The Outer Limits (1995 TV series)
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|The Outer Limits (1995)|
The Outer Limits intertitle (2002)
|Narrated by||Kevin Conway (control voice)|
|Music by||Daryl Bennett
|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
Trilogy Entertainment Group
CanWest Global Communications
Global Television Network
The Movie Network
|Distributor||MGM Domestic Television Distribution
MGM International Television Distribution
|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 a Canadian-American television series that originally aired on Showtime, Syfy 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 primarily 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 speculative 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Six themed DVD anthologies of The Outer Limits, with six episodes each, have been released in the US: Aliens Among Us, Death & Beyond, Fantastic Androids & Robots, Mutation & Transformation, Sex & Science Fiction and Time Travel & Infinity.
Season one was released, with a few extra features, on DVD in the US and UK in 2005 and 2007 respectively. Because sales of the set did not meet expectations no further seasons were released.
In 2010 Canada's Alliance Home Entertainment released all seven seasons on DVD. Season 1, season 2, (with the exception of one episode) & Season 7 contain the original unedited versions of the episodes, Some episodes, though not all, on seasons 3-6 are the edited syndicated versions.
In 2013 TGG Direct released the seventh season in the US. The 5-disc set is called The Outer Limits: The Final Season.
|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|
- "MGM Worldwide Television and Trilogy Entertainment Group enter exclusive, multiyear television deal.". 1997-02-07.
- "Speakers – Toronto Screenwriting Conference". 2011. Archived from the original on January 18, 2012.
- "Pen Densham". Retrieved July 16, 2015.
- "The Outer Limits Trivia Facts". Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
- Gord Lacey. "DVD reviews". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- The Outer Limits at the Internet Movie Database
- "The Outer Limits: Season 7 (SCI FI original episodes)". scifi.com. Archived from the original on February 19, 2003.