot ought to be dropped. Right now I've restored all the material on CE with the added qualification that Barry Morse says this is the case. In the case of the main article and the article on CE I've added the appropriate citation. In the case of the "List of...episodes" article I omitted the citation. I have specifically not put in any stuff about it being a "Favorite Martian" competitor, as Morse never says this. Morse's memory could be wrong (or Stevens might even have fibbed to him). At any rate, this should be satisfactory. The only other source on CE I can find is an online newspaper of Alabama news re its obituary for Morse. I think the author used the web as a source.--WickerGuy (talk) 14:17, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Fair enough, found the on line pdf of the 1992 Epi-Log article, looking through The official Companion again found this from Joe Stefano page 49 "As soon as it became obvious to Leslie that I knew what I was doing, he kind of backed off from The Outer Limits to persue other new shows." unfortunately it doesn't say anything about these other shows and the only other daystar pilots mentioned are the failed Stoney Burke spin offs and the Mr Kingston and Stryker pilots produced before Outer Limits was commissioned by ABC. Oh and The Official Companion was published in 1986. (talk) 11:48, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, you're right. It was reissued in 1999 with a new cover.--WickerGuy (talk) 13:38, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

UK Broadcast Dates[edit]

Don't know if this is needed but, according to the Television Heaven website 'The Outer Limits' was first screened in the uk by Granada television from (this date from the imdb entry for 'Au dela du reel'(the french title when txed in 1972) 16 April 1964, and showed only 32 episodes, and that only a handful of other regions (it doesn't say which other regions) screened it. BBC2 screened all 49 episodes between Friday 28th March 1980 and Friday 17th July 1981, not in series order, the first episode shown being 'Demon with a Glass Hand', this info comes from an old fanzine 'Shadow Play', the guy who produced it being a mad keen fan, can be checked against Radio Times. The only other uk broadcasts, I can find, being satellite channels, Galaxy channel from BSB in 1990, until taken over by Sky and the Sci-Fi channel(uk). (talk) 15:17, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Kennedy assassination broadcast gap[edit]

I detect a gap of the broadcasts in between Corpus Earthling (18 November 1963) and Nightmare (2 December 1963). This places transmission on Mondays; on Friday 22 November President Kennedy was assassinated. Was the gap on 25 November a scheduled one or imposed by news coverage? If anyone has a source? MartinSFSA (talk) 11:57, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Having lived through that era, I can definitely testify it was due to news coverage. From Friday Nov. 22nd to Monday November 25th (the day of the formal funeral service) everything on all three networks was wall-to-wall Kennedy 24/7 (unless they went off the air midnight to 6 which I think some did). Normal programming did not resume till Tuesday after Kennedy was buried in the ground.--WickerGuy (talk) 15:38, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Just Added and removed category[edit]

This article was recently added to. Out of 50 episodes, I think just under half even begin to qualify as space adventure, assuming you allow for aliens landing here. Over half the episodes are earthbound.--WickerGuy (talk) 02:13, 17 June 2011 (UTC)


Did the opening sequence show an actual oscilloscope projection, or was it cartoon animation drawn to look like an oscilloscope? In black and white, it's hard to tell, but it looks like it could have been hand-drawn, obviously depicting an Oscilloscope wave. (talk) 01:10, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

The book The Outer Limits Home Companion would be the best place to look.--WickerGuy (talk) 01:34, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Any EE or service technician would tell you that an actual oscilloscope trace is shown. This is easily photographed, so there would be no point in spending money to animate it. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 02:09, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Oscilloscope or animated?[edit]

I could not tell you the model of the oscilloscope used, but it is one. The director of photography just sticks the camera on the lab bench. A frequency generator (not necessarily representing the audio we are hearing in the intro) creates a basic waveform. It's sine wave output goes to the oscilloscope. At some point another "beat" frequency joins the sine waveform, until they are in sync. A great 1963 device to scare and intrigue. Cheaper than animation. (UTC)User:Jedgould — Preceding unsigned comment added by (Jedgould) (talk

Identity of "Control Voice"[edit]

Is there any authoritative source actually stating that Vic Perrin provided the voice for the "Control Voice" introducing every episode of the original "The Outer Limits"? I just listened to the intro sequence of both the original series and the remake and frankly I think the Control Voice of the remake sounds a great deal more like Vic Perrin than that of the original series. And yes I'm aware that the remake aired 1995, or about 6 years after Mr. Perrin's death. Arcanicus (talk) 08:23, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

1995 Remake intro: 1963 Original:

Oscilloscope or animated?[edit]

I could not tell you the model of the oscilloscope used, but it is one. The director of photography just sticks the camera on the lab bench. A frequency generator (not necessarily representing the audio we are hearing in the intro) creates a basic waveform. It's sine wave output goes to the oscilloscope. At some point another "beat" frequency joins the sine waveform, until they are in sync. A great 1963 device to scare and intrigue. Cheaper than animation. Jed 12:17, 7 March 2014 (UTC)User:Jedgould — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jedgould (talkcontribs)