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Encyclopedia > The Outer Limits

The Outer Limits is an American television series. Similar in style to the earlier The Twilight Zone, though tending more to science fiction than fantasy, The Outer Limits is an anthology show in which each episode is a self-contained story, sometimes with a plot twist. In its original incarnation the show ran for two seasons from 1963 to 1965 in black-and-white. It was revived in 1995 and ran for seven seasons, until 2002. A television program is the content of television broadcasting. ... The Twilight Zone title. ... An anthology, literally a garland or collection of flowers, is a collection of literary works, originally of poems. ... A Plot twist is a change (twist) in the direction or expected outcome of the plot of a film or novel. ...

Contents

1963-1965

The Outer Limits (1963)
Opening titles – 1960s
Opening Title Screen
Format Science Fiction
Created by Leslie Stevens
Narrated by Vic Perrin (Control Voice)
Opening theme Dominic Frontiere
Country of origin Flag of the United States United States
No. of episodes 49 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Joseph Stefano
Cinematography Conrad Hall
Running time 60 min.
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run September 16, 1963January 16, 1965

Screenshot from the 1960s verison of The Outer Limits title This is a screenshot of a copyrighted movie or television program. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Leslie A. Stevens III (February 3, 1924 — April 24, 1998) was the creator of the cult TV series The Outer Limits (1963 — 1965) and director of the cult horror film Incubus (1965), starring William Shatner. ... Vic Perrin (April 26, 1916 – July 4, 1989) was an American actor and voice artist. ... Dominic Frontiere (born June 17, 1931) is an American composer and arranger. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... This page is a list of the episodes of the U.S. science fiction television show The Outer Limits. ... Joseph Stefano (5 May 1922 - 25 August 2006) was an American screenwriter. ... Conrad L. Hall (June 21, 1926 - January 4, 2003) was a top-billed Hollywood cinematographer. ... The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... is the 259th day of the year (260th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ...

Intro

"There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits." — Opening narration – The Control Voice – 1960s

Production info

The Outer Limits originally ran from 1963 to 1965 on the U.S. broadcast network ABC, and a total of 49 episodes. It was created by Leslie Stevens and was one of the many series ostensibly influenced by The Twilight Zone and Science Fiction Theatre, though it was ultimately influential in its own right. In the unaired pilot, the series was titled Please Stand By but this was rejected by ABC, so Stevens quickly changed the title to The Outer Limits. With a few other minor changes, the pilot aired as the premiere episode "The Galaxy Being". The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... Leslie A. Stevens III (February 3, 1924 — April 24, 1998) was the creator of the cult TV series The Outer Limits (1963 — 1965) and director of the cult horror film Incubus (1965), starring William Shatner. ... The Twilight Zone title. ... Science Fiction Theatre was a syndicated science fiction anthology series. ... List of The Outer Limits episodes The Galaxy Being is the first episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. ...


Writers included creator Stevens and Joseph Stefano (screenwriter for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho), the series' first-season producer and energetic guiding force. Harlan Ellison wrote an ("Soldier") for the show's more cautious second season; Ellison later argued in the courts the was the inspiration for the Terminator film series; he was awarded several hundred thousand dollars of damages and the closing credits of the first movie the creators "wish to acknowledge the works of Harlan Ellison". He also won the right to have a notice acknowledging his work added to all versions of the film going forward. Joseph Stefano (5 May 1922 - 25 August 2006) was an American screenwriter. ... Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE (August 13, 1899 â€“ April 29, 1980) was an iconic and highly influential British-born film director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and thriller genres. ... Psycho is a 1960 suspense/horror film directed by auteur Alfred Hitchcock from the screenplay by Joseph Stefano about a psychotic killer. ... Harlan Jay Ellison (born May 27, 1934) is a prolific American writer of short stories, novellas, teleplays, essays, and criticism. ... Soldier is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. ... The Terminator series is a franchise encompassing a series of science fiction films and ancillary media concerning battles between Skynets artificially intelligent machine network, and John Connors Tech-Com forces and the rest of the human race. ...


Like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits had an opening and closing narration to almost every episode -- known as the "Control Voice" (vocal artist Vic Perrin) – and distinctive music, originally by Dominic Frontiere, who was also listed as "Production Executive". The second season used a new theme by Harry Lubin. The dramatic thrust of the two shows was different. The Twilight Zone made frequent use of irony, in which the chief character would achieve his goal, but not in the manner desired. The Outer Limits was often straight action, but also delved into deep philosophical problems within the context of a sci-fi setting. Many of the stories dwelled on the triumph of the human spirit, often in a confrontation with some dark or existential force from within or without (hence the "...mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits" from the opening narration). Vic Perrin (April 26, 1916 – July 4, 1989) was an American actor and voice artist. ... Dominic Frontiere (born June 17, 1931) is an American composer and arranger. ...


