Corpus Earthling

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"Corpus Earthling"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 9
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Written by Orin Borsten (teleplay)
Louis Charbonneau (story)
Cinematography by Conrad Hall
Production code 16
Original air date November 18, 1963
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Corpus Earthling" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 18 November 1963, during the first season.


A surgeon with a steel plate in his head as a result of a war injury suddenly finds himself hearing strange voices discussing global conquest.

Opening narration[edit]


Intelligent, parasitic extraterrestrials that resemble Terran rocks, with the intention of enslaving the human race, find a hideout in geologist Dr. Jonas Temple's lab. Although undetected by ordinary humans, physician Dr. Paul Cameron (with a surgically implanted metal plate in his skull) is able to "hear" the alien "rocks" communicate with each other. Aware that he can hear them, while referring to Paul as "the listener", they realize he's a threat, and they compel him to kill himself by jumping from the lab window to prevent him from revealing their intentions. At the last minute, he is saved when his wife, Laurie, Dr. Temple's assistant, returns to the lab, breaking the alien's mind control.

Thinking he's going insane, Paul takes an impulsive vacation to Mexico with Laurie to help clear his troubled mind. Dr. Temple, now controlled by one of the "rocks" after it entered his body, pursues them.

In Mexico, Laurie becomes possessed after Dr. Temple finds her alone in the remote desert cabin that she and Paul had rented, and is commanded by the aliens to possess her husband upon his return. Fighting for his life, Paul is forced to stab Temple, and shoot Laurie (though it is not clear that she dies), forcing the aliens to evacuate the bodies they inhabited, thus showing their true form - hideous, shiny-black, crab-like beings with two glowing eyes. He then starts a fire inside the cabin, where the aliens are presumably destroyed, while carrying Laurie's seemingly lifeless body away from the blaze.

Closing narration[edit]


Adapted from Louis Charbonneau's novel Corpus Earthling, first published by Zenith Books in 1960. In the novel, Paul is an unmarried university instructor with amorous desires for Laurie, one of his students. He is a latent telepath who has been compelled, on at least three occasions, toward suicide by an alien force that calls him "the listener". The invaders were brought to Earth with the first geological samples from Mars (the story is set post 1990). Dr Temple, who diagnoses Paul as schizophrenic after he reveals he hears voices, is the first to be possessed when he touches the alien rocks with his tongue. At the end, after killing the aliens, he finds a telepathic girlfriend.[1]

Original air date[edit]

The original air date for the episode was four days prior to the assassination of President John Kennedy. The following episode, Nightmare, would be delayed an extra week and would air December 2, 1963.



  1. ^ Schow, David J. & Jeffrey Frentzen The Outer Limits: The Official Companion, New York: Ace Books, 1986, p.157

External links[edit]