Posted February 05 2008 - 02:05 AM
| Originally Posted by michael_ks |
I've often regarded that has the best scene from "The Special One". Episode directed by none other than Gerd Oswald.
I'm pleased you know which scene I'm referring to in that one. It's eerie, haunting, and downright ... chilling. (Incidentally, the same music is used in Tourist Attraction
during the thawing of the creature; however effective, IMO it's not quite as chilling there as it is in The Special One
.) In The Special One
, I believe the lights are darkened very gradually (but also quite intensely as far as degree--meaning that it gets very
dark) as we move from the front door, through the room, up the stairs, etc. And again, the music is astonishing at that point. I have watched the scene without the sound track (just because I do these kinds of things
) and it's not nearly as effective.
BTW, many years ago (this would have been when I was in elementary school), I recall having TOL
cards, and one of them featured a picture of Mr. Zeno after he has been dematerialized (or has begun his transport).
| What I recall after having read Ellison's original teleplay is that a starship crew member by the name of Beckwith was dealing in drugs and he in fact, in drug induced delirium went through the portal and changed history (and not Dr. McCoy). Roddenberry objected to this because of his notion of everyone being above board who happened to graduate from Star Fleet Academy, something completely at odds with Ellison's philosophy of there always being "a couple rotten apples in the barrel". |
Over the years, Ellison has felt maligned over Roddenberry's comments about how "COTEOF required a complete overhaul" to fit the story into the Star Trek universe and that he inaccurately and repeatedly cited how "Scotty was dealing in drugs". There was to have been a scene on the planet showing the remnants of a ravaged and forlorn city in which a crewmember, possibly Kirk reacts to by stating "...there it stands, like a city on the edge of forever...". Since no such scene took place, Ellison has always thought the title of the episode to be rather incongruous.
If I recall from David Schow's "Outer Limits" companion, Ellison was considerably more satisfied with the results for "Demon With a Glass Hand" and lauds the performance Robert Culp gave as Trent. I think his biggest problem has always been with the make-up technique used for the Kyben aliens. Certainly a more satisfying experience than the one he had around the same year with "The Price of Doom" for "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", which, to this day he refuses to even comment on. Incidentally the pen name used in this episode (Cordwainer Bird) is an inside joke as it his way of 'flipping the bird'(!)
Thanks for the wonderfully detailed information. I own the Schow book--it's a gem, isn't it? It's packed with interesting information, and the illustrations are numerous. It also portrays the show honestly, with all of its triumphs and warts, if you will.
When I read Ellison's remarks about "a couple rotten apples in the barrel" and the misinformation from Roddenberry's comments regarding Scotty and dealing in drugs, I could not help but think of DS9
in some respects. Maybe it's because they could have done something like that in that series. Sure, we've evolved to some point where many things are much better, but there will always be problems (rotten apples, if you will). I'm thinking of Sisko's 'paradise' remark in Homefront
(or perhaps it's Paradise Lost
Posted February 06 2008 - 04:51 AM
| Originally Posted by michael_ks |
I like this episode very much, for all the same reasons. I love the harp laden chord that we hear as the planet is scanned (this follows directly after Patrick O' Neal's surprise ["Much better...?"] at how much clearer the ocular attachment makes the planet's surface appear).
Going back to "Keeper" for a moment, it's always rather interesting how the repeated, heavy sounding 2 note phrase that plays when we see a speeding car ("you gain nothing by suicide") seems to firmly entrench this episode in that B-movie mold. It never ceases to amaze me to what degree musical underscore can shape the aura of an unfolding drama.
It's great conversing with some well informed and appreciative fans of "The Outer Limits" and I'm really enjoying the commentary posted in this thread recently. I don't get the chance to indulge in this series too often. My co-workers and wife...they just don't get it.
Yes, I know the phrase you're talking about in Keeper of the Purple Twilight
. Had I been Warren Stevens, and actually seen Ikar in the back seat of the car when I turned around, I probably would have driven off the road. (BTW, I think the Schow book discusses the lighting at this point--how we have dusk, then complete darkness, and then dusk again.)
