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HTF Review: The Outer Limits - New Series (Six DVD Box Set)

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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Jason Perez

Jason Perez

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Posted July 14 2005 - 06:01 PM

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The Outer Limits: The New Series – Six DVD Box Set





Studio: MGM
Year: 1995 - 2001
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 45 minutes per episode
Aspect Ratio: Standard (1.33:1)
Captions: None
Audio: English – Dolby Stereo Surround




Release Date:
June 21st, 2005



“There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission.” – a portion of the original The Outer Limits series’ opening narration


It is interesting that in updating the original Outer Limits series for a new generation of television viewer, its creative team employed the same approach that made the “old” series so great – its non-linear anthology format. In addition to allowing the talented folks behind the new series to tackle interesting problems/issues facing modern day humans via science fiction, each episode also offered a blank canvas that encouraged them to stretch the boundaries of their creative abilities. In essence, not having to worry about character or storyline continuity gave the producers, writers, actors, and directors great freedom to go wherever imagination would take them!

Turning back the clock a few decades, one would see that although the construction of the original Outer Limits series was very similar, there were a couple of distinct differences in the environment in which it aired. Specifically, not only did the original series have much stricter guidelines to adhere to, in terms of content, but it also had formidable competition in the form of another extremely successful anthology program – Rod Serling’s incomparable The Twilight Zone, which actually preceded The Outer Limits by a few years!

Over the years, I have heard some folks argue that the mere fact that The Outer Limits came along after The Twilight Zone realized success, and employed a similar formula, prove it was a rip-off of Serling’s concept. Personally, I have never gotten bogged down in this argument, as I think the two shows exhibit enough differences to make each stand on its own, not to mention worth watching. For instance, as the producers of the new Outer Limits series point out in the supplemental materials, the Twilight Zone dealt more with elements of fantasy, whereas The Outer Limits confined itself to the realm of science fiction.

Whatever the case though, as an individual who has enjoyed watching both shows since early childhood, I consider myself fortunate that they shared a similarity other than their anthology format – incredible ideas and storytelling! Indeed, if you catch a marathon of either show today (or if you host your own Posted Image ) you will see that many of the episodes from both innovative programs are still immensely interesting and entertaining all these years later! To me, this is amazing, especially when considering how many shows half this old seem much more dated by comparison!

Since I have long been a fan (not quite hardcore, but still a regular viewer) of intriguing anthology programming, like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Tales From the Darkside, I am painfully aware that this is not the first attempt to modernize one of these ground-breaking programs. In fact, I was tremendously excited a few years back, when those ill-fated attempts were made to bring the format back to the airwaves under the famous Twilight Zone moniker were announced. Unfortunately, the inferior writing and embarrassingly unrealistic visual effects ensured these efforts would fail to obtain a following, and they were quickly ushered off of the airwaves.

Luckily, while it is not without a few problems of its own, the creative team that took on the challenge of respectfully updating The Outer Limits put enough care and thought into their series to avoid a similar fate. As a result, it enjoyed a very respectable 7-season run, first on Showtime and then on the Sci-Fi channel, where its final episodes aired. And since its entire run was on cable television, it should probably be noted that those behind the New Outer Limits were given greater creative license to treat with some of the deeper and more challenging issues facing humanity, which probably would not have been approved for network television even now, in the year 2005. Of course, being on cable also allowed the producers to really cater to their demographic, by amping up the show’s sexuality, violence, and gore – all to serve the story, no doubt Posted Image .

To be sure, there was the occasional weak episode, but the overall level of storytelling in the “new” Outer Limits was well above and beyond what we were given in the sorry attempts to revive The Twilight Zone, and it was usually as thought provoking as it was entertaining! Indeed, over its run, the show and some of its performers were awarded with a multitude of Emmy®, Gemini, Saturn, and Leo awards! True, awards alone are not always an indicator of greatness, but of all of the episodes I have seen, the New Outer Limits very seldom left me thoroughly disappointed.

