Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Outer Limits (Original Series) - Why Rereleased?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
242 replies to this topic

#81 of 243 OFFLINE   michael_ks

michael_ks

    Screenwriter



  • 1,295 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2005

Posted February 04 2008 - 07:56 AM

Quote:
Oh, damn, one more Ellison story. James Cameron was attached to direct a screenplay of mine early in my career for a Canadian production (I later backed out for 'artistic' reasons - don't ask - big big dummy). While working together, he showed me his first draft for The Terminator. I told him I thought it was very cool but, as a OL fanatic, wasn't this "Soldier" from the second season? He smiled and waved it off.

The rest, including Ellison's lawsuit and subsequent credit on all prints of The Terminator ... is history. But I did warn him, (and especially after witnessing the road rage incident) ... you don't mess with Harlan Ellison.

Oh my gosh... I finally have my answer after all these years as to whether or not Cameron was forewarned! And it turns out he was. Wayne, Harlan would be very pleased to know this, I'm sure.

Yes, Mr. Ellison fiercely guards his work and has threatened many a party with a lawsuit in the past. He can be most irascible and suffers fools not at all, but there is a playful, boyish side to him as well. As a child of short stature he was often mercilessly teased and wailed on alot and he compensated for this over the years by cutting people down with words. He has fired barbs at actors, producers and the like and his volatility and acerbic wit is legion. He makes for a very interesting character study as he so often rails against the very forms of media entertainment that have made him a great deal of money (television and the film industry). As I heard it once, Harlan was pitching his idea for the original Star Trek movie when a producer, liking what he heard suggested the inclusion of Mayan warriors. When told there were no Mayans in the time period in question, the producer insisted all the more, prompting Mr. Ellison to hurl himself down a boardroom table in a vain attempt to strangle the person! And needless to say, he would not go on to write the screenplay to the first or any Star Trek films.

I've often wondered what additional superlative teleplays in the field of science fiction we might have been witness to if Harlan Ellison had been given a freer rein. "City on the Edge of Forever", "Demon With a Glass Hand", "Paladin of the Lost Hour" and many others--they are all absolute standouts for drama.

#82 of 243 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

Ockeghem

    Lead Actor



  • 9,420 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007
  • Real Name:Scott D. Atwell

Posted February 04 2008 - 08:19 AM

michael_ks:
Quote:
I've often wondered what additional superlative teleplays in the field of science fiction we might have been witness to if Harlan Ellison had been given a freer rein. "City on the Edge of Forever", "Demon With a Glass Hand", "Paladin of the Lost Hour" and many others--they are all absolute standouts for drama.
Yes, these are standouts for certain. I read once, but cannot recall where, that Ellison was not pleased with the final product (at least with regard to The City on the Edge of Forever). I don't recall if he approved of the final version of Demon With a Glass Hand, however. I'll try to get a reference for this.

#83 of 243 OFFLINE   Anthony Hom

Anthony Hom

    Supporting Actor



  • 893 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 24 1999

Posted February 04 2008 - 08:26 AM

I bought both sets from Costco, and they were in the $30 price range when they first came out.

#84 of 243 OFFLINE   Ron68

Ron68

    Supporting Actor



  • 510 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 2006

Posted February 04 2008 - 04:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem
Yes, these are standouts for certain. I read once, but cannot recall where, that Ellison was not pleased with the final product (at least with regard to The City on the Edge of Forever). I don't recall if he approved of the final version of Demon With a Glass Hand, however. I'll try to get a reference for this.
I saw an interview with Ellison, I think it was when the Sci-Fi Channel aired TOS with those video clips of the cast and crew, where he was saying that he didn't like how Roddenberry and another producer changed the ending to "City...". It's been quite a few years, but that's what I remember.

