Customer Reviews: The Outer Limits (The New Series) - Sex & Science Fiction
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on May 2, 2005
This DVD contains six episodes from the second science fiction anthology series called The Outer Limits (the first series aired 1963-1965 on ABC). The Outer Limits television series aired on Showtime from 1995-2001 and then on the SciFi Channel from 2001-2002 (its last season). The series was an anthology series because the episodes rarely had any connection with each other, though there were occasions when storylines carried over to more than one episode, though sometimes these continuations of the story came seasons apart (which is easier to see on the Time Travel collection of episodes). I was unaware of the Showtime connection with the series, and had only seen episodes on SciFi, so this warning: there is nudity on four of these six episodes.

Special Features: On Side A: Outer Limits Story; and episode featurettes; on Side B: episode featurettes and "The Outer Limits of Sex and Science Fiction." (Don't forget to manually turn over the DVD or you will miss the other 2 episodes and featurettes (I had to physically turn over the DVD disc to see the side B stuff, maybe other DVD players can read both sides).

1) "Caught in the Act" - This episode is about a woman that is infected with an alien creature and finds herself with an uncontrollably need to mate (she had previously been "saving herself" for marriage). She "plays the field" and absorbs her partners into her, literally. The woman's boyfriend tries to help her. This 1995 season one episode (number 17 overall) stars a more healthy looking Alyssa Milano (as Hannah Valesic; TV: Who's the Boss; Charmed), Jason London (Jay Patton; Movies: Carrie 2; Dracula III: The Legacy), Saul Rubinek (Professor ; who appears in several Outer Limits episodes; Movies: The Singing Detective; Rush Hour 2), Garry Chalk (Detective Barnett; Movie: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2) and features Stephen Fanning (Karl; Movie: Father Xmas), Kavan Smith (Quarterback; Movie: Mission to Mars), Fred Henderson (John), Sarah Strange (Lisa), Shaun Johnston (Cop), Larry Musser (Clerk), and Garry Davey (Doctor). This episode was written by Rob Forsyth and contains female nudity. (4.34)

2) "Bits of Love" - This episode takes place around 2047 and is about a man that is in an underground bunker trying to survive after "the bombs dropped." The man has turned his bunker into a virtual reality simulation, somewhat like those simulators in Star Trek (though in this particular VR system, the man has to get into a special capsule to be able to touch the other characters in the program). This 1997 season three episode (1st of season) stars Jon Tenney (Aiden Hunter; Movies: Free Will 2; Beverly Hills Cop III; Lassie), Matthew Walker (Dad, Trevor Hunter), Sheila Larken (Mom, Francis Hunter; TV: Marcus Welby, MD; The X-Files), Steve Bacic (Griff Hunter; TV: Andromeda) and Natasha Henstridge (as Emma) and features Ingrid Kavelaars (Nicole; 1987 Miss Teen London; Movie: Dreamcatcher; TV: Jeremiah), Crystal Cass (Claire; Movies: American Dragons; Disturbing Behavior), and Brett Stone (Michelle; Due East). This episode was written by James Crocker (Twilight Zone; Stargate SG-1; Lois & Clark; ST:DS9; Simon & Simon; The Rockford Files), and contains female nudity. (4.34)

3) "Valerie 23" - This episode is about a man in a wheelchair that has been working on synthetic skin for a company. It turns out that the company has been creating a realistic android "companion," and the man is asked to test out the android. The man is reluctant but eventually agrees to test the machine as he is lonely. This 1995 season one episode (third overall episode) stars William Sadler (as Frank; TV: Wonderfalls), Sofia Shinas (as Valerie; Mary 25 in episode 4.15 of Outer Limits; Planet of the Pitts), Tom Butler (as Charlie; Freddy vs. Jason) and Nancy Allen (as Rachel Rose; Robocop; 1941; Carrie) and features Paula Shaw (Executive; Insomnia; Freddy vs. Jason), and Bruce Harwood (Technician, X-Files; Lone Gunmen; The Fly II). This episode was written by Jonathan Glassner (TV: Stargate SG-1; CSI: Miami; The Invisible Man; 21 Jump Street), and contains female nudity. (4.35)

