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1998-05-24 00:00:00 - What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (skyking@shell1.tiac.net)


The Classic Outer Limits show was great but it had different type of episodes, some monster, some space ships and for some unknown reason some purely dramatic episodes with no special effects. So what was up with that? Most shows seem to have a theme ie this is what the show is about. Why was Outer Limits all over the map. Some shows were not scary. Some shows were not about science fiction. So how do we describe this show? Sci Fi, Drama, Suspense, or something all together different? What was the intent of the makers of the show? Thanks Bill Burks

1998-05-24 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (stoodin101@aol.com)


> Most shows seem to have a theme ie this is what the show is about.< >Why was Outer Limits all over the map. The first concept of OL was Leslie Stevens'. He envisioned it as a show based in pure SF ideas, and his scripts show that (THE GALAXY BEING, THE BORDERLAND, CONTROLLED EXPERIMENT, PRODUCTION AND DECAY OF STRANGE PARTICLES). Along the line Joseph Stefano was brought in as producer. He didn't know much about SF, but he knew the Gothic and the frightening. His shows are always more horror than SF (IT CRAWLED OUT OF THE WOODWORK, THE ZANTI MISFITS, FEASIBILITY STUDY, and the ultimate, THE FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN). Then there are the various shows written by other people, following Stefano's guidelines, which are anything but rigid. When the 2nd season began, ABC took control of the show. Stefano and Stevens resigned, and Ben Brady was placed in charge of production. He didn't know SF or Gothic Horror, and as a result the show suffered quite a loss of quality. Seeleg Lester and Harlan Ellison, however, contributed good episodes to season 2, so it wasn't a total loss. Classic OL Expert (*I* am the New OL Expert, apparently) David Schow says that "THere is nothing wrong with your television set" was the whole format of the show. You could do anything, in other words. The new OL has a much heavier emphasis on SF than the old one. It is much like the SF of the 40s and 50s, even as the old show was much like the SF of the 20s and 30s. NECRONOMICON, all-instrumental electronic music inspired by H.P.Lovecraft, now available on c-60 cassette. E-mail StoOdin101@aol.com for details.

1998-05-24 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (jstrongbow@aol.com)


Hey Bill: According to the Outer Limits Companion Guide, you have hit on the reason the original show was cancelled in the middle of its second season. People were confused. The ratings were bad. It was an anthology, with no regular cast, or theme. In this aforementioned guide, there is a manifesto, or canon about what they were striving for. It's pretty interesting. They talk about the thread of science fiction, being the theme. Unfortunately, pretty much from the get-go the audience tuned in to see the monster, and if there was no monster, they wouldn't tune back in. The main man behind the Outer Limits, Joseph Stefano, called the monsters "bears" and gave them affectionate and even cynical names, such as in the episode The Mutant, he referred to the bug-eyed monster as the "Fried Egg Monster". The show had to get by with a very low budget, and consequently they recycled a lot of the monsters and other props and sets. There were a lot of episodes that were pretty bad, but for the msot part, there was so much creativity and great episodes, such as Demon with A Glass Hand; The Achitects of Fear; The Bellero Shield; The 6th Finger; Nightmare; It Crawled out of the Woodwork; Second Chance; Forms of Things Unknown; and The Guests, and many more.

1998-05-25 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - ("Guy Haines,II" <bellero@erols.com>)


For me, the classic OL was mostly about revealing the truth about the intricacies of human nature. Some of the best episodes, despite having interesting, menacing aliens, focus on either the goodness and nobility of the human spirit (A Feasiblity Study) or its evils (Don't Open Til Doomsday) or, usually, both of these (The Human Factor, Second Chance, The Borderland, The Guests, etc). As a kid I loved the aliens (I still do) but having attained the dubious state of adulthood, I find the human characters in the episodes much more frightening and/or uplifting. Guy skyking@shell1.tiac.net wrote in article <6k8sv2$ota@news-central.tiac.net>... So how do we describe this show? > Sci Fi, Drama, Suspense, or something all together different? What was > the intent of the makers of the show? > > Thanks > > Bill Burks >

1998-05-25 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (stoodin101@aol.com)


>As a kid I loved the aliens (I still do) but< >having attained the dubious state of adulthood, I find the human >characters< >in the episodes much more frightening and/or uplifting. Like horrible Nellie Burt in THE GUESTS, who is scarier than the alien! "I think it's just awful. Awful, awful, awful!" And the quintet in FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN. Every so often I use Andre's line, when subjected to some criticism: "You have pierced the heart of my psychic disorder." Quoted in the same spirit Andre said it in, of course. NECRONOMICON, all-instrumental electronic music inspired by H.P.Lovecraft, now available on c-60 cassette. E-mail StoOdin101@aol.com for details.