As I alluded to, however, the show did have a few minor problems, and although the stories were usually strong enough to overcome them, the most notable issue is that the show’s special effects were bad enough to undermine the story on occasion. It goes without saying that visual effects technology has improved exponentially since this show first aired, and the supplemental materials make it abundantly clear that a lot of effort went into making the visual effects look as good as possible. That being the case, I really hate to judge the New Outer Limits too harshly in this respect, but the truth is that its effects don’t look very realistic at all sometimes, which even executive producer Mark Stern admits to in the supplemental material.

Not surprisingly, the poorer make-up and visual effects had the most negative impact on episodes that relied heavily on such effects to advance the story. In a handful of cases, they were even unrealistic enough to cause enough distraction to break the suspension of disbelief required to properly enjoy the show. Again, however, I hesitate to bash the show too heavily for this, because for one thing, it only had a certain amount of resources and time to devote to visual effects, and undoubtedly not enough of either one! Further, as someone fascinated with the eye-popping visual effects in films like Star Wars – The Phantom Menace, but bored to tears by its tedious pace and dull plot, I would rather have a strong story with weaker special effects any day. Thankfully, in that respect, most of the episodes in this set deliver the goods!

In terms of this DVD release, however, I cannot help but wonder whether devoted fans will be disappointed, as the box set consists not of a complete season, but a sextet of “themed discs”, containing some of the series’ best episodes. As you may know if you have followed my TV product reviews, I am by-and-large a “season set” person, because I prefer to track a show’s evolution as time passes. That being said, the anthology format does not require the New Outer Limits series to be viewed chronologically. As such, I think there is an awful lot of value in this set, because it offers not only a good sampling of some of the topics explored by the show, but many of the series’ most acclaimed episodes.

Further, given the sheer number of episodes spread over each side of the set’s six discs (each in its own keepcase), it is hard not to recommend this New Outer Limits set to science fiction buffs! Again, there is a cheesy episode here and there, and the special effects are far from first-rate, but most of the episodes feature great stories that were thoughtfully developed by Pen Densham’s creative team. If you missed out on this series, and enjoy anthology programming with science fiction themes, give it a look!

Well, that is enough of my ranting! Without further adieu, here is a breakdown of the episodes included in this set, which contain some really terrific performances, such as those of Robert Patrick, Jack Noseworthy, Amanda Plummer, and Alyssa Milano!:


NOTE: Discs that are newly available on DVD can be identified by the asterisks before their title!

*** “Aliens Among Us” Disc

--- “Quality of Mercy”
In this episode, Major Skokes (Robert Patrick) is captured by alien beings and placed in confinement on a distant planet. While being held against his will, he meets another captive, a woman slowly being transformed into a twisted, abhorrent creature by their captors! This startling discovery makes Major Skokes desperate to find a way out of his prison, before the same fate befalls him.

--- “Afterlife”
In “Afterlife”, a convicted killer is given a rather unenviable choice by the authorities – be executed or participate in a highly secretive military experiment. He makes the obvious choice to live, but soon wonders whether or not he chose correctly, as the “secret experiment” slowly transforms him into an alien being.

--- “The Grell”
This installment introduces viewers to the Grell, a dying alien race that is rescued by humankind, but ends up being taken from their uninhabitable planet to Earth - as slaves. In the future, when the Grell finally orchestrate an uprising to gain their freedom, a government leader (Ted Shackleford) who is in Grell territory at the time, gets a close look at the ugliness of racism.

--- “Relativity Theory”
“Relativity Theory” tells the tale of an inter-planetary survey expedition, headed up by Teresa Janovitch (Melissa Gilbert), to a remote world in search of natural resources needed back on Earth. Unfortunately, the mission takes an unexpected turn when the team encounters and kills a group of seemingly hostile beings, which initiates an inter-planetary conflict!

--- “Alien Shop”
This is an interesting episode, featuring an alien shape-shifter who owns a very unique shop, which stocks the very finest in merchandise possessing fantastic/supernatural powers. When a petty thief (Jonathan Schaech) comes into the store and lifts a wallet, he learns that a heavy price must be paid for that which is taken without being earned.

