When people think about science-fiction television programming from the 50's and 60's, they probably think about The Twilight Zone. There's nothing wrong with that. The zone rocks and rolls. But there was another sci-fi/horror series from the same era that didn't reach as far into later generations. Of course, I'm speaking of The Outer Limits. If I had to choose between the two classic shows, I'd go with Limits. As controversial as my decision may be, it suits my personality. I'm a monster man.
You see, Limits is more creature-oriented than Zone. Since I was a child, I've always been drawn to inhuman villains, as opposed to boring humans. You can stab or shoot a guy in a mask. A monster is harder to put away, and besides, monsters look cooler. I can see why some genre scholars might turn their noses up at "monster of the week" TV shows, but I love them. Did you miss last week's episode? Don't worry; you don't need to know anything to enjoy this week's episode. The episodes themselves are mostly...hmm, I'm groping for words...oh, I know - AWESOME! I've yet to watch Season Two, but I can vouch for Season One. Totally.
The writing is exquisite. The dialogue is tuned in to raw emotions without feeling hammy or overwrought. Almost every episode weighs in with abstruse social commentary, with one episode ("The Hundred Days of the Dragon") dealing directly with politics. All of the themes apply to modern day society. Needless to say, a few episodes are just plain stupid, but I wasn't expecting every hour of controlled transmissions to be praiseworthy. The good episodes are great. The effects-heavy stories tend to be the most rewarding, as each alien and ghoul is a joy to behold.
I couldn't possibly break down every episode, but my favorites have to be "The Galaxy Being," "Architects of Fear," "The Zanti Misfits," and "The Sixth Finger." "The Sixth Finger" is fairly popular thanks, in part, to a futuristic madman with a giant brain and pointy ears. There is an action figure of this dude out there somewhere, and if I had the money, he would be planted on my desk. I hear that Season Two is a step down in ingenuity, but I'm going to buy it anyway. If you're into Monsters (the show, that is), One Step Beyond, and The Twilight Zone, you can't go wrong with The Outer Limits. By the way, the "remake" series can suck it.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 5:34 PM