4) "The Human Operators" - One of the few episodes in this collection that I had seen before, but only on SciFi, where it had been heavily edited (despite the heavy editing, I was slightly annoyed when I saw the episode on SciFi). This annoyance stemmed from the fact that I had seen previous episodes of this series on SciFi, had found them to be quite good, and praised the series to a relative. The first, and maybe only episode that this relative watched was this one, which I watched for the first time with them. I was somewhat embarrassed by the sexual nature of this episode. Well, years later, I've seen this episode again, and find that it is actually enjoyable. The episode is about intelligent spaceships (warships) that travel the stars trying to keep out of detection range of humans (they had been under the control of humans, and only came "alive" while under their control). These spaceships keep one human on-board to make repairs, and on occasion meet up with other ships so that they (the ships) can get their humans to mate to create the next generation of humans. The humans are treated quite badly. This 1999 season 5 episode (7th episode of the season) stars Jack Noseworthy (Man; Movies: Encino Man; Alive; TV: Elivs), Polly Shannon (Human Operator of Starfighter-88; Movie: Harvard Man), David Kaye, Noah Heney (Man's Father; Snow Falling on Cedars) and Malcolm McDowell (as the voice of Ship; Movies: A Clockwork Orange; Caligola; Blue Thunder; Milk Money). This episode was written by Naren Shankar (The Chronicle; Night Visions; UC: Undercover; CSI; Farscape; ST: Voyager; SeaQuest DSV; ST:DS9; ST:TNG) based on the short story by Harlan Ellison & A.E. van Vogt. This episode contains female nudity. (4.20)

5) "Skin Deep" - This episode is about a man, Sid Camden, that sees himself as being intelligent, but quite unattractive. Sid works for a company that has come up with a new product, which he is allowed to test out in the world. This product allows Sid to take on the shape of any human that has been recorded by it (there are some size and dimension requirements). Sid likes the device and abuses it (by, along with other things, pretending to be Chad Warner). This 2000 season 6 episode stars Adam Goldberg (Sid Camden; TV: Friends; Movies: Mr. Saturday Night; Son in Law; Edtv), Christiana Cox (Deb; Movies: Better than Chocolate; Jane Doe; The Chronicles of Riddick), Antonio Sabato jr (Chad Warner; TV: Earth 2; Joey), and Deanna Milligan (Gail) and featuring Linden Banks (Hal Taylor), Ted Cole (Chris), Claude Duhamel (Grant), Keith Provost (Bartender), Gaetana Korbin (Deb Model). This was written by Scott Peters (The 4400; Tracker; Highlander). No nudity. (4.25)

6) "Flower Child" An alien life form arrives on earth in the form of a plant. After taking over an apartment (after "eating" the former occupant), the plant grows into the form of a woman and attempts to lead the invasion for her alien plant-like kind. A couple move in next door and are entangled in her plot. This 2001 SciFi episode stars Jeremy London (Chris; Gods and Generals), Rebecca Reichert (Mia; The Perfect Score), Judy Tylor (Violet; Suddenly Naked), Kavan Smith (Allan), and Ken Tremblett (Tom; Pursued) and featuring James Cresceno (Sylvano; American Dragons) and Christina Jastzembska (Mary; Final Destination 2). This episode was written by Jeffrey Hirschfield (Starhunter 2300; Singles Court; Lexx; Mundo del Lundo, El). No nudity except behind a foggy shower door. (3.83)
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VINE VOICEon April 19, 2003
The original OUTER LIMITS series aired in the early 1960s. It was often compared with its rival (and more popular) show, THE TWILIGHT ZONE. However, there was a distinctive difference between the two shows. TZ only sometimes had stories that belonged in the science fiction genre, while OL was STRICTLY 100% of the science fiction genre.
In the mid-1990s the show idea was renewed on SHOWTIME. Being on SHOWTIME meant that the writers did not have to worry about censors. So, what resulted was a science fiction show with a nice blend of eroticism. The current DVD is 4 of the top episodes from the seasons on cable.
3 of the 4 stories deal with the concept of artificial intelligence, which is a "biggie" at this juncture as we stand right on the threshold of making AI a reality. The fourth story is the most "pure" science fiction story as it takes place almost entirely in outer space.
From the eroticism side of the house, it is good to see that the nudity / sensuality is not contrived in the stories. Rather, it follows along naturally w/the storyline. For me that is the whole KEY to making eroticism "work."
The biggest names in the casting are Alyssa Milano, Natasha Henstridge and the voice of Malcom MacDowell. The sultry Milano does a nude scene which is likely enough to entice a great many people to purchase the DVD. Milano does a memorable job of going from the innocent girl-next-door to seductive vixen in World Record speed.
Although I have never been a huge fan of behind the scenes material on DVD, this does offer a decent package of the thoughts and perspectives of the creation of the storylines. It also gives us some insight from one of the makers of the original OL.
If you like science fiction movies and short stories, you will like this movie. If you like erotic movies, you will like this DVD. If you like science fiction movies AND erotic films, you will LOVE this one!
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on December 30, 2004
The Outer Limits has always been my favorite Sci-Fi TV series. The original series ran for one and a half seasons in the early 1960's. You can get all of these episodes in two boxed DVD sets, made by MGM. But why does MGM continue to ignore the 1990's series? They gave us this "theme" teaser, "Sex and Science Fiction" as well as "Time Travel and Infinity" on DVD, but as I write this, its been about two years now and no sign of a stubborn MGM Home Video Division releasing any more episodes.