1998-05-25 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (skyking@shell1.tiac.net)


Can we add a chase through the woods as one of the nightmare type feelings that the show was trying to capture? Which they had nailed down the theme more precisely so that the show could hold a wider audience. Bill Burks Guy Haines,II <bellero@erols.com> wrote: : For me, the classic OL was mostly about revealing the truth about the : intricacies of human nature. Some of the best episodes, despite having : interesting, menacing aliens, focus on either the goodness and nobility of : the human spirit (A Feasiblity Study) or its evils (Don't Open Til : Doomsday) or, usually, both of these (The Human Factor, Second Chance, The : Borderland, The Guests, etc). As a kid I loved the aliens (I still do) but : having attained the dubious state of adulthood, I find the human characters : in the episodes much more frightening and/or uplifting. : Guy : skyking@shell1.tiac.net wrote in article : <6k8sv2$ota@news-central.tiac.net>... : So how do we describe this show? : > Sci Fi, Drama, Suspense, or something all together different? What was : > the intent of the makers of the show? : > : > Thanks : > : > Bill Burks : >

1998-06-02 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (egoistx@aol.com)


Well, for me, classic OL was about making unsurpassed television. I'll say the same about classic Twilight Zone. The newer incarnations of these shows have always seemed sterile and flat to me, lacking in good writing and innovative story-telling. And as some have mentioned, the show was more about humanity in seemingly surreal, insurmountable situations. This seems to sum up many of my favorite episodes. The show also had that nice noir feel. EgoistX "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion. . ." - Mentat Piter de Vries

1998-06-02 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (DaveKili@my-dejanews.com)


In article <1998060203554800.XAA22378@ladder03.news.aol.com>, egoistx@aol.com (EgoistX) wrote: > > Well, for me, classic OL was about making unsurpassed television. I'll say the > same about classic Twilight Zone. The newer incarnations of these shows have > always seemed sterile and flat to me, lacking in good writing and innovative > story-telling. > > And as some have mentioned, the show was more about humanity in seemingly > surreal, insurmountable situations. This seems to sum up many of my favorite > episodes. The show also had that nice noir feel. > I couldn't agree more. The new Outer Limits just doesn't measure up to the 1963-64 season of the classic series. My favorite episodes are THE SIXTH FINGER (10-14-63), THE MAN WHO WAS NEVER BORN (10-28-63), and NIGHTMARE (12-2- 63). The show went down the tubes in the 1964-65 season without Joe Stefano. -----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==----- http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

1998-06-02 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (Smart-One@webtv.net)


The reason that some shows had monsters and other shows didn't have many of the effects or none at all were because of the 2 producers involved. The producer during the first year of the show went for the monsters and horror. The producer for year 2 altered the structure of the show and went for a different approach, perhaps more psychological. Was year 1 better than year 2? That depends on your preference. I enjoy both seasons, and for me, there wasn't a bad show. What happened with year 2 was that it was placed against a top-rated competitor, and unfortunately the plug was pulled in mid-season.

1998-06-03 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (stoodin101@aol.com)


>The new Outer Limits just doesn't measure up to the< >1963-64 season of the classic series. I am a huge fan of the original series, but I disagree with the above completely. The difference is that the new OL isn't Gothic, like the 63-64 version. Classic OL was doing the sort of thing that Weird Tales and Amazing Stories was printing in the 20s and 30s. New OL is doing the sort of stories one found in Astounding and Galaxy in the 40s and 50s. The new series has done some brilliant work, once it found its footing (the first season is erratic in quality and has no visual identity. ). Episodes like DARK RAIN, THE LIGHT BRIGADE, GLYPHIC and A STITCH IN TIME are as good as anything the original series did, regardless of the different angle. Directors like Scanlan, Azzopardi, Nimziki and others have given the new show a paranoia-inducing look. Cinematographers Linzey and Wincenty have learned to work with light and shadow in colour the same way Hall and Nickolaus did in b&w. Watch SECOND THOUGHTS, from the 3rd season, to see Azzopardi and Wincenty do the Oswald/Hall trick of glossing what could be a tedious story with incredible direction and lighting (and Howie Mandel's performance, easily the equal of Bob Culp or Dvd McCallum in the original series). NECRONOMICON, all-instrumental electronic music inspired by H.P.Lovecraft, now available on c-60 cassette. E-mail StoOdin101@aol.com for details.