I too enjoy these discussions. I've thought about this show for years, and I've discussed it with very few people. It's great having a thread on this Board where our ideas for this wonderful series can be shared.
| It never ceases to amaze me to what degree musical underscore can shape the aura of an unfolding drama. |
I agree wholeheartedly. Joseph Stefano once wrote a short essay on how the music permeated the show at different psychological levels, and how it could not be separated one iota from what we see on the screen (without losing something integral to the overall fabric of the show). It may be in the liner notes to the CD sountrack of TOL
; I'll have to check to be certain.
Posted February 06 2008 - 05:00 AM
| I didn't see mention of three of my all time favorites. I saw them as a young kid and they stuck with me; The Bellero Shield... |
One of my all time favorites and what a perfect cast. The desparate scream that Sally Kellerman as Judith gives when she first realizes that she may be permanently entombed in the force shield never fails to send shivers down my spine. IMO, Ms. Kellerman was highly deserving of an Emmy for her portrayal as a modern Lady MacBeth. The range of emotions she enters in the course of the episode is quite a thing to behold. The dialog in this episode is just exceptional.
| Finally, the Premonition is another childhood favorite. I remember being a little scared by the being in the other dimension and the race to save their child and being in another location to get back to their time. |
Mine too and I believe "Premonition" is my earliest childhood memory where tv is concerned. The man trapped in an "interdimensional" world is very cleverly photographed (shimmering, negative image) and it's coupled with some very chilling music to boot.
What I singularly enjoy about "Fun and Games" so much is Nick Adams' standout performance. I love his callousness when confronting 'The Senator' and especially his near nervous breakdown when faced with the prospect of returning to prison. I've always thought of this as being the most heart wrenching scene of the entire series. The episode is nicely photographed and lit by Conrad Hall also. "Fun and Games" has always seemed a bit closer to the original 1944 short story ("Arena", by Fredric Brown) than the "Star Trek" episode of the same name, eventhough the credits fail to acknowledge it.
Posted February 06 2008 - 05:01 AM
| Originally Posted by Hollywoodaholic |
Outer Limit fans may enjoy the following short story (or maybe not - hey, you can always just skip this post), but this thread reminded me of something I wrote about the show for my kid. I've got an ongoing letter to my 11 year-old son I started when he was four that I hope he will one day read when older. Anyway, at age 7, I he was showing me some of his Yu-Gi-Oh monster cards and I told him I had some monster cards of my own, and that they were pretty scary. So I pulled out my old Outer Limit cards and showed him ... which lead to this little entry in my letters to him called ...
"That Old Black & White Magic." ....
You quickly rifled through The Outer Limit cards and I could tell that you were somewhat excited to see them. You even wanted to take them to school to show your friends (hey, these are “near mint,” so that wasn’t likely). This gave me great satisfaction to share my own personal version of monster cards with you. But you really weren’t very scared by the cards and, in fact, made a point of saying that they didn’t scare you at all. “Well, if you saw the show they came from, you’d be scared,” I promised. So you called my bluff and said, “Let me see.”
I went straight to my DVD box collection of the original program and put in the first of four discs (all 32 first season episodes of the series were on just four discs). I used the menu to bring up “The Zanti Misfits” episode and used the chapter search to skip directly to the finale with the monster ants attacking the military police in their headquarters. You took one look at the rather primitive animation of the ants crawling out of their small, tin-looking spacecraft and immediately declared, “That’s not scary.”
I was somewhat crushed. What could be more terrifying than loudly buzzing, over-sized ants with human-like faces crawling up your leg and biting you with poisonous teeth? They even killed some of the soldiers before the soldiers eventually shot, stomped or threw grenades to kill them all and basically end their invasion. The ants screamed inhumanely when they were being killed. And yet, still you were unimpressed. You wanted to see more episodes.
I cued up an episode called, “The Mice,” that featured what appeared to be a man on two legs covered from head to waist with a huge blob of snot-like gelatinous material and with two protruding, claw-like hands. It was, obviously, a man in a costume fitted with a huge blob of jelly-like substance on top, and wearing two claw-like pincers over his hands. You watched this “Jelly Man” picking lake scum up with his claws and stuffing it in what appeared to be a slit-like mouth. You watched the Jelly Man running through a forest back to a laboratory. You watched the Jelly Man use his claws to attack and, apparently, kill one of the workers in the laboratory where the creature had first been transported to Earth. And you watched as they eventually put him back in that same transporter and sent him back to the planet he came from. And that was it. No major reactions from you. But you somehow couldn’t take your eyes off the Jelly Man until you had seen every moment of him featured in this episode.
That very same night you insisted mom come in and lay down with you as you went to bed. You insisted that she leave the closet light on throughout the night. And a few minutes after you had finally fallen to sleep, your mother came out to the living room where I was watching television on the couch and scolded me for scaring you with the “Jelly Man.” She went to bed mad. And as soon as the bedroom door closed, I found myself reacting in a most peculiar manner. I was grinning from ear to ear. An old black & white TV show that scared me as a kid more than 40 years ago could still scare a kid today. It may have been the “Jelly Man” and not the human-faced crawling oversized ants with the poisonous teeth, but it still counted. The old black & white mojo still worked. I shouldn’t be proud about scaring you with this stuff, but when you so cavalierly wrote off one of my most powerful childhood fears with a smirk and a casual remark, “That’s not scary,” well, I can’t help but feel glibly vindicated. And so I grinned.
Here it is a week later and you are still insisting on sleeping with the lights on in the closet and still secretly talking about the “Jelly Man” with your mom (even 7 year-olds have their pride about not admitting they’re scared to Dad, particularly when they’ve already made a very public scoffing to him). I’m sorry. I apologize.
But just wait until you see the episode with the space rocks that come alive and cover your face with a smothering black blob.
What an awesome story! I brought those cards to school, along with baseball cards, and a host of other t.v. show cards. I also (foolishly) lost them either by playing 'topsies,' 'farsies,' or 'leanies.' (I am probably dating myself bigtime using those phrases, but that's okay.)
The 'Jelly Creature'--I can still see that picture on the card. I believe it had a black background, with the creature in the center of the card. And who can forget Warren Oates' pic with the enlarged eyes in The Mutant
? If I recall correctly, Mr. Zeno's transport (where you see his nervous system for a brief moment) was also on one of the cards, and it read "The Transparent Man."
| I cued up an episode called, “The Mice,” that featured what appeared to be a man on two legs covered from head to waist with a huge blob of snot-like gelatinous material and with two protruding, claw-like hands. |
Well said--very descriptive. I actually only saw that episode for the first time a couple of years ago, and it was awesome. (And I'm in complete agreement when you say, 'but it still counted.' Most definitely.
That was a joy to read.
Posted February 06 2008 - 05:32 AM
| One of my all time favorites and what a perfect cast. The desparate scream that Sally Kellerman as Judith gives when she first realizes that she may be permanently entombed in the force shield never fails to send shivers down my spine. IMO, Ms. Kellerman was highly deserving of an Emmy for her portrayal as a modern Lady MacBeth. The range of emotions she enters in the course of the episode is quite a thing to behold. The dialog in this episode is just exceptional. |
I have to admit, I never saw it coming when Judith (Kellerman) realizes she cannot escape. The first time I saw it, I was mesmerized by the brilliance of the concept.
| Mine too and I believe "Premonition" is my earliest childhood memory where tv is concerned. The man trapped in an "interdimensional" world is very cleverly photographed (shimmering, negative image) and it's coupled with some very chilling music to boot. |
The scenes in the desert (around the crash site) are among my favorite sequences in the episode, along with the very slowly moving tricycle (note the close-ups on the face during the freeze frame--they don't do television like that any more) and the eventual realization that time has stopped (or slowed way down) by the girl's mother and father.
| What I singularly enjoy about "Fun and Games" so much is Nick Adams' standout performance. I love his callousness when confronting 'The Senator' and especially his near nervous breakdown when faced with the prospect of returning to prison. I've always thought of this as being the most heart wrenching scene of the entire series. The episode is nicely photographed and lit by Conrad Hall also. "Fun and Games" has always seemed a bit closer to the original 1944 short story ("Arena", by Fredric Brown) than the "Star Trek" episode of the same name, eventhough the credits fail to acknowledge it. |
I'd love to have a boomerang like that.
I thought it neat how they beat insurmountable odds, too. This is another episode with props that eventually made their way to TOS
. And Gerd Oswald was again very deliberate and imaginative behind the camera. Had I ever become a director, Gerd Oswald is one with whom I would have wanted to study. Incidentally, the voice of the Senator is IMO abrasive and frightening in its own right. I thought it was Abraham Sofaer (whom we know as one of the baddies in Demon With a Glass Hand
, and as one of the Thasians in Charlie X
); it turns out to be Robert Johnson.