I watched "The Invisible Enemy" last night and was surprised at how much it was like the movie Tremors. Just change the setting from the desert to Mars and replace Kevin Bacon with Adam West. They (OL and Tremors) both had the creatures under the sand, people staying safe on solid rocks, someone running in one direction so the friend could get to safety and the luring the creature in one direction by throwing something in the opposite direction of the way he wanted to go. Even the way the creatures moved was similar, despite all this, I still loved it. I am enjoying season 2 a lot, glad I bought these sets.

#85 of 243 OFFLINE   michael_ks

michael_ks

    Screenwriter



  • 1,295 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2005

Posted February 05 2008 - 01:28 AM

Quote:
I saw an interview with Ellison, I think it was when the Sci-Fi Channel aired TOS with those video clips of the cast and crew, where he was saying that he didn't like how Roddenberry and another producer changed the ending to "City...". It's been quite a few years, but that's what I remember.

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'(!)

#86 of 243 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

Ockeghem

    Lead Actor



  • 9,420 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007
  • Real Name:Scott D. Atwell

Posted February 05 2008 - 01:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron68
I saw an interview with Ellison, I think it was when the Sci-Fi Channel aired TOS with those video clips of the cast and crew, where he was saying that he didn't like how Roddenberry and another producer changed the ending to "City...". It's been quite a few years, but that's what I remember.

I watched "The Invisible Enemy" last night and was surprised at how much it was like the movie Tremors. Just change the setting from the desert to Mars and replace Kevin Bacon with Adam West. They (OL and Tremors) both had the creatures under the sand, people staying safe on solid rocks, someone running in one direction so the friend could get to safety and the luring the creature in one direction by throwing something in the opposite direction of the way he wanted to go. Even the way the creatures moved was similar, despite all this, I still loved it. I am enjoying season 2 a lot, glad I bought these sets.
Yes, that may be where I heard the Ellison information as well. I do recall something about the ending being discussed.

Do you happen to know if that 'monster' in The Invisible Enemy turns up later in another show (either in TOL or something else)? I do know that the 'monster' in Fun and Games resurfaces in TOS, and Christopher Pike tries to choke it. Here are pics of both aliens. Sorry that the second one is quite small.

Posted Image

Posted Image

I like the way they filmed the end of The Invisible Enemy, giving the impression that the sand lake was filled with these monsters. We saw about five or six of them, but never all at once. (I'm not even sure we saw more than one at a time.)

Incidentally, I watched Cry of Silence last night. I now believe my 'gradual darkening' remark refers to The Special One, at a point where the dialogue has ceased, and some of the series' most haunting music is the only thing we hear for a prolonged amount of time. I think it's when the father is sitting in his chair, waiting for Mr. Zeno to return (more on that episode at a later time). In Cry of Silence, I had forgotten that the married couple (played by Eddie Albert and June Havoc) run over the tumbleweed in the first five or so minutes of the episode. No wonder those tumbleweeds were miffed. Posted Image

#87 of 243 OFFLINE   michael_ks

michael_ks

    Screenwriter



  • 1,295 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2005

Posted February 05 2008 - 01:52 AM

Quote:
Incidentally, I watched Cry of Silence last night. I now believe my 'gradual darkening' remark refers to The Special One, at a point where the dialogue has ceased, and some of the series' most haunting music is the only thing we hear for a prolonged amount of time. I think it's when the father is sitting in his chair, waiting for Mr. Zeno to return (more on that episode at a later time).

I've often regarded that as the best scene from "The Special One". Episode directed by none other than Gerd Oswald.

#88 of 243 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

Ockeghem

    Lead Actor



  • 9,420 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007
  • Real Name:Scott D. Atwell

Posted February 05 2008 - 02:05 AM

Quote:
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 Posted Image) 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).

michael_ks:
Quote:
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).

#89 of 243 OFFLINE   michael_ks

michael_ks

    Screenwriter



  • 1,295 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2005

Posted February 05 2008 - 05:02 AM

Quote:
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.

