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The Outer Limits is turning 50....

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Craig Beam, Sep 5, 2013.

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  1. Camper

    Camper Supporting Actor

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    Any thoughts on price? I'm not saying it should be cheap because I respect when they restore this rare cassic material -- I'm just really hurting right now but still want to get it day 1. It's half as many episodes as season 1, but does that translate to half the MSRP?
     
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  2. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Given the costs involved in producing these two season sets, I’d be ok if the street price was the same as season one. Though I understand what you’re saying given season two is shorter.

    There was a discussion on Blu-ray.com between Craig Beam and someone else who says he’s doing an audio commentary on season 2 that I came across. Given that might have added costs, I can see it adding up to produce these sets.
     
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  3. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Cinematographer

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    I'm not in a position to discuss that individual or the circumstances that led to his being brought into the project. As for me, I'm doing three commentaries, same as last time. But I have no idea what Kino's charging for this set.
     
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  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    And I wasn’t asking for details about that exchange between you and that individual Craig.
     
  5. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Cinematographer

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    Of course you weren't. Sorry if that was the impression I gave.
     
  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    No, you didn’t give me that impression. I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea. :)
     
  7. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    19. Two centiments, continued: (Spoilers)

    "The Invisibles"

    I still find this a pretty nifty piece of secret agent paranoia conspiracy science fiction suspense thriller entertainment.

    As a one-off, there's a generous portion of story here, great characters, and a good (but conveniently tidy) payoff. I seem to remember speculation that a spin-off series based on this concept might have been considered. Perhaps 1964 was a bit too early for it, but I would have been all over that series. We had to wait another three years for David Vincent to wander America trying to root out alien Invaders posing as humans (with slightly deformed pinky fingers). And Spain would have had the entire GIA behind him.

    Every cast member turns in a memorable performance, no matter how small. George MacReady and Neil Hamilton both unleash their best cray cray monologues. I still get a laugh when Hamilton hams it up big time, losing himself completely in the ecstatic throes to his 'master,' only to blink out of his convulsions while still holding a gun on his prisoner and realize, oops, Spain is long gone.

    Burke does his best sinister Igor. 'Dick' Dawson goes full fey sleazebag adjutant. Even the actress playing the General's wife gets a good moment where she reveals to Spain why she can't help him because of Dawson's blackmail holding a secret lover over her. All these character and story moments contribute to another solid Stefano script. Tony Mordenta goes acting overboard with his hysterics as 'kid brother' Planetta. He showed a lot more restraint as a Jet.

    The pain in Spain stays mainly in my brain.

    But let's hand the MVP award to Don Gordon as agent 0021 (007 cubed) for fantastically selling a mangled ankle which, otherwise, the suspenseful finale would never work so effectively.

    Let's face it, outrunning a crab-like Invisible should be even easier than hoofing away from a Zanti. But Gordon's ankle agony and contortions still gets me cringing and buying his vulnerable incapacity. I'll never forget how nerve-wracking it was first watching this as a kid witnessing him try to crawl away from the Invisible. If you were a kid who also saw The Tingler around this same time, your worst nightmare was some crustacean-like parasite crawling or digging its way into your spine.

    And did anyone else notice that the same two cars were used in this episode as in Don't Open Till Doomsday? The black Lincoln limousine Spain drives was previously driven by the eloping bride's father, and Dawson's 63? Thunderbird was driven by the young groom.

    And maybe it was the clarity and detail of the HD, but this time I noticed Spain's ankle wasn't just run over, but also trapped up between the front wheel in the fender. No wonder the dude was writhing in agony, crying out, and sweating bullets.

    The 2018 Emmys were just announced yesterday, but I think Don Gordon (aka Don Walter Guadagno,1926-2017) deserves a posthumous one for so effectively dragging us along on that torturous journey with him.
     
  8. Sadsack

    Sadsack Stunt Coordinator

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    So Craig is jacking up the price of Season Two with his commentaries?!?!?! :huh::(:angry::eek:


    ;)
     
  9. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I also viewed The Invisibles last night. While I’ve seen photos of the Creature, I honestly don’t remember this episode. I’ve seen some production stills, but that’s it. So this was a totally new episode to me where the story is concerned. It was interesting to see the guest cast.

    Agreed that Don Gordon was very good in it. I mainly know George MacReady from his appearance on Get Smart. Of course I’m familiar with Neil Hamilton so this was a creepy performance. I was surprised to see Richard Dawson. Dee Hartford looked so familiar, I see she was in Lost In Space and Batman.

    The story was so unexpected, because of the introduction of the Creature, I didn’t expect it to go the way it did. It is similar to the invasion story genre by taking over key people in power. Reminded me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And 100 Days of the Dragon and The Manchurian Candidate of course. The spy angle was the other unexpected twist. With all these elements together, it was an interesting episode.

    I do of course remember Second Chances with Don Gordon again in that episode. The next episode is on my top 5 or so list of favorite episodes, The Bellero Shield. I’m looking forward to that.
     
