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Genius in Collaboration: The Outer Limits, Season One from Kino Lorber

"The Galaxy Being"

“The Galaxy Being”

By Tony Williams.

I saw my first episode of The Outer Limits on a regional independent television station in the mid-60s. Opening with the evocative credit sequence “There is nothing wrong with your television set. We will control everything…” the off-screen voice of Vic Perrin promised to take us all on “a great adventure” and very rarely, if ever, was the promise not fulfilled. This first episode was “The Zanti Misfits,” compelling on all levels, suspense, acting, visual style, deceptive framing concerning the alien spaceship’s initial appearance, and a moral climax that appeared neither preachy nor forced but appropriate to the episode’s coherence. Several decades later before my own version of a “great adventure” into the so-called “Land of Freedom” and initial illusions concerning finally seeing all those movies listed on imported “Movies on TV” paperbacks that I believed accessible on US broadcast television, I re-watched this episode with trepidation fearing that it would not live up to my initial reception. It did and I have watched it several times since, on VHS and now with the deservedly two audio-commentaries devoted to it in this excellent release of Season One from Kino Lorber. Naturally, in the UK, we only saw a selection of the original series and it was not until the second televised run in the 1980s that I finally got to see classic episodes from the second season, such as “Demon with a Glass Hand” and “Soldier,” both written by Harlan Ellison. So it is with great pleasure that I was able to receive a review copy of the first, that will hopefully be followed by the second once Kino-Lorber finishes production, to convey my excitement at reviewing one of the most accomplished American television series of all time as well as seeing other episodes for the first time.

Today, with television mini-series such as The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Hannibal, and many others, it has become a truism to note cinematic techniques applied to a very different medium making claims for artistry more acceptable now than they were in the past. But, despite many critical attacks upon the supposed banal and vulgar visual naturalism inherent within this “black sheep” relative of its more assured and accomplished big brother or sister (a disdain that contemporary cinema can no longer support), creative and cinematic techniques were, and could be, applied to television despite the restrictions on the medium, short shooting schedules, and censorship issues that usually prohibited any form of artistry or radical expression. Maybe other exceptions remain to be discovered but in England the German expressionistic leanings of producer/director Rudolph Carter in the BBC TV 1950s Quatermass trilogy and the work of former actors turned directors such as Peter Hammond reveal that talents existed that did not regard television as an inferior medium. (1) In his audio-commentary on “The Bellaro Shield” Tim Lucas expresses his amazement at fans who rejected the Blu-ray restoration feeling that the series was more appropriately seen in its original TV analog form. By contrast, he points out that the producers aimed at making the series, cinematic, shot on 35mm, and viewed rushes in the same way as films were viewed as opposed to using standard television production methods. The series survives today as a cinematic televisual combination of art and entertainment, and this makes its pioneering appropriations unique today. The Outer Limits is another example of this tendency of developing television to its creative outer limits, but it is a tendency that privileges a collective group of talents over the idea of the individual auteur, a theory necessary in its time but like all enduring and good theories, capable of refinement and revision.

Season One of The Outer Limits confirms this by including the very insightful audio-commentaries of a carefully selected group of people chosen not for celebrity status to sell the product but for their professional expertise. They are both enthusiastic about the subject and know what they are talking about. Both on standard and Blu-Ray editions, the visual quality of the restoration is superb but it is also complemented by commentaries often by people who have written books on the series, many out of print and only available at high second hand prices, who share their expertise and knowledge with us in a collaborative manner indicative of good team work echoing a similar unity that must have occurred on the original episodes. They include David J. Schow, author of The Outer Limits Companion (2018) and The Outer Limits at 50 (2014); Lucas; Gary Gerrani (whose co-written 1977 book Fantastic Television is still in my collection); musicologist expert Reba Wissner, author of the 2016 We Will Control All That You Hear: The Outer Limits and the Aural Imagination; Craig Beam webmaster of the informative 2013-2015 blog My Life in the Glow of the Outer Limits; producer and director Steve Mitchell, and film historian and restorationist Michael Hyatt. All these people are experts and accomplished talents in various areas, especially Wissner whose knowledge of music cues, their sources, and application, provides keen critical analysis into an area that deserves to be better known.

Joseph Stefano

Joseph Stefano

The origins of The Outer Limits derive from Daystar productions, a company that produced the short-lived 1962-63 series Stoney Burke from which many of The Outer Limits leading talents would emerge. Daystar’s prestigious CEO Leslie Stevens (1924-1998) had worked with Orson Welles as well as on Dick Powell’s Four Star Playhouse that had encouraged other talents such as Robert Aldrich and Sam Peckinpah. He directed the series pilot “Please Stand By” in December 1962 that become the opening recut episode “The Galaxy Being” broadcast on September 16, 1963, directed by Stevens from his own teleplay. The series producer Joseph Stefano (1927-2011), who had worked with Hitchcock on Psycho (and who later directed the best of the film’s sequels Psycho IV) (2) also took a very active part in the production process often re-writing teleplays and contributing several of his own. Often featuring actors who would make return appearances, such as Cliff Robertson, Robert Culp, Robert Duvall, George Macready, and David Frankham, the series not only operated as a televisual type of repertory company featuring personnel actively involved behind and before the company but also deliberately employed cinematic techniques within the television format. The Outer Limits often had a “noirish” look, giving lie to the assertion that the classical style had died out after 1958 and involved many creative talents within a collaborative mode of authorship resulting in the series’ use of a distinctive visual style. In his audio-commentary, Schow refers to this unique visual style and notes the innovative features employed by collaborative talents such as Stevens and Stefano as opposed to the solitary authorial status Rod Serling occupied in The Twilight Zone, each episode introduced by its individual author or influencer.

The Outer Limits’ outstanding episodes were sometimes the result of a “Troika” collaboration as several audio-commentators have noted. This comprised Stefano as producer, teleplay rewriter, and sometimes writer but also those of cinematographer Conrad Hall (1926-2003) and director Gerd Oswald (1919-1989), the son of German-Jewish Weimar director Richard Oswald (1880-1963) whose later American film noir Isle of Missing Men (1942) starring Franz Lederer (1899-2000) deserves better recognition. Oswald directed 14 episodes of the series including Harlan Ellison’s “Soldier” (1964) in Season 2 that “inspired” The Terminator (1984) while Hall photographed 15. Yet, fascinating though it is to try to relate the most achieved episodes to the “Troika”, it must also be remembered that the whole series had a distinctive visual style and even if certain episodes did not reach the level of others they were also characterized by excellent professional performances by others such as Ralph Meeker, Henry Silva, and Janet Blair in “Tourist Attraction” (23 December 1963), Donald Pleasance in “The Man with the Power” (7 October 1963), and Harry Guardino, Gary Merrill, and Sally Kellerman in “The Human Factor” (11 December 1963). In fact, the whole series is characterized by high caliber performances whatever deficiencies may result elsewhere.

Gerd Oswald

Gerd Oswald

Usually, the prologue to each episode usually featured the “monster of the week” or “bear” before going into the series’ well-known credits. This was the case of “The Galaxy Being” where the real danger is often seen as emerging from the human race rather than the alien – an echo of Robert Wise’s unique progressive science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) – and reinforced in the moral of “The Zanti Misfits”, far removed from Eric Rohmer’s high-art “moral tales” but relevant nonetheless. The second episode “The Hundred Days of the Dragon,” the title based on a book “The Hundred Days of Napoleon,” directed by Byron Haskin, moves within familiar Cold War paranoia mode dealing within a different type of “alien invasion” influenced by The Manchurian Candidate (1962) with the always reliable Philip Ahn and a young James Hong in supporting roles. Haskin also directed the memorable “The Architects of Fear,” photographed by Hall and featuring Robert Culp in the first of his three series roles, following the guidance of Stefano who wanted the look of silent films. Gerani’s commentary emphasizes that this episode’s visual style went far beyond that its competitor The Twilight Zone. It was the first teleplay of the series by Meyer Dolinsky who would also write the similarly paranoid “O.B.I.T.”

Starring David McCallum, “The Sixth Finger” (14 October 1963) was written by Elliot St. Joseph who founded New York University’s Drama Department and, according to Schow, wrote the only script Stefano looked at and said, “Film it!” Like other commentators Schow refers to the original script versions and notices not only the editing of certain characters and incidents but also the role of the network censors who eliminated references to Charles Darwin in the original version. Originally McCallum’s character was to regress into a primeval jellyfish at the end evoking the comment “He’s gone back to the very origins of life” but the production team felt a less apocalyptic ending was more suitable.

"The Zanti Misfits"

“The Zanti Misfits”

Garry Gerani justifiably regards “The Man who was Never Born” (28 October 1963) as “one of the great episodes of the series” and “some say, the best.” Photographed by Hall and directed by Leonard Horn, who would helm “The Zanti Misfits,” Gerani notes a possible Psycho influence with someone expected to be a leading character not surviving into Act 2. Excellent acting by Actor’s Studio graduate Martin Landau and Lee Strasberg/ Erwin Piscator student Shirley Knight makes this episode extremely memorable. In fact, the entire series reveals the type of excellent acting that is now virtually extinct today. It owed much to the educational role of great teachers of the past, making one wonder who Leonardo di Caprio studied under? Scripted by Dolinsky, directed by Oswald, and written by Hall, “O.B.I.T.” (4 November 1963) is the most paranoid episode in the series evoking not only contemporary fears of surveillance but also anticipating our future addicted world of computers, smartphones, and the internet – all contemporary versions of the security apparatus. Scenarist Dolinsky and actor Jeff Corey were both blacklist victims as Beam states in his stimulating audio-commentary always fully conversant with the backgrounds of production and acting personnel. The narrative uncannily foreshadows the “addiction” syndrome adversely affecting internet victims some fifty or so years after the episode first aired. Produced by Stefano, directed by Oswald, photographed by Hall, starring Culp, “Corpus Earthling” (18 November 1963) is a sterling example of the “Troika” in action. Beam regards its tragic ending as being antithetical to the ethic of the series revealing it as its most cynical illustrating a type of horrific situation that other episodes rarely engage in. On the other hand, variety is the spice of life and why should not at least one episode be different?

Schow regards “Nightmare” (2 December 1963) as “one of the best written episodes of The Outer Limits,” which is not surprising since Stefano was both producer and writer while David Erman directed. The latter would also move on to Star Trek and direct the very similar 1968 “Empath” episode. John M. Nickolaus photographed an episode dependent on ensemble acting resembling an experimental stage drama using black velvet drapes in the background. Noting Erman’s attachment to actors, Stefano re-edited the episode and advised Erman to stop casting and direct rather than being too totally focused on performances. Like myself, Scow sees many parallels to the 1945 Lewis Milestone propaganda film The Purple Heart but this episode ends in the typical Outer Limits mode with humans being a danger to aliens. Like Willem Dafoe in John Carter (2011), John Anderson delivers a professional performance behind a pre-CGI mask. Stefano wrote “Nightmare” “out of deep suspicion” with what was going on in America at the time and the episode exhibits a sense of that “Gothic psychological horror” also present in Psycho. When interviewed eleven years before his death in 2011 Stefano regarded the episode as “the centerpiece of my career.” The episode also features Ed Nelson, David Frankham and a young Martin Sheen.

"Nightmare"

“Nightmare”

Also written by Stefano, “The Zanti Misfits” (30 December 1963 deservedly gets two commentaries. The first delivered by Tim Lucas in his usual detail, professional, and well-researched manner sketches the background of many of the leading collaborators on this episode as well as noting that it was the series’ only foray into stop-motion animation with the 27 year-old Bruce Dern’s screams heard on the radio equivalent to what we could term “snuff radio.” All commentators note the incongruity of the relationship between a self-destructive older woman (Deering was 45 at the time) and a younger man (Dern) remarking that this was a very unusual “odd couple” for this time. Gerani and Mitchell deliver a complimentary audio-commentary based on enthusiasm and knowledge, the latter noticing that Stefano knew the value of employing good actors such as Dern, Deering, Actor’s Studio graduate Robert F. Simon, and Russian-Jewish born Michael Tolan. Speaking from his professional background, Mitchell comments that the series was “always more cinematic than any other show” exhibiting lots of imagination and hard work. Stefano was also a huge fan of foreign films and Gerani notes that he wanted to give a fifty minute television movie a “Euro look.”

Wissner contributes her musical expertise to “The Mice” (6 January 1964), “Controlled Experiment,” and “Don’t Open till Doomsday” (20 January 1964). While the first was written by Stefano, the second was scripted and directed by Leslie Stevens with the third being another key example of the Troika at work with Stefano both producing and scripting, Oswald directing, and Hall photographing it. The second is remarkable in several ways in not only depicting a Outer Limits dual performance act between the different talents of Dublin Gate Theatre alumnus Carrol 0’Connor (1924-2001) and Barry Morse (1918-2008) but also in making the episode an equivalent to an exercise in editing and the choices facing any director with a Movieola allowing him/her to play back the scene, move in slow or fast motion, and engage in necessary editing. I have no idea if anyone has recognized this aspect, but it definitely makes the episode essential viewing for film production students. Two highly accomplished actors appear, both showing they are capable of doing much more than the Lt. Gerard and Archie Bunker roles they became most identified with. O’Connor speaks in an English accent (echoing his role in a 1962 Naked City episode where he played an English manservant appearing also with Salome Jens who also appears in “Corpus Earthling”) when meeting his fellow Martian but changing to into New York accented speech whenever he has to deal with a human. Starring Miriam Hopkins in a role that appears influenced by Robert Aldrich’s What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) and anticipating Hush, Hush…Sweet Charlotte (1965), “Don’t Open Till Doomsday,” conveys a combined aura of suspense, fear, and the melodramatic poignancy of wasted lives. I never saw this episode before so it is one of the many discoveries I will encounter when viewing this series.

“ZZZ” (27 Jan. 1964), “The Invisibles,” and “The Bellaro Shield” all benefit from Tim Lucas’s informative commentaries that complement the excellent aspects of these productions. One value of listening to any professional commentator is not only its educational value but also the possibility of making alternative and supportive suggestions. (I’ve congratulated three of the audio-commentators and begun an enjoyable debate with Tim already.) Bringing together esteemed German director John Bram (1893-1982), whose television work deserves equal consideration with his cinematic achievements, Dolinsky, and Hall, the episode contains a highly interesting sub-text that Lucas outlines in terms of its Outer Limits version of a creation myth with the scientist (Phillip Abbott) as Adam, his wife Francesca (Marsha Hunt) as an ill-fated Eve, and Regina (Joana Frank) as a femme fatale Lilith. Knowledge of antecedents such as Roger Corman’s The Wasp Woman (1959) and responsibly warning listeners about certain successors, Lucas justifiably regards this episode as a “fairy tale, only marginally about bees.”

"ZZZ"

“ZZZ”

Subjected to network censorship changes such as turning “C.I.A” into “G.I.A.,” “The Invisibles” (3 February 1964) belongs to the paranoid realm of the series seen in “The Hundred Days of the Dragon” and “O.B.I.T.” episodes. This is natural Stefano territory so it is both produced and written by him and is another “Troika” collaboration involving Oswald and Hall. It stars the always interesting Don Gordon (1926-2017), who contributed a memorable performance as a condemned man in a 1962 two-part episode of The Defenders, “Madman” among his other achievements. Lucas not only notes antecedents such as Robert Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters (1951) but also detects a veneer of “homosexual panic” within the production. Richard Dawson (1932-2012) whom Lucas identified to me as “Dickie Dawson” on the audio-track, former husband of Diana Dors, plays the only openly gay character in this episode and perhaps in American television for this time. I’d also suggest a tentative influence of Quatermass II.

Scripted and produced by Stephano from a story he co-wrote, “The Bellero Shield” (10 February 1964) is the second episode directed by Brahm and photographed by Hall. Again containing excellent performances by Martin Landau, Chita Rivera, John Hoyt, and Sally Kellerman, this is another contribution to the series’s emphasis on dangerous humans and victimized aliens but with Shakespearean overtones. Lucas notes analogies to Macbeth with the final scene setting the seal on the many references employed in this superbly shot nourish entry. However, acting honors clearly belong to Kellerman in her Lady Macbeth role who carries the entire production with a performance that is both appropriately cinematic and theatrical. This is probably one of the best roles in her long and distinguished career revealing that like O’Connor, Morse, and Landau, she was capable of much more diverse and outstanding acting than later roles allowed her. According to Lucas’s audio-commentary, she had trained under Jeff Corey as had Shirley Knight (with whom she acted in a stage production of Look Back in Anger). Landau, himself, was only one of two students accepted into the Actor’s Studio in 1955, the other being Steve McQueen. Yet, as well as Macbeth, I would suggest another influence deriving from Stefano’s association with Hitchcock – Rebecca (1940). Kellerman could also be seen as an Outer Limits version of an alive Rebecca, more powerful than her husband and father-in-law (played with appropriate anachronistic theatrical gravity by former silent star Neil Hamilton), aided by the Iago figure (noted by Lucas) of Rivera’s sinister and barefoot (non-Contessa) housekeeper Mrs. Dame who also resembles Mrs. Danvers of Hitchcock’s film. Not only is Kellerman’s character named “Judith” after the actress who appeared in that 1940 film, but both women share confidences as the weak Landau husband figure tries to elicit in vain from this enigmatic figure. At the end, Judith Bellaro receives a worse punishment than Rebecca. As well as the proto-feminism Lucas notes in this episode, I would like to suggest a lesbian sub-text to complement his reading of “The Invisibles.”

Directed by Leonard Horn, “The Children of Spider County” (17 February 1964), contains a variant on the series alien-human encounter trajectory with Anthony Lawrence’s teleplay supported by the sterling acting shown by Lee Kinsolving and Kent Smith with photography by Kenneth Peach and the inimitable William 0. Douglas portraying the alien side of Smith. In his fi4rst monster role in “The Galaxy Being” he had employed techniques derived from Marcel Marceau and whenever he appears the audience is guaranteed the effect of a believable monster.

"Children of Spider County"

“Children of Spider County”

Unfortunately, not every episode of The Outer Limits is good and one should expect that for every gold nugget found while prospecting sludge and pebbles often appear. Despite direction by Oswald, “Specimen: Unknown” belongs to the latter category. However, skepticism about whether this episode deserves an audio-commentary is removed by Craig Beam’s critical and humorous remarks that are not Mystery Science Theater 300-style snotty sarcasm but a deserved response to something less than meets the eye in which the flaws and inconsistencies are justifiably exposed. This was one of the episodes than ran short of the required running time so Robert H. Justman wrote a substitute six minute scene featuring solitary performance by Dabney Coleman that Leslie Stevens directed. However, Beam does not let the original director or first scenarist Stephen Lord off the hook but subjects them to a well-deserved, justified critical roasting. Unfortunately, despite Warren Oates’s only appearance in the series as the title character “The Mutant,” this is another disappointing episode and despite the efforts of David Schow to save it, quotations from the original script versions are not enough.

Featuring a guest star appearance by Gloria Grahame, “The Guests” is one of the most Gothic episodes of the series revealing many visual associations with Thriller episodes as Gerani and Schow note in their joint commentary. Photographed by Robert Peach, who could rise to the level of Hall under the influence of an inspiring director, the episode displays a much heavier emphasis on the Gothic than other series episodes and this may be due to Stefano’s influence on scenarist Donald Sanford. Comparisons are made to Curtis Harrington’s Night Tide (1961) as well as to Twilight Zone writers such as Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson described by the commentators as representing the heart of that series while Serling was the brain. This is a really interesting remark connected to other commentators’ reference to the combination of various talents in The Outer Limits such as the “Troika” and how certain episodes may succeed due to a particular authorship combination of participants while others do not. A staircase appears prominently in this episode as well as in others revealing Stefano’s involvement whether as producer, script writer, scenarist, or co-story collaborator. In fact after undergoing psychoanalysis Stefano recognized that all his work involved staircases in one form or another. Alongside Grahame, all the actors deliver collaborative ensemble performances directed by Paul Stanley (1922-2002) who also directed two other series episodes “Nice Guy” and “Second Chance.”

"The Chameleon"

“The Chameleon”

Gerani and Schow point out that Peach’s cinematography in “The Special One” was one of the many attempts to capture Hall’s visual style when the latter was involved with other projects while Robert Towne’s teleplay for “The Chameleon” from a story co-written by him is another example of his professional craftsmanship aided by a strong performance by Robert Duvall in another of the series pro-alien episodes. Unfortunately Schow’s commentary on “A Feasibility Study” concentrates too much on background information about principal series collaborators such as Haskin and Stefano who both wrote and produced this episode rather than analyzing it in depth. The blacklisted Sam Wanamaker’s appearance on American television following his involuntary exile could have formed some interesting commentary exploration. Otherwise Schow is good on Stefano’s problems with network censorship and his fascination with Gothic imagery that places the series within the realm of horror as well as science fiction.

Tim Lucas contributes the final audio-commentaries to “Production and Decay of Strange Particles” and “The Forms of Things Unknown” previously envisaged as the pilot for another series. Noting the former’s appearance on April 20, 1974 as marking the last contribution of Leslie Stevens to the show he helped to create, this episode was photographed by Peach in the series key chiaroscuro visual style and written and directed by Stevens himself. Lucas notes the episode’s parallels to the work of Nigel Kneale and Lovecraft as well as the fine performances of George Macready and Signe Hasso. His final audio-commentary delivers sufficient justice to the outstanding episode that closed the first season which also saw the last creative collaboration between the “Troika” with Stefano as writer, Oswald as director, and Hall as cinematographer in his last visual contribution to the series. Shown on May 4, 1964, this is one of the most erotic and darkest episodes of the series and Lucas notes the parallels to Clouzot’s Diabolique (1954). Vera Miles and Barbara Rush are Stefano’s versions of Simone Signoret and Vera Clouzot, the blonde again being the stronger woman. Not only does Stefano reveal that Hitchcock references were present almost immediately after Psycho well before the emergence of Brian DePalma but also that David McCallum’s mysterious Tone Hobart is the episode’s Norman Bates since he gives one reason for his macabre invention as desiring to bring his dead mother back from the grave. Many of the scenes in this episode are visually striking and one shot of Tone at a door shot from underneath filmed in low angle anticipates that of the trapped Jack Nicholson in a later scene in The Shining (1979). Also echoing James Whale’s The Old Dark House (1932) with Cedric Hardwicke (who played a Frankenstein as well as his father’s ghost in The Ghost of Frankenstein, 1942) portraying someone who initially appears to be a servant but is actually the owner of the house, the episode shows how it is possible both to refer to previous tradition in a respectful manner and rework ideas in new and ingenious ways rather than copy them redundantly in the crass manner of Quentin Tarantino.

"Forms of Things Unknown"

“Forms of Things Unknown”

Accompanied by an informative booklet written by David J. Schow, this is an outstanding DVD compilation of the First Season making one hunger for the second now in production. Using expert talents and presenting the episodes in new high definition and Blu-Ray formats, Kino-Lorber reveals how important it is to preserve the heritage of the past, especially a series that deserves to be better known than it has been outside the dedicated group of devotees who have kept its memory alive throughout the decades. This set is of key educational value in promotion appreciation and understanding to those outside academic departments free from the obscurantism and trivial treatments of undeserving subject matter inflicted on new generations of students. Any important work must appeal to both academic and mainstream audiences. This is certainly the case with The Outer Limits.

In its way, it also contributes to fresh debates on authorship as to whether everything of value is due to one particular talent. If we move to the collaborative aspect is it entirely due to the “genius of the system” in television. Stevens, Stefano, and others would probably not acclaim the value of that system in terms that certain critics have made for the production system. If there is a creative collaboration then what is the contribution of its components? The “Troika” concept in the series provides much food for thought here. Orson Welles dismissed the auteur theory in favor of a collaborative process, but he emphasized the role of the director in the center of such a process. (3) Stefano, John Michael Hayes, Bernard Herrmann, James Stewart, Cary Grant, and others worked with Hitchcock at various times but when they often worked with other talents the parts did not add up to a significant whole. One may mourn the absence of Herrmann in later Hitchcock films, particularly when we listen to his original, discarded score for Torn Curtain (1965). But without that director the films would have fallen apart. One could also evaluate what is missing in Torn Curtain and Topaz (1969) and whether the involvement of other talents in addition to more sympathetic production executives could have resulted in entirely different films. Can the “Troika” concept be applied elsewhere? These are interesting question and it is to the credit of this series and its commentators that they can be raised in addition to their fine critical work.

Decades after its original appearance, the series challenges its viewers to move towards an outer limits far beyond our stifling environment to envisage news possibilities both creative and progressive. We have much to learn from a past, one that is distant from our recent memories to show what can really be done within those limited confines where less can result in saying much more than the rigid constraints of big budgets allow. The Outer Limits is one such example from the past that can stimulate new directions for those willing to see what was possible then and continue it now.

Endnotes

  1. See http://filmint.nu/?p=21614; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/tv-radio-obituaries/8837255/Peter-Hammond.html. I can vouch for the now lost Hereward the Wake, the rarely seen Our Mutual Friend, and Dark Angel (1989) based on Sheridan LeFanu’s Uncle Silas (an earlier 1968 ITV version featuring Robert Eddison in the title role) with a flamboyant Peter 0’Toole acting excessively to match the Gothic overtones of the story’s necessary visual style in the title role. The Count of Monte Cristo has been recently restored on DVD.
  2. See Tony Williams, Hearths of Darkness: The Family in the American Horror Film. Updated Edition. Jackson, MI.: University Press of Mississippi, 2014, pp.265-268.
  3. See Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, This is Orson Welles. New York: Da Capo Press, 1998, p. 8: John Caughie, Ed. Theories of Authorship: A Reader. London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986, pp. 197-206.

Tony Williams is Professor and Area Head of Film Studies in the Department of English, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Author of James Jones: The Limits of Eternity (2016) and co-editor with Esther C.M. Yau of Hong Kong Neo Noir (now in paperback), he is also a contributing editor to Film International.

2 Comments for “Genius in Collaboration: The Outer Limits, Season One from Kino Lorber”

  1. Christopher Sharrett

    Tony, an excellent accounting of this series as released by Kino Lorber. I have always found it superior to The Twilight Zone, whose very obvious moralism–for children–made me think of a weak version of Aesop’s Fables, Rod Serling reminding you of the point in case you were sleeping. But I give Serling credit for his liberalism in a dark time. Still, The Outer Limits is more challenging, more unnerving, at least in its day.

  2. Several of the commentators make the same case on this DVD. That is why it is so refreshing to listen to experts who have credentials rather than celebrities who do not.

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