It certainly is, Scott. The only companion book in my collection of 15 or so that I've read cover to cover twice. Mr. Schow is an excellent writer and his knowledge and love for OL really shines through. I recall purchasing the more cheaply made 'feather light' first edition and thinking "I can't believe this book got written!" I find myself agreeing with the author's assessment on just about every episode though I feel he's a bit too critical on "Production and Decay of Strange Particles" and "It Crawled Out of the Woodwork" but then, in the former at least, I'm a sucker for Leslie Stevens' approach to writing science fiction simply because I like 'technical jargon' like that witnessed in another of his episodes ("The Borderland"). I definitely though, see eye to eye with David Schow on "Keeper of the Purple Twilight" and can understand why it's a 'guilty pleasure' for him. It's wonderful with its 'pulp magazine' style flourishes.

#90 of 243 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

Ockeghem

    Lead Actor



  • 9,420 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007
  • Real Name:Scott D. Atwell

Posted February 05 2008 - 05:51 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_ks
It certainly is, Scott. The only companion book in my collection of 15 or so that I've read cover to cover twice. Mr. Schow is an excellent writer and his knowledge and love for OL really shines through. I recall purchasing the more cheaply made 'feather light' first edition and thinking "I can't believe this book got written!" I find myself agreeing with the author's assessment on just about every episode though I feel he's a bit too critical on "Production and Decay of Strange Particles" and "It Crawled Out of the Woodwork" but then, in the former at least, I'm a sucker for Leslie Stevens' approach to writing science fiction simply because I like 'technical jargon' like that witnessed in another of his episodes ("The Borderland"). I definitely though, see eye to eye with David Schow on "Keeper of the Purple Twilight" and can understand why it's a 'guilty pleasure' for him. It's wonderful with its 'pulp magazine' style flourishes.
You know, I've never quite understood the criticism that I've read leveled against Keeper of the Purple Twilight. But then again, I am not a screenwriter or a director, and I really have little knowledge of cinematography. My field of specialty is music, and there are times when the score can for me save what to some might be an otherwise abysmal film. I find myself straying too far from my field of expertise when I try to write too intelligently about other aspects of television and film.

For me, Keeper of the Purple Twilight (this is one of Charles Haas' efforts, yes?) is also a guilty pleasure. This episode does have the gorgeous variation of Lubin's closing credits theme that I alluded to previously (the G minor theme, also containing the melodically descending--and in my estimation unstable--augmented III triad). The instability of the sonority creates much tension in the episode, albeit in a very subtle manner. I also love the make-up in the one, and I've loved Warren Stevens in just about everything he does. I read (perhaps in the Schow book?) two things that I recall about that episode rather vividly: that some members of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team were in the episode as soldiers (those that accompanied and eventually tried to shoot Ikar--they were very tall!), and that the scene whereby Stevens is injured (he has glass chips sticking out of his arm which Ikar eventually heals) was quite graphic for 1964. In retrospect, I tend to agree.

Posted Image

Posted Image

#91 of 243 OFFLINE   Ron68

Ron68

    Supporting Actor



  • 510 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 2006

Posted February 05 2008 - 05:05 PM

Thanks Michael_ks for the info about Ellison, very interesting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem
Yes, that may be where I heard the Ellison information as well. I do recall something about the ending being discussed.

Do you happen to know if that 'monster' in The Invisible Enemy turns up later in another show (either in TOL or something else)? I do know that the 'monster' in Fun and Games resurfaces in TOS, and Christopher Pike tries to choke it. Here are pics of both aliens. Sorry that the second one is quite small.

Posted Image

Posted Image

I like the way they filmed the end of The Invisible Enemy, giving the impression that the sand lake was filled with these monsters. We saw about five or six of them, but never all at once. (I'm not even sure we saw more than one at a time.)

In the first episode after "The Invisible Enemies, "Wolf 359", the creature can be seen (at least it looks like the same creature) in the photographs that Professor Jonathan Wragg takes of the planet he created in his lab. The pic shows the creature representing the pre-historic period as the planet rapidly ages, another good episode.

At the end, they do show multiple shots featuring one creature in each, representing multiple creatures. I also like how they did the creatures travelling through the sand, it was like the filmmakers put the sand on top of a pool of water and dragged the creature puppet across it.

I just watched "Keeper of the Purple Twilight" earlier today. I loved it, I love Alien invasion shows and pulp style movies and tv shows. The Alien make-up looked fantastic and the story was very interesting. "The Inheritors" had a great ending and an equally great performance by Robert Duvall. I only have 5 episodes to go.

#92 of 243 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

Ockeghem

    Lead Actor



  • 9,420 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007
  • Real Name:Scott D. Atwell

Posted February 06 2008 - 01:36 AM

Quote:
In the first episode after "The Invisible Enemies, "Wolf 359", the creature can be seen (at least it looks like the same creature) in the photographs that Professor Jonathan Wragg takes of the planet he created in his lab. The pic shows the creature representing the pre-historic period as the planet rapidly ages, another good episode.

At the end, they do show multiple shots featuring one creature in each, representing multiple creatures. I also like how they did the creatures travelling through the sand, it was like the filmmakers put the sand on top of a pool of water and dragged the creature puppet across it.

I just watched "Keeper of the Purple Twilight" earlier today. I loved it, I love Alien invasion shows and pulp style movies and tv shows. The Alien make-up looked fantastic and the story was very interesting. "The Inheritors" had a great ending and an equally great performance by Robert Duvall. I only have 5 episodes to go.
Ron68,

I have loved Wolf 359 for many years. The concept of time in that one (the speed of the growth in the simulated environment) is quite interesting. And again, that eerie soundtrack is in full force, especially when the creature is shown emerging from its environment.

In The Invisible Enemy, I liked it when one of the men (I think it was Buckley) finally realized that the sand was similar to an ocean environment, and that the alien was a 'fish' in that ocean. I also found the men screaming when they had been consumed (yet out of eyeshot from the viewer) to be quite effective. And the information we are given regarding the previous mission was a nice touch.

#93 of 243 OFFLINE   michael_ks

michael_ks

    Screenwriter



  • 1,295 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2005

Posted February 06 2008 - 02:18 AM

Quote:
I have loved Wolf 359 for many years. The concept of time in that one (the speed of the growth in the simulated environment) is quite interesting. And again, that eerie soundtrack is in full force, especially when the creature is shown emerging from its environment.

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.

#94 of 243 OFFLINE   Hollywoodaholic

Hollywoodaholic

    Screenwriter



  • 1,343 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 08 2007
  • Real Name:Wayne Carter
  • LocationSomewhere in Florida

Posted February 06 2008 - 02:32 AM

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.

#95 of 243 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

Nelson Au

    Executive Producer



  • 11,556 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 16 1999

Posted February 06 2008 - 04:14 AM

Cool discussion yes!

My thoughts; While Demon with a Glass Hand is my hands down favorite, some of the episodes mentioned are also favorites and classics, The Soldier, Zanti Misfits and the Sixth Finger. Culp was really good as Trent and it's fun to see Martel before Star Trek.

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 and the haunting ending, The Man Who was Never Born and A Feasibility Study. Makes me think twice about driving into fog!

As a Trek fan, I always liked Cold Hands, Warm Heart and I, Robot was also a childhood rememberance as being a strong and effective story.

But I see very little talk about Behold Eck! That one is up there with the best of them. I really liked the main character's understanding and efforts and open mindedness in helping the alien creature. And the creature's experiences on Earth. And then the touching ending when he gets home and the doctor gets together with his assistant.

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. And the last episode, The Probe is fun. And the early version of the Horta that shows up on Star Trek is here as a large bacteria! And Fun and Games is another good one. This and Star Trek's interpretation of the original short story are great episodes.