--- “Beyond the Veil”
“Beyond the Veil” is the story of a man named Eddie, whose vivid, horrifying dreams of being abducted by aliens get him a one-way ticket to a mental facility specializing in treating people with similar delusions. Unfortunately for Eddie, once he is admitted to the facility, he discovers an alien plot to silence those who call too much attention to their activities!


*** “Death and Beyond” Disc

--- “The Second Soul”
Here, a dying race of aliens have come to Earth to attempt to stave off their demise, and plan to do so by reanimating human corpses. These beings’ grisly activities are later stumbled upon by a doctor (Mykelti Williamson), who harbors concerns that there may be more to their plans than mere survival!

--- “The Other Side”
In this episode, the innovative Dr. Eberhart (Ralph Macchio) discovers a means for comatose patients to communicate with each other, by having them interface through a computer. But when the curious doctor hooks himself up to the machine to experience its capabilities firsthand, he ends up entering a cyber-world that he may be unable to escape!

--- “Black Box”
“Black Box” involves the loss of a container filled with a top-secret (and deadly) biological agent, and the subsequent race to recover it. Unfortunately, the only person who knows where to find it is Brandon (Ron Perlman), a man clinging to life by the very thinnest of threads. The question is: can the military’s top scientists somehow extract this vital information from Brandon’s mind before the deadly toxins fall into evil hands?

--- “New Lease”
Two doctors, Houghton (Stephen Lang) and McCamber (Michael Ontkean), have finally discovered a way to beat death, by using molecular reorganization to reanimate those who have passed away. But when Dr. Houghton is murdered during a robbery (by Jason Priestley), and reanimated by his colleague, will he be able to serve justice upon his killer?

--- “Essence of Life”
In “Essence of Life”, a viral epidemic wipes out most of the people on Earth! In the post-apocalyptic world that exists afterwards, Dr. Seward (Joel Grey) challenges an anti-mourning law by manufacturing a prohibited substance that generates strong emotions in those ingesting it. Unfortunately, a code-enforcing policeman (Daniel Baldwin) is out to put an end to his illegal activities!

--- “Human Trials”
In this episode, a military officer (Jason Gedrick) and three other candidates volunteer for a competition to ascertain which of the quartet is most fit for a coveted spot on a top-secret mission. But as successive tests become more dangerous and deadly, Captain Parkhurst realizes that there may be more to these dangerous trials than meets the eye.


*** “Fantastic Androids and Robots” Disc

--- “I, Robot”
“I, Robot”, a remake of an episode from the “original” Outer Limits series, deals with a robot named Adam, who is accused of killing his own creator, and subsequently defended by a civil liberties attorney (Leonard Nimoy). As the investigation proceeds, an interesting query is posed: Is Adam capable of murder, or did the military alter the usually gentle servant’s programming, thus turning him into a remorseless killer?

--- “The Hunt”
In the future, the hunting of animals is banned, and hunters have been forced to select new game: androids! The hunters become the hunted, however, when a group of androids led by Kel (Doug Savant) decides the time has come to fight back!

--- “Resurrection”
Imagine a future when humans are extinct, and androids have assumed control of the Earth, and you have “Resurrection”. Things really get interesting, however, when a pair of android scientists (Nick Mancuso and Heather Graham) interested in humankind decide to resurrect the species, which unleashes the wrath of the machines determined to keep the human species from ever returning!

--- “The Camp”
In this episode, we see that an alien race has subjected mankind to horrible conditions in Nazi-type concentration camps for generations. However, as conditions become even worse, a strong woman leads a successful uprising, which ultimately reveals a surprising truth about their captors.

--- “Gltich”
“Glitch” is the story of a regular, average guy named Tom, who is shocked to learn that he is not really a man at all, but a highly complex android! Upon making this discovery, Tom embarks on a quest to find his creator before he is converted into a cyber-assassin by the military!

--- “Small Friends”
This is the story of Gene Morton (Ralph Waite), an imprisoned scientist that has created incredible microscopic robots with an amazing ability to repair things. Unfortunately, Gene is put in a pickle when another inmate sees their amazing capabilities, and demands that Gene’s robots break him out of prison…or else!