1998-06-03 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (13th Floor <floor13@bayarea.net>)


StoOdin101 <stoodin101@aol.com> wrote in article <1998060302200800.WAA16426@ladder03.news.aol.com>... > >The new Outer Limits just doesn't measure up to the< > >1963-64 season of the classic series. > > I am a huge fan of the original series, but I disagree with the above > completely. The difference is that the new OL isn't Gothic, like the 63-64 > version. Classic OL was doing the sort of thing that Weird Tales and Amazing > Stories was printing in the 20s and 30s. StoOdin; thanks for your insightful post. I think one fundamental problem for me (I have been terribly disappointed in the new OL) is that it really isn't OL.... it's just that if someone said to me "make an updated Outer Limits" I would want to go all the way to make it an homage to the original --- the original was so striking on so many levels --- the bizarre visual look of the show, the music (always unusual and exciting), the stories. The episodes often seemed like weird, feverish dreams. It was just plain WEIRD! That's what I've missed. The first season actually had several really interesting stories, but as you say, it had no visual style (no style at all, really)... it was just deadly dull. It also always looked cheap to me. The original always had budget problems, but they managed to always look special. If this show had been called something other than "Outer Limits," though, I would rate it as not-to-bad. Another complaint: it seemed like half the episodes were always about some scientist creating some technological wonder that was then misused or went awry. I pretty much threw in the towel on the show some time ago, but some of these episodes you've mentioned sound interesting. I'll have to give them a try. Oh, I'd have kept the original opening, too ;) New OL is doing the sort of stories > one found in Astounding and Galaxy in the 40s and 50s. The new series has done > some brilliant work, once it found its footing (the first season is erratic in > quality and has no visual identity. ). Episodes like DARK RAIN, THE LIGHT > BRIGADE, GLYPHIC and A STITCH IN TIME are as good as anything the original > series did, regardless of the different angle. Directors like Scanlan, > Azzopardi, Nimziki and others have given the new show a paranoia-inducing look. > Cinematographers Linzey and Wincenty have learned to work with light and > shadow in colour the same way Hall and Nickolaus did in b&w. Watch SECOND > THOUGHTS, from the 3rd season, to see Azzopardi and Wincenty do the Oswald/Hall > trick of glossing what could be a tedious story with incredible direction and > lighting (and Howie Mandel's performance, easily the equal of Bob Culp or Dvd > McCallum in the original series). > > > NECRONOMICON, all-instrumental electronic music inspired by H.P.Lovecraft, now > available on c-60 cassette. E-mail StoOdin101@aol.com for details. > > > > > >

1998-06-03 00:00:00 - Re: What was the Classic Outer Limits about? - (stoodin101@aol.com)


>--- the bizarre visual< >look of the show, the music (always unusual and exciting), the stories. < >The episodes often seemed like weird, feverish dreams. It was just plain< >WEIRD! In the first and second season I was in touch with MGM constantly about the bad music (which is much improved) and the look of the show. As far as the "weird" goes, that was the Gothic element. You don't see much of that in season 2 of the original series, with Stefano's departure. However, here is a list of new OL eps that I would consider "Weird": MUSIC OF THE SPHERES SECOND THOUGHTS BEYOND THE VEIL GLYPHIC FEASIBILITY STUDY THE SECOND SOUL DARK MATTERS THE REFUGE >Another complaint: it seemed like half the episodes were always about >some<scientist creating some technological wonder that was then misused or >went< >awry. That still happens occasionally, but on the whole the show has progressed beyond that. Examples of stories that are more than science-gone-mad would be DARK RAIN MUSIC OF THE SPHERES LAST SUPPER HEART'S DESIRE QUALITY OF MERCY THE LIGHT BRIGADE THE DEPROGRAMMERS THE VACCINE GLYPHIC TO TELL THE TRUTH ...there have been so many. But, yes, in the first season practically every ep was set in a lab. For my $, the worst episode of anything called OUTER LIMITS was not in a lab, but in a trailer park: Brad Wright's adaptation of Stephen King's REVELATIONS OF BECKA PAULSON. Horrible in every aspect, with the exception of the talented Catherine O'Hara, and she was given nothing equal to her talent to do. Other eps to avoid, IMHO, include VIRTUAL FUTURE FALLING STAR BODIES OF EVIDENCE VOYAGE HOME FIRST ANNIVERSARY LIVING HELL FEAR ITSELF CAUGHT IN THE ACT There are quite a few duds, but the new series has had a lot of winners as well. NECRONOMICON, all-instrumental electronic music inspired by H.P.Lovecraft, now available on c-60 cassette. E-mail StoOdin101@aol.com for details.