Almost forgot Controlled Experiement. Grace Lee Whitney before Star Trek and Barry Morse and Carroll O'Conner in a great comedy!

I can't discuss music like you guys can, but this show definitely had very strong music and the score was integral to the story telling.

#96 of 243 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

Ockeghem

    Lead Actor



  • 9,420 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007
  • Real Name:Scott D. Atwell

Posted February 06 2008 - 04:51 AM

Quote:
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.
Michael,

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.

Quote:
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.

#97 of 243 OFFLINE   michael_ks

michael_ks

    Screenwriter



  • 1,295 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2005

Posted February 06 2008 - 05:00 AM

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

#98 of 243 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

Ockeghem

    Lead Actor



  • 9,420 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007
  • Real Name:Scott D. Atwell

Posted February 06 2008 - 05:01 AM

Quote:
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.
Hollywoodaholic,

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."

Quote:
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. Posted Image)

That was a joy to read.

#99 of 243 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

Ockeghem

    Lead Actor



  • 9,420 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007
  • Real Name:Scott D. Atwell

Posted February 06 2008 - 05:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Au
Cool discussion yes!

My thoughts; While Demon with a Glass Hand is my hands down favorite, some of the episodes mentioned are also favorites and classics, The Soldier, Zanti Misfits and the Sixth Finger. Culp was really good as Trent and it's fun to see Martel before Star Trek.

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 and the haunting ending, The Man Who was Never Born and A Feasibility Study. Makes me think twice about driving into fog!

As a Trek fan, I always liked Cold Hands, Warm Heart and I, Robot was also a childhood rememberance as being a strong and effective story.

But I see very little talk about Behold Eck! That one is up there with the best of them. I really liked the main character's understanding and efforts and open mindedness in helping the alien creature. And the creature's experiences on Earth. And then the touching ending when he gets home and the doctor gets together with his assistant.

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. And the last episode, The Probe is fun. And the early version of the Horta that shows up on Star Trek is here as a large bacteria! And Fun and Games is another good one. This and Star Trek's interpretation of the original short story are great episodes.

Almost forgot Controlled Experiement. Grace Lee Whitney before Star Trek and Barry Morse and Carroll O'Conner in a great comedy!

I can't discuss music like you guys can, but this show definitely had very strong music and the score was integral to the story telling.
Nelson,

I love A Feasibility Study. I find the final 'not feasible' to be quite telling--very blunt, and said with emphasis. This is the episode that also stars another future Trek actor, David Opatoshu (he played Anon 7 in A Taste of Armageddon). There was a neat technique used when the engine for the car eventually materializes; I also loved the Luminoids, and the imaginative story line regarding their inability to move.

I've often thought that the technique used in Behold Eck! to show a two-dimensional being could have worked well in TOS when the Tholians were on screen. (Before ENT, much of the speculation centered around the Tholians being two-dimensional beings.)

Controlled Experiment and The Premonition are both interesting for their use of time (and stoppage of same). The elevator sequences, and the rewinding and fast-forwarding, are worth the price of admission for me. Our children love both of those episodes. Nice comparison too--the early Horta! I'm guessing that that is once again Janos Prohaska as The Probe.

Another thought about A Feasibility Study-- has anyone else noticed that the ostinato figure (I think it's a B-B-D played over and over) lasts for a very lengthy part of the episode? It's in three-quarter time, and continues to sound throughout (I believe) the first twenty or so minutes of the show. In my experience, it is very unusual to hear one figure such as this played for as long as we do.

#100 of 243 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

Ockeghem

    Lead Actor



  • 9,420 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007
  • Real Name:Scott D. Atwell

Posted February 06 2008 - 05:32 AM

Michael_ks:
Quote:
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.
Michael,

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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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. Posted Image 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 from TOS); it turns out to be Robert Johnson.


Back to TV on DVD and Blu-ray



Forum Nav Content I Follow