  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I was so looking forward to seeing The Bellero Shield again. I have not looked at the DVD’s of the Outer Limits for probably at least two years and knowing this blu ray was coming gave me reason to wait. So it’s been a while since I last watched The Bellero Shield. An absolute favorite of mine. Great story, great cast, great alien and great dialogue. It’s right up there with several personal favorite episodes. Each of us have our own favorites so I won’t list them. Though Behold Eck is one of them.:)

    There is so much texture and detail we see from the added clarity as I could not help but look at the sets and actors faces at the start of the episode. I never noticed that it looks like John Hoyt not only wore that mask, but his teeth are just a single curved surface. If a Creature is from a world composed of amplified light, why does it have a mouth and eyes? I’m not intending to bust the show about the reasons they made the Bifrost a bi-ped humanoid. It is a very cool design for his head. The point is it’s an alien being. And a very benevolent being whose not vengeful.

    The dialogue, like so many of Stefano’s scripts has a vague, but interesting way of explaining the science of where the Bifrost came from. It doesn’t make sense in today’s world of TV audience, but it’s a cool lyrical way to explain it.

    Sally Kellerman really is showing her abilities so early in her career. She is so well suited at playing this character. I could see her lust for power and manipulation of those around her to get what she wants. On this viewing though, I could really see when she looses it and goes insane in the shield. As always, I think we all have our interpretation of the ending. I’ve always thought the shield never fully dissolved and she’s really still trapped because the dried blood on her hand is what’s stopping her from escaping. As seen by Richard’s expression on his face as he sees her hand. Also I thought because the Bifrost was injured, he didn’t have enough blood left to fully drop the shield. That’s my technical mind working. But on later viewings and especially last night, I think she’s just gone nuts and as the dialogue explains, she feels she is still trapped in her head. She’ll never really get out of her cage. I suppose they could have had a shot of Richard hugging her to show her, but it’s cool they left the ending ambiguous. I’ve read other interpretations that are interesting too. I can go with either ending that I’ve interpreted.
     
  11. Message #851 of 994 Jul 21, 2018
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    Hollywoodaholic

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    20. Two centiments, continued: (Spoilers)

    "The Bellero Shield"

    I think Nelson and I are on the same viewing schedule getting to about one of these a week (it's called savoring), usually on a Friday (when I remember the second season airing).

    I don't have too much to add past his praise of this episode. It's also a favorite of mine. The Outer Limits does Shakespeare. And Sally Kellerman, who was ill-served in the one note character in "The Human Factor" finally gets her full Lady Macbeth acting spotlight here and she nails it, big time. This probably went to the top of her demo reel and got her parts for years to come in roles... where no man has gone before.

    I don't remember ever thinking the shield was still there at the end, since the glass (with the finger smears now so visible) was so obviously missing. The idea that she had gone stark ravers didn't hit me as a kid upon first viewing. "Just get up and go," I remember yelling at the TV. But all subsequent viewings, I totally got the idea of her trapped in her own prison of guilt and the only thing missing was her screaming, "Out, damned spot" as the key light hit her outstretched alien blood-stained palm.

    Chita Rivera is a very strong presence in this episode, along with her dance tendered feet (Quentin Tarentino would have given this episode a 10 for foot close up fetish). This completes the West Side Story connection, since she was married to Tony Mordente, who played Planeta in the previous episode. I think her reaction to witnessing Judith going mad was the most effective. Landau, of course, delivers the necessary sensitivity (weakness by Judith's measure) for the role. And he lucks out getting two of the series' best scripts.

    Neil Hamilton goes boggle-eyed a few more times in this episode, but at least he doesn't start channeling "the master." And I was particularly struck this time around by how much the makeup and vocal delivery of John Hoyt as the alien reminded me of the wise, inscrutable Fu Manchu. Look at his face again. It's all there.

    One thing that continues to puzzle me is the horseman statue that is constantly featured framed and spotlit in the background in so many scenes. Is this a figure from a Shakespeare play (Henry V)? Napoleon? Someone related to the Bifrost myth? It's so obviously there for a reason to accentuate some theme or idea, but I still can't identify it.

    This is an episode that continually moves up in my assessment from kid wanting monsters and action, to an adult appreciating character drama and acting. It's also one of Conrad Hall's best for atmospheric lighting.

    Let's give Lady Macbeth the last word in a quote easily befitting our intergalactic visitor's benevolent nature (which Judith obviously had no use for).

    What thou art promis'd. Yet do I fear thy nature,
    It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness
    To catch the nearest way.
     
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  12. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey Wayne! I’m definitely savoring these episodes! And on the same schedule. 12 more left, so that’s about October. Maybe the second season will be out by then.

    I’ve never read or seen MacBeth. I know it’s referred to a lot. It’s the basis for one of my favorite Star Trek episodes, The Conscience of the King. So is The Tempest is the basis of Forbidden Planet, another favorite. I think I did read that, but it’s hard to read. So I’m not sure I ever got that one.

    So not having that background, made it hard to realize the literal blood on her hands at the end of the episode was a visual cue to show her guilt. That one never occurred to me. But it makes sense.

    I read Craig’s entry on this episode and he refers to MacBeth being released by Olive on blu ray, might have to get that.
     
  13. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    Find how I sell this episode.