*** “Mutation and Transformation” Disc

--- “The New Breed”
In “The New Breed”, a man with terminal cancer (Peter Outerbridge) asks his scientist friend (Richard Thomas) to use experimental microscopic robots to cure him. Initially the procedure seems successful, but the results may be too good when the robots try to make “improvements”!

--- “The Inheritors”
This episode chronicles the tale of three people that get hit by meteor fragments, and then join together on a mission to bring the elderly and terminally ill to another planet, where they will be re-animated. Unfortunately, their intentions are questioned, and it remains to be seen whether the trio will be stopped, or be allowed to deliver their potentially benevolent gift to the dying?

--- “Descent”
This installment spins a yarn about a timid scientist (Leland Orser) who develops a serum for genetic dominance, and rashly tests the substance on himself! As you might expect, the serum has unexpected consequences, altering his persona, transforming the learned man into an irrational, hyper-aggressive person.

--- “The Joining”
“The Joining” is a tale of a man who survives an accident on Venus, Captain Davidow (C. Thomas Howell), and does not feel very well after returning home to Earth. After examining him closely, the Captain’s doctor is shocked to find he has become a host to parasitic creatures that replicate whenever they are exposed to high levels of radiation.

--- “Double Helix”
In this episode, a brilliant geneticist, Martin Nodel (Ron Rifkin), unlocks a secret code he finds imprinted on human DNA. But when he foolishly tests this code on himself, newfound “instincts” draw him to a remote location where he discovers what may be a link to another world.

--- “The Gun”
Criminal Matthew Logan (Christian Bochner) is fascinated with a strange-looking firearm, and buys it from its mysterious seller. But upon using the piece, Logan finds that with each shot fired, the weapon further attaches itself to his body via tentacles. Can he somehow release himself from the weapon’s grip, or will Mr. Logan be overtaken by its powers?


Sex and Science Fiction Disc

--- “Caught in the Act”
When a seemingly normal woman (the beautiful Alyssa Milano), is taken over by a sinister force, she develops an appetite for murder! Can her loving boyfriend find a way to end her murderous rampage and help her regain control over herself?

--- “Bits of Love”
As Earth’s sole survivor, artist Aiden Hunter (Jon Tenney) is intensely lonely. As such, he creates a beautiful hologram, named Emma (Natasha Henstridge), to keep him company. But when Emma expresses the strange and urgent desire for a baby, will Aiden comply, or will he question her motives as he should?

--- “Valerie 23”
“Valerie 23” is a story of jealousy, involving Rachel Rose (Nancy Allen), a physical therapist whose life is threatened when she comes between her paraplegic patient and his amorous robotic companion, whose programming includes eliminating anything that interferes with the relationship she has with her man!

--- “The Human Operators”
This is another episode dealing with man’s increasing fascination with automation and dependence on computers. More specifically, we are introduced to the lone occupant (Jack Noseworthy) of a spacecraft, which is controlled by a computer called “Ship” (voiced by Malcolm McDowell). Unfortunately, “Ship” evolves, and tries to take control of his former master, but the man does not go down without a desperate fight to retain his freedom.

--- “Skin Deep”
When Sid Camden creates a prototype “image enhancer”, and turns himself into a carbon copy of a handsome co-worker (Antonio Sabato, Jr.), he is soon enjoying a life he never thought possible. As is usually the case, however, for those who meddle with such powers, Sid discovers there is an unforeseen price to be paid for his new image.

--- “Flower Child”
In “Flower Child”, alien plant life arrives on Earth, and blossoms into the form of a beautiful woman. This woman soon becomes entangled in the lives of a man named Chris (Jeremy London) and his fiancée, but what Chris doesn’t know is that if he allows himself to stray, he might just be paving the way for the forward beauty’s species to reproduce and begin their takeover of the planet!


Time Travel and Infinity Disc

--- “A Stitch in Time”
This is a great episode, where fingerprints from a murder committed 50 years ago come up as a match with those of a controversial brain researcher (Amanda Plummer). The lady at the center of the investigation has a great alibi though – she was only in kindergarten at the time!

--- “Tribunal”
An attorney obsessed with his father’s ill treatment in a concentration camp finally realizes his dream – he has discovered the identity of the Nazi responsible for his imprisonment. Without proper evidence, however, it remains to be seen how he will be able to bring this war criminal to justice.

--- “Gettysburg”
In “Gettysburg” two friends re-enacting the Battle of Gettysburg are transported back in time and taken prisoner by a Confederate colonel (Meatloaf), who threatens both their own future and the flow of time itself!

--- “Time to Time”
An excited history major can’t believe she has been fortunate enough to be recruited as part of a time-travel team…until they send her back to a very traumatizing event in her own life. Will she alter history by trying to change her traumatic past, or prove her worthiness by standing pat?

--- “Déjà vu”
In this episode, Dr. Mark Crest (Kevin Nealon) is placed in charge of a military experiment that transports test animals through time. But when something goes terribly wrong and events begin to repeat themselves, Dr. Crest is the only one who can stop it…before the flow of time is irreparably damaged!

--- “Patient Zero”
“Patient Zero” deals with a deadly plague that threatens to wipe out civilization unless Becket (Michael Rooker) can go back in time and find the person who started the outbreak. Will this brave attempt prove futile, or will Becket somehow be able to contain the virus before it spreads?






SO, HOW DOES IT LOOK?
Since the show was filmed relatively recently, MGM’s flawed-riddled “full screen” (1.33:1) presentation of the new Outer Limits television series is a disappointment! Things aren’t all bad though, as colors, from the warm earth tones and blue skies of Vancouver that double for Gettysburg, to the unearthly shades of alien beings and worlds are rendered fairly accurately - nicely saturated without any smearing or noise!

Black levels also remained above average throughout the 21 episodes I watched for this review, leading to a fair amount of shadow delineation and image depth. This is important, of course, as many of the episodes feature sequences shot in dimly lit environments.

Unfortunately, as I alluded to earlier, the transfer has some serious issues as well, particularly in terms of detail, which is notably lacking in many instances. On one hand, the image is detailed enough for viewers to be able to notice how utterly phony many of the make-up and visual effects look, but on the other, fine detail in the background of shots is obscured to a great degree.

More troublingly, there is a substantial amount of grain in the image, and compression artifacts and other digital signatures are visible on a fairly frequent basis, which is a real annoyance! Posted Image

I suppose that the most likely culprit of some of these flaws is the sheer amount of program content residing on each of these discs, and image quality is definitely not so bad that the episodes are un-watchable, but there is not a doubt in my mind that they should look much better, even when taking into account that this is television product.



WHAT IS THAT NOISE?
Sadly, the audio tracks for these New Outer Limits episodes are just about as poorly presented as their image transfers are! In particular, though dialogue is always easily discernable on these Dolby Stereo Surround tracks, this is the first time in a very long while that I can recall hearing a distinct (and horribly distracting once you notice it) hissing sound when I turned the volume up past a modest level!

Obviously, there is a lot of talking during these episodes, and with that in mind, the little good news there is involves the characters’ speech being reproduced in a fairly robust and intelligible manner, affected only by the aforementioned hiss. Unfortunately, the soundstage is not particularly spacious, frequency response is somewhat subdued in the lower registers, and overall fidelity is probably best characterized as decent. All in all, these are not the worst soundtracks I have ever heard, but I was certainly expecting more.



EXTRAS, EXTRAS!!!


”ALIENS AMONG US” DISC

Aliens Among Us Documentary
This interesting 10 ½ -minute documentary features some of the series’ creative minds talking about the serious implications the existence of aliens would have on religion and the future of humanity. Later, the participants talk about how the aliens in some of the New Outer Limits episodes were actually metaphors for present day issues, as was the case with the original series.


Making “Quality of Mercy”
This relatively brief (8 ½ -minutes) featurette begins with writer Brad Wright discussing how he came up with the story idea for the “Quality of Mercy” episode. Subsequently, the show’s executive producers, including Pen Densham, chat about how great the episode turned out, in spite of the fact that it was a “bottle show”, and the role Robert Patrick’s terrific performance played in achieving that result.