Cinematography

The program sometimes made use of techniques (lighting, camerawork, even makeup) associated with film noir or German Expressionism (see for example, Corpus Earthling), and a number of episodes were noteworthy for their sheer eeriness. Credit for this is often given to cinematographer Conrad Hall, who would go on to win three Academy Awards (and many more nominations) for his work in film. However, it should be noted that Hall worked only on alternate episodes of the show during the first two-thirds of the first season; the show's other cinematographers included John M. Nickolaus and Kenneth Peach. This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style of film noir at its most extreme. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Corpus Earthling is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. ... Conrad L. Hall (June 21, 1926 - January 4, 2003) was a top-billed Hollywood cinematographer. ... John Mathew Nickolaus, Jr. ... Kenneth D. Peach, Sr. ...


Special effects

Each show was to have a monster or creature as a critical part of the story line. Stefano believed that this element was necessary to provide fear, suspense, or at least a center for plot development. Many times, the "bear," as it came to be called, was notably frightening to audiences. In some cases, it was nothing more than an unusual force directed by a person or other being. These creatures and props were developed by a loose-knit group organized under the name Project Unlimited. Members of the group included Wah Chang, Gene Warren and Jim Danforth. Makeup was executed by Fred B. Phillips along with John Chambers. On this book cover, Wah Chang poses with the jeweled dragon he built and animated for The Singing Bone segment of George Pals The Wonderful World of Brothers Grimm. ... Gene Warren, Sr. ... Stop motion master animator, and well known for his matte-painting skill. ... John Chambers (b. ...


Influence on Star Trek

A few of the monsters reappeared in Gene Roddenberry's 1960s Star Trek show. A feathered creature was modified to appear as a zoo animal in the background of the first pilot of Star Trek; a prop head from "Fun and Games" was used to make a Talosian appear as a vicious creature. The moving carpet beast in "The Probe" later was used as the "Horta", and operated by the same actor (Janos Prohaska). The process used to make pointed ears for David McCallum in "The Sixth Finger" was reused in Star Trek as well. William Shatner appeared in the starring role in the episode "Cold Hands, Warm Heart", "Scotty" appeared in a supporting role as a policeman in "The Inheritors" and other actors established in the genre by the first series appeared in Trek episodes. Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American scriptwriter and producer. ... This article is about the entire Star Trek franchise. ... Kirk faces off the Horta in The Devil in the Dark. In the fictional universe of Star Trek, the Horta are a silicon-based species, introduced in the original series episode The Devil in the Dark. An intelligent species indigenous to the planet Janus IV, the Horta can comfortably live... Janos Prohaska (October 10, 1919 - March 13, 1974) was a Hungarian actor and stunt man, best known for playing the roles of animals, real and imaginary. ... David Keith McCallum (born September 19, 1933) is a prolific Scottish actor and the son of concertmaster violinist David McCallum, Sr. ... The Sixth Finger is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. ... William Alan Shatner (born on March 22, 1931) is a Canadian actor who gained fame for playing James Tiberius Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the television show Star Trek from 1966 to 1969 and in seven of the subsequent movies. ...


In fact Gene Roddenberry paid a lot of attention to what The Outer Limits team was doing at the time, and he was often present in their studios. Later he hired several Outer Limits alumni for the production of Star Trek. (Source: The Outer Limits Official Companion, Schow & Frentzen, page 361.)


1995-2002

The Outer Limits (1995)
Opening titles – 2002
The Outer Limits intertitle
Format Science Fiction
Starring Kevin Conway (Control Voice)
Country of origin Flag of the United States United States
Flag of Canada Canada
No. of episodes 154
Production
Running time approx. 41 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Showtime
Sci-Fi Channel
Original run March 26, 1995January 18, 2002
"There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal and the vertical. We can deluge you with a thousand channels or expand one single image to crystal clarity - and beyond. We can shape your vision to anything our imagination can conceive. For the next hour we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the deepest inner mind to... The Outer Limits. Please stand by." — Opening narration – The Control Voice – 1990s

After an aborted attempt to bring back The Outer Limits during the early eighties, it was finally reborn in 1995. The success of television science fiction such as Star Trek sequels and Babylon 5 and anthology shows such as Tales from the Crypt convinced the rights-holders, MGM, to revive it. A deal was made with Trilogy Productions, the company behind such cinema hits as Backdraft and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and the show would run on the pay-tv channel Showtime. The episodes appeared in syndication the following season (the same arrangement as MGM/Showtime series Stargate SG-1 and Poltergeist: The Legacy). It continued on Showtime until 2001, when the U.S. Sci Fi channel quietly took over production. It remained in production until 2002 before finally being cancelled, after a total of 154 episodes — far more than the original incarnation of the show. In the revived show, the Control Voice was supplied by Kevin Conway. The new series distanced itself more from the "monster of the week" mandate that had plagued the original series from its inception; while there were plenty of aliens and monsters, the bear more often defined a specific scientific concept and its effect on humanity. Some episodes illustrating this difference include "Dark Rain" (biochemical warfare causes world-wide sterility), "Final Exam" (discovery of practical cold fusion power), and "A Stitch in Time" (a time traveler tinkers with history). Image File history File links Screenshot of opening credit for The Outer Limits 2002. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Kevin Conway (born May 29, 1942 in New York City) is an American actor and film director. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... This article is about the pay TV channel. ... SCI FI (originally The Sci-Fi Channel, sometimes rendered SCI FI Channel when part of a longer phrase) is an American cable television channel, launched on September 24, 1992, specializing in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal programming. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... This article is about the entire Star Trek franchise. ... Babylon 5 is an epic American science fiction television series created, produced, and largely written by J. Michael Straczynski. ... Tales from the Crypt is an American horror anthology TV series that ran from 1989 to 1996 on the premium cable channel HBO. It was based on the 1950s EC Comics series of the same name and was produced by The Geffen Film Company in association with Warner Bros. ... MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ... Trilogy Productions is a music production team. ... Backdraft is an American movie released in 1991, directed by Ron Howard and written by Gregory Widen. ... Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was a 1991 film directed by Kevin Reynolds. ... This article is about the pay TV channel. ... Stargate SG-1 (often abbreviated as SG-1) is a science fiction television series, part of the Stargate franchise. ... Poltergeist: The Legacy is a 1996 Canadian/American horror television series. ... SCI FI (originally The Sci-Fi Channel, sometimes rendered SCI FI Channel when part of a longer phrase) is an American cable television channel, launched on September 24, 1992, specializing in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal programming. ... Kevin Conway (born May 29, 1942 in New York City) is an American actor and film director. ... King Sphinx, an example of a Villain of the Week, from the Power Rangers series Villain of the week (or, depending on genre, monster of the week or freak of the week) is a term that describes the nature of one-use antagonists in episodic fiction, specifically ongoing American genre... For the Teen Titans episode, see Final Exam (Teen Titans) Final Exam is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. ...


The series was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Stories by Harlan Ellison, A.E. van Vogt, Eando Binder, Larry Niven, Richard Matheson, George R.R. Martin, Stephen King and James Patrick Kelly were adapted for the new series with varying degrees of success. Some of the original series' episodes were remade as well. The revived series contained more violent and sexual content (including occasional female nudity in the Showtime episodes, though this was edited out for syndication in some markets, but kept in others) than the original, including open-ended storylines. For other uses, see Vancouver (disambiguation). ... Harlan Jay Ellison (born May 27, 1934) is a prolific American writer of short stories, novellas, teleplays, essays, and criticism. ... Alfred Elton van Vogt (April 26, 1912 - January 26, 2000) was a Canadian-born science fiction author. ... Eando Binder is a pseudonym for two brothers, Earl Andrew Binder (1904-1965) and Otto Oscar Binder (1911-1975), who were science fiction authors in the mid-20th century. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Richard Burton Matheson (born February 20, 1926) is an American author and screenwriter, typically of fantasy, horror or science fiction. ... George R. R. Martin, circa 1986 George Raymond Richard Martin (born September 20, 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey) is an American writer of science fiction and fantasy, and also a screenwriter and producer. ... For other persons named Stephen King, see Stephen King (disambiguation). ... Front cover of Burn (2005). ...


In every season there is a clip show that connects the plots of several of the show's episodes (see "The Voice of Reason" for an example). At each commercial interval, the Control Voice can be heard saying "The Outer Limits...please stand by". The voice also repeats this phrase upon return from the television ads. The series is now aired in reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel but with a minor alteration – the phrase "please stand by" has been omitted from the opening dialog. In television, a clip show is an episode of a series that consists primarily of excerpts from previous episodes, generally depicted as a sequence of flashbacks given plausibility by a frame tale. ... The Voice of Reason is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


The surreal images from the opening are mostly the work of Jerry Uelsmann. Jerry N. Uelsmann (born 11 June 1934 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American photographer. ...


DVD releases

Original series

The Outer Limits - The Original Series, Volume 1, comprising all 32 episodes of the first season, was released on September 3, 2002. The Outer Limits - The Original Series, Volume 2, containing the 17 episodes of the shortened second season, was released the following year. Volume 3 , a 3 DVD set was released some time later. is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ...


The DVD includes a revised version of the original intro, heard over the episode menu:

"There is nothing wrong with your DVD player. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling your DVD player. We already control the horizontal and the vertical. We now control the digital. We can change the focus from a soft blur to crystal clarity. Sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits."

Modern series

Several DVD anthologies have been released: Sex & Science Fiction, Aliens Among Us, Death and Beyond, Fantastic Androids and Robots, Mutation and Transformation, Time Travel and Infinity.


On November 1, 2005, MGM released Season One of the New Outer Limits on DVD. is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Season Two will be released sometime in 2007.


References

  • The new 'Outer Limits.' - science fiction television show. Omni. Retrieved on May 1, 2005.

is the 121st day of the year (122nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

This page is a list of the episodes of the U.S. science fiction television show The Outer Limits. ... A broadcast of the long-running and popular British science-fiction series Doctor Who. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Outer Limits Summary (1727 words)
Similar in style to the earlier The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits is an anthology science fiction show in which each episode is a self-contained story with a plot twist.
The Outer Limits originally ran from 1963 to 1965 on the U.S. broadcast network ABC, and a total of 49 episodes.
The Outer Limits - The Original Series, Volume 1, comprising all 32 episodes of the first season, was released on September 3, 2002.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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