    The monster: an alien traveler
    The foe: the wife of a scientist
    The target: ambition and greed
    The setting: the home of a scientist
    The sociology: the upper-class
    The reference: Les diaboliques and Macbeth
    The high point: the performance of actors Martin Landau and Sally Kellerman


    “Boundless intemperance In Nature is a tyranny; it hath been The untimely emptying
    of the happy throne, And fall of many kings...”
    The Tragedy of MacBeth, from MacDuff, Act IV. Sc. III.
     
  14. Message #854 of 994 Jul 28, 2018
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    Hollywoodaholic

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    21. Two centiments, continued: (Spoilers)

    "The Children of Spider County"

    This episode doesn't do anything for me, except every time Kent Smith talks he puts me into a Kent Smith Koma.

    Kent Smith was such a prolific guest star during the sixties television series, turning up everywhere, but I'm just not a fan.

    I suppose this is where I must confess my Kent Smith phobia. I have always had a problem taking his over seriousness seriously. Where was his Leslie Nielsen career reinvention as a straight man in goofball comedies? He was ripe. But every time he turns up on TOL or The Invaders or Night Gallery or The Cat People or anywhere else, I am lulled into a delta brainwave state of deep unconsciousness, which is not conducive for watching television. Perhaps he should have just stuck to hypnotic sessions on audio tape for quitting cigarettes or hair highlighting. He could have even recorded them in that godawful Bela Lugosi dialect he attempted on “It Crawled Out of the Woodwork.” But please … cut the cardboard and spare me any more KS syndrome. Okay, it’s finally out there. I feel much better now. Breathe deeply.

    An alien uses Earth for in vitro fertilization (because, why not) and then comes to reclaim his grown progeny. That's it. It's really just a premise and not much of a story. A decent premise, but a premise does not a worthwhile episode make.

    We've got another 'dreamer in denim' just trying to dig his own scene (I buy the one in another favorite episode "The Guests" coming later), his alien dad swearing he 'doesn't kill' people, he just 'destroys' them. Oh, that's a relief. And some Space Force FBI guy tracking him down, and the standby girlfriend, and... sorry, just don't care for any of them, or this episode.

    And I don't see anyone stepping forward to do an audio commentary extra on it. That would have been more challenging than withstanding a Kent Smith Koma.

    But there's one way this episode delivers; it's better than Nyquil.
     
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  15. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Wayne, I also watched The Children of Spider County. I was not as engrossed in this story as well. It has a great premise, but wasn’t followed through very well, I agree.

    Kent Smith didn’t bother me as much, I just thought oh yeah, he was in It Crawled Out of the Woodwork.

    In the end, the episode didn’t really fulfill its premise and was a waste.
     
  16. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Craig, if you’re still reading this thread, I happen to read your blog on The Twilight Zone for the episode, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. Not sure if there is a Twilight Zone thread here anymore that’s current to discuss that series. I just wanted to add that I wasn’t as bothered by the gremlin. Maybe because I had been exposed to it early in my youth. Maybe when I was 10 or 12. It wasn’t an issue for me. The scariest part of the episode is when the gremlin is looking into the window when Shatner pulls the drapes back. That was a good shot and Shatner sells it well. Might have to go back to those blu rays soon and view a few more episodes.
     
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  17. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    You mean the sheepskin raccoon face dude? One area The Outer Limits actually surpassed The Twilight Zone was probably in monster design. But when we were kids it worked, and, right, the close up shock was the best.

    I remember having the Gold Key comic book of The Twilight Zone that featured gremlins attacking a B-17 and they were little green nasties, but there was no way the SFX of the show could have done them at the time.
     
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  18. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey Wayne, yes. The sheepskin dude. :). The face was pretty well done make-up wise. The make-up department at MGM did lack the imagination that the Projects Unlimited guys were able to achieve for The Outer Limits. Though I think Fred Philips did some pretty grotesque faces for several classic TZ episodes. Eye of the Beholder is one.

    I recall an episode of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories series, if that was the title, where a WW2 battle in a B-17 had a stuck landing gear and it had a magical ending. I can’t recall if it was a gremlin or damage from battle. But your post reminded me of that.
     
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  19. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Producer
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    I seem to be behind others in this thread. Today I watched Don't Open 'til Doomsday and The Invisibles. I'm sorry, I just could not bring myself to sit through Zzzz (restored or not, I just really don't like that episode).

    Don't Open 'til Doomsday has a great Sunset Boulevard vibe and a fairly creepy alien. Interesting to see Buck Taylor in an early role. I remember his mostly from Gunsmoke. Not a top episode for me, but very atmospheric just the same.

    The Invisibles seems lit a proto version of The Invaders, just with a visible alien. Don Gordon really sold this episode with his intense portrayal. Interesting to see Richard Dawson as a fawning sidekick. I really enjoyed this one.
     
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  20. JohnHopper

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    Find how I sell this episode.

    The monster: an alien imperialist
    The foe: a runaway convict and the same alien imperialist
    The target: the federal government
    The setting: the countryside
    The sociology: the federal government
    The reference: The Fugitive paired wth The Bible
    The high point: The performance of actor Kent Smith
     

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