Origins of the Outer Limits
During this informative, cerebral 10-minute featurette, Pen Densham and Joe Stephano talk about building a new Outer Limits Series on the successful foundation established by the original series, and about how story ideas for each series were developed. They also talk about how wonderful the anthology format is for a show, in terms of breaking down boundaries and stimulating creativity.


Other Great MGM Releases
There are trailers for Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, and Dead Like Me: Season Two. In addition, the cover art for the Original Outer Limits releases and the New Outer Limits box set.


”DEATH AND BEYOND” DISC

Death and Beyond Documentary
The “Death and Beyond Documentary”, which runs for nearly 9-minutes, gives viewers some insight into the topics of death and the afterlife, as treated with by the show. As is the case with the other featurettes, you can expect to hear commentary from the show’s producers and other members of the creative team.


FANTASTIC ANDROIDS AND ROBOTS

Fantastic Androids and Robots Documentary
This documentary, which runs for 10 ½ -minutes, consists of interviews with some of the show’s top brass, who discuss how great care was taken to avoid rehashing original Outer Limits episodes. They also chat about how special the “I, Robot” episode was, and how many of the episodes play with the idea of the advancement of robots against the diminishing of humanity, and what implications the increasing reliance on technology has for human beings.


Origins of the Outer Limits
This is the very same “Origins” documentary found on the “Aliens Among Us” DVD.


Other Great MGM Releases
The same promotional materials available on the “Aliens Among Us” DVD can be found here.


MUTATION AND TRANSFORMATION DISC

Mutation and Transformation Documentary
In this brief (10 minutes) documentary, Pen Densham and some of the show’s directors talk about the dangers inherent in trying to “play god” via science, especially by manipulating the human genetic code. The documentary also treats with how some of these story ideas were rooted in cutting edge scientific realities, and with the advantage of being on cable, in terms of the series’ ability to really scare people.


Origins of the Outer Limits
This is the very same “Origins” documentary found on the “Aliens Among Us” DVD.


Other Great MGM Releases
The same promotional materials available on the “Aliens Among Us” DVD can be found here.


SEX AND SCIENCE FICTION DISC

The Outer Limits Story
In this bonus feature, two of the new series’ creators (Pen Densham and Mark Stern), and one of the original series’ co-creators, Joe Stephano, give viewers a brief overview on how both series got off the ground, and the philosophies that were such an integral part of each series.


Featurettes
There are separate featurettes pertaining to all six of the episodes on the “Sex and Science Fiction” Disc, which feature the comments of Pen Densham and Mark Stern, occasionally accompanied by a writer, director, or actor involved in the particular episode being discussed. In my opinion, these featurettes, which run for a total of 36 minutes, were not terribly exciting, although they were moderately informative, and worth at least one look by fans of the show. Among the things you can expect to hear are:

--- Brief discussions about the story ideas that were developed in each of the episodes being talked about.

--- A talk about the key difference between the subject matter treated with by The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone.

--- Discussions about the efforts made to push the envelope, especially in terms of sexuality, during the initial season of the show, since it was aired on Cable.

--- Breakdowns of a couple episodes that had a variety of themes being developed within them by the producers.

--- Details about one of the series’ “ground-breaking” digital effects, which was used in several episodes.


The Outer Limits of Sex and Science Fiction
In this 5 ½ -minute piece, the show’s creators talk about the psychology behind the sexual aspects of the show, and about being able to push the envelope, since the show was on cable.


TIME TRAVEL AND INFINITY DISC

The Outer Limits Story
This is the same featurette that can be found on the “Sex and Science Fiction” DVD.


Featurettes
There are featurettes pertaining to all six of the episodes on the “Time Travel and Infinity” DVD, which feature the comments of Pen Densham and Mark Stern, occasionally accompanied by a writer, director, or actor involved in the particular episode being discussed. In my opinion, these featurettes, which run for a total of about 32-minutes, were similar in tone to those on the “Sex and Science Fiction” disc. More specifically, they were not terribly entertaining, but did contain a fair amount of insight into the series, and are thus worth at least a look by fans of the show. Among the things you can expect to hear are:

--- How Sam Egan’s “Tribunal” episode was based upon his father’s real-life experiences during the holocaust.

--- Descriptions of the concerted effort made by the show’s creators to avoid the “holes” and contradictions present in the plots of almost every other time-travel related show or film.

--- Discussions about the contributions made by particular actors, such as Michael Rooker and Amanda Plummer, which made the episodes they appeared in so compelling.


The Outer Limits of Time Travel and Infinity
In this 5-minute extra, the show’s creators talk about how advances in the understanding of quantum physics and string theory suggest that time travel and parallel universes are theoretical possibilities, and the implications that time travel would have, especially on wish fulfillment. As it relates to the show, they also discuss the challenges inherent in telling time travel stories that are interesting, accessible, and yet not full of plot holes and contradictions.


Other Great MGM Releases
The same promotional materials available on the “Aliens Among Us” DVD can be found here.



SCORE CARD

(on a five-point scale)
Episodes: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Video: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Audio: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Extras: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Overall: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image



THE LAST WORD
The new The Outer Limits series does a remarkable job of respectfully bringing the original series up to date, and of keeping the series’ metaphorical tone intact without blatantly ripping off its predecessor. The winner of multiple Emmy®, Gemini, Saturn, and Leo awards for thought-provoking, thrilling episodes, this science-fiction anthology series is definitely worth a look for those who would like to explore the human race, and some our biggest fears and concerns, from a sci-fi perspective!

Although this box set does not offer what harcore fans would likely prefer – full seasons – these themed discs do feature some of the best the series has to offer. Visually and sonically, however, they do not present the episodes as well as they should, and though the featurettes are informative and interesting, they are not terribly entertaining.

All in all though, I think the plusses outweigh the minuses in this package, simply because you get so many of the show’s best episodes to savor! Really, over the twelve separate sides of this six-DVD box set, there is over 29 hours (extras included) of New Outer Limits programming to digest! While I would have preferred season sets, and cannot whole-heartedly recommend the set to everyone reading this, I do have a feeling this package will have more appeal to casual fans/those new to the show, thus making it a good value for them.

Well, I still have some episodes left to watch, so please excuse me…I’ve got to park my self in front of my display and absorb a few more hours of sci-fi goodness!


Stay tuned…
Padawan Learner in the Mystical Art of Home Theater!

Display Tweaked to Perfection by Calibrator Extraordinaire Gregg Loewen!

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   RobBenton

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Posted July 17 2005 - 04:04 PM

Weren't some if not all of these episodes aired in widescreen on showtime and Sci fi? If that is the case it is sad that they would release them in full screen only.

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted July 18 2005 - 01:39 AM

Why aren't they releasing this show in season sets also??
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted July 18 2005 - 09:13 PM

Columbia House said in their literature that all 7 seasons were available. I think they meant that all 7 years are combined onto each of these theme packages. Shitty deal, if you ask me (or even if you don't ask).

2 of those sets I already have, so that's about 14 episodes right there!

Quote:
Weren't some if not all of these episodes aired in widescreen on showtime and Sci fi? If that is the case it is sad that they would release them in full screen only.

No...the series was only shot in the widescreen process during the final season, which was produced for the Sci-Fi Channel. The first 6 years on Showtime were full screen.

What I don't understand is that the 2001 episodes from Sci-Fi, which had a completely different opening visual montage for those 2 or 3 episodes previously released (on Sex and Science Fiction and also Time Travel & Infinity) they replaced the new visual with the one from the previous season (the one used from the 4th through 6th seasons). Why was that done if anyone knows? I really like the computer-generated 7th season theme with the spiral staircase. The theme song from that last year was also slightly different, and it too was not used for the video releases.

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Mark Talmadge

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Posted July 22 2005 - 05:12 AM

MGM should be ashamed of themselves. I was all set to purchase this set thinking that it was a season 1 set until I discovered that this was the best of set. I've been waiting to purchase this series but what is their problem?

They'll release Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis in season boxed sets but not Outer Limits? The original series has already been released in seasonal sets but what about this new series?

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted July 22 2005 - 01:47 PM

Well, Outer Limits being an anthology series, there is no requirement to watch them in a particular order except for the episodes that had sequels to them, and there were a few of those.