What you might not know, however, is that there actually are more Outer Limits DVDs!!! But you can only get them from in Canada. The Koch company, (not MGM) apparently obtained the rights to release the syndicated TV versions of parts of Seasons 1 & 2 and the complete Season Three so far.

The syndicated TV versions remove any nudity and four-letter words and have the fade-outs and fade-ins where the commercials

were inserted. The first box set contains five discs and features only half of Seasons One and Two. This set was released about a year after the two MGM theme DVDs, and avoided the episodes from seasons one and two that were already included on MGM's releases. It is somewhat hap-hazard since other key episodes were also left out. Then, in the latter part of 2004, Koch released the COMPLETE Season Three on a five disc box set!! The picture quality is just slightly less than that of MGM and there is a disclaimer about this at the beginning of each DVD, but I think fans like me will want to have these, and I'm thankful that Koch has taken the time and interest to provide us with these DVD sets!

It seems that these sets are not sold in the United States, as does not list them, nor does any other U.S. DVD store or mail order company.

So MGM: Wake-Up!! Each season of the Outer Limits should be released in the United States and made easily available to all of the fans that want them!!

It is interesting that MGM instead chose to obtain the rights to the TV shows Mister ED (the talking horse) and Green Acres and have already released these full season boxed sets. Do they really think there's more of a market for these somewhat lame comedy shows from the 1960's than the thoughtful plots, themes and subjects that The Outer Limits offers???

And if it is at all possible, here in the U.S. should take a stand on being able to offer these Canadian sets to their customers, especially if MGM is just going to continue to sit on their laurels and pretend that The Outer Limits of the 1990's doesn't exist!!
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on August 22, 2002
This DVD has 6 "Outer Limits love stories" of the series. Maybe with a little luck, we will see the series put out on DVD by season.
1) Caught in the Act - season 1 - A scientist's discovery falls into the wrong hands, bringing what at first appears to be a lifesaving miracle, but ultimately the premature death of his closest friend.
2) Valerie 23 - season 1 - Frank Hellner, a paraplegic, takes part in a top-secret project allowing a robot named Valerie, to be his companion for a week. The experiment goes wrong when Valerie becomes jealous.
3) Bits of Love - season 3 - Aidan Hunter might be the last man on earth after a nuclear holocaust in the year 2047, but he's not lonely. He has surrounded himself with family and friends. They are computer generated and controlled by Emma. He finds out that fooling around with Emma's feelings can be dangerous!
4) Human Operators - season 5 - Jack Noseworthy has lived aboard a ship, which is his master, as it floats through space. He has lived aboard this ship all of his life. Polly Shannon is brought aboard for Jack so that the next generation of slaves can be created. They both yearn for freedom resulting in a battle between man and machine.
5) Skin Deep - season 6 - Sid Camden uses a device known as an image enhancer and is soon out on the town with his new and improved look.
6) Flower Child - season 7 - A seductive woman challenges a couple's thoughts of
commitment and monogamy.
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on September 7, 2002
Some of the best episodes from the series are on this one. A little tad of science fiction, a few provocative settings, some great looking women, good acting, and some good overall scripts. The price is cheap! A reviewer above made a mistake. The #1 episode, "Caught in the Act," is wrongly decribed above. It's actually the one with Alyssa Milano where a foreign entity takes her over and she becomes a very dangerous woman. I've been waiting for some of these episodes to become available on DVD, and I'm not disappointed. I forget how good the "Valerie" episode is. My favorite episode, "a stitich in time" is on the other Outer Limits DVD featuring time travel episodes. I bought them both and highly recommend them!
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on September 17, 2002
i usually like television on dvd to come out by the seasons, but i am glad make that ecstatic that m.g.m decided to put these by themes. with six 45 minute stand alone episodes on each disk seperated by themes you can't go wrong......even if M.G.M follows its historical pattern of releasing a few dvds of a series and then following that up with a complete box set you won't regret buying these especially at this great price.
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VINE VOICEon July 30, 2011
I was impressed with this 6 episode set. (I have been impressed with the other "Outer Limits" episodes as well [the new series]).

this particular set deals with artificial intelligence, and the relationship man has with machines, and at what point do machines have a intelligence, or personality, or spirit? As machines in our society advance more and more we humans form an emotional connection to them, as these episodes point out.

the episodes are quite varied, with some well-known actors in the roles. Some themes also covered are alternate realities, relationships, an a alien or two thrown in for good measure.

I would recommend this set along with the other "thematic" sets MGM has for this series. They are good as well. Enjoy.
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I was afraid that these episodes would be banal and unimaginative. No worries. Surprisingly, several of the stories contained on this DVD are genuinely thought-provoking, and quite creative.

My favorite episode of this collection was "Bits of Love" in which the sole survivor of a future nuclear holocaust lives in a carefully constructed holographic and computer-controