The Outer Limits (1995 TV series)

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For the original series, see The Outer Limits (1963 TV series).
The Outer Limits (1995)
Opening titles – 2002
The Outer Limits intertitle
Starring Various
Narrated by Kevin Conway (control voice)
Music by Daryl Bennett
Jim Guttridge
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 154 (list of episodes)
Running time 43–44 minutes
Production company(s) Alliance Atlantis Communications
Atlantis Films
Showtime Networks
Trilogy Entertainment Group
CanWest Global Communications
Global Television Network
The Movie Network
Distributor MGM Worldwide Television
Original network Showtime (1995–2000)
Sci Fi (2001–2002)
Audio format Dolby Surround 2.0
Original release March 26, 1995 – January 18, 2002

The Outer Limits is an American-Canadian television series that originally aired on Showtime, the Sci Fi Channel and in syndication between 1995 and 2002. The series is a revival of the original The Outer Limits series that aired from 1963-65.

Distinct from The Twilight Zone in that the stories were science fiction based only, and not fantasy/science fiction as was the case with The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits is an anthology of distinct story episodes, sometimes with a plot twist at the end. The revival series maintained an anthology format, but occasionally featured recurring story elements that were often tied together during season-finale clip shows. Over the course of the series, 154 episodes were aired.


After an attempt to bring back The Outer Limits during the early 1980s, it was finally relaunched in 1995. The success of television science fiction such as Star Trek, The X-Files and anthology shows such as Tales from the Crypt convinced rights holder Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to revive The Outer Limits. A deal was made with Trilogy Productions, the company behind such cinema hits as Backdraft and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The show would run on the pay-TV channel Showtime (Trilogy, a Los Angeles- and Canada-based company, is credited with creating the 1995 series).[1][2][3]

The episodes appeared in syndication the following season (the same arrangement as MGM/Showtime series Stargate SG-1 and Poltergeist: The Legacy). It continued on Showtime until 2001, when Sci Fi quietly took over production. It remained in production until 2002 before finally being canceled, after a total of 154 episodes—far more than the original incarnation of the show. In the revived show, the Control Voice was supplied by Kevin Conway. The new series distanced itself from the "monster of the week" mandate that had characterized the original series from its inception; while there were plenty of aliens and monsters, they dramatize a specific scientific concept and its effect on humanity. Examples of this include "Dark Rain" (biochemical warfare causing worldwide sterility), "Final Exam" (discovery of practical cold fusion power), "Stitch in Time" (a time traveler tinkers with history), as well as several episodes revolving around a human mutation known as Genetic Rejection Syndrome (humans mutating into violent creatures) as a result of a government experiment.[citation needed]


The series was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia. Stories by Harlan Ellison, A. E. van Vogt, Eando Binder, Larry Niven, Richard Matheson, George R.R. Martin, Stephen King, and James Patrick Kelly were adapted with varying degrees of success, including Sci Fi airings. The series contained an underlying story arc about mysterious or extraterrestrial forces, including open-ended storylines that were related to each other in the clip shows at the end of the season.[citation needed]

Leslie Stevens was a program consultant for the first season while Joseph Stefano was an executive consultant. Stefano also remade his episode "A Feasibility Study", retitling it "Feasibility Study" for the third season. He later served as a senior advisor on the episode "Down to Earth" during the sixth season. Mark Mancina and John Van Tongeren composed new music different from that of Dominic Frontiere and Harry Lubin. They scored ten episodes for the first season. The musical theme for the modern Outer Limits series is credited to Mark Mancina and John VanTongeren. However, the same music is used in The Ambush, a theme in the soundtrack of Dune 2000.[4]

In most seasons there was a clip show that intertwines the plots of several of the show's episodes (see "The Voice of Reason" for an example). At each commercial interval, the Control Voice can be heard saying "The Outer Limits...please stand by". The voice repeats this phrase upon return from the television ads. The surreal images from the opening are mostly the work of Jerry Uelsmann.[citation needed]

A number of episodes feature nudity and sexual content; edited versions of these scenes without nudity were made for commercial syndication, while the uncensored versions aired on cable and were released to VHS/DVD.


DVD releases[edit]

Six themed DVD anthologies with 6 episodes each have been released: Aliens Among Us, Death and Beyond, Fantastic Androids and Robots, Mutation and Transformation, Sex & Science Fiction and Time Travel and Infinity. On November 1, 2005, MGM Home Entertainment released Season One of the New Outer Limits on DVD in North America. Because sales of the set could not meet MGM's expectations, no further seasons were released. Alliance Home Entertainment has released all seven seasons of The Outer Limits on DVD in Region 1 (United States and Canada only). Some shots containing nudity have been trimmed or replaced, but not all episodes in these releases were censored that way.[5] TGG Direct released the seventh season on December 3, 2013. The 5-disc set is called The Outer Limits: The Final Season.[citation needed]

DVD name Ep# Release date
The Complete First Season 22 May 4, 2010
The Complete Second Season 22 May 4, 2010
The Complete Third Season 18 June 1, 2010
The Complete Fourth Season 26 July 6, 2010
The Complete Fifth Season 22 August 3, 2010
The Complete Sixth Season 22 September 7, 2010
The Complete Seventh Season (final) 22 October 5, 2010
DVD name Ep# Release date
The Final Season 22 December 3, 2013

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "MGM Worldwide Television and Trilogy Entertainment Group enter exclusive, multiyear television deal.". 1997-02-07. 
  2. ^ a b "Speakers – Toronto Screenwriting Conference". 2011. 
  3. ^ "Pen Densham". Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  4. ^ "The Outer Limits Trivia Facts". Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  5. ^ Gord Lacey. "DVD reviews". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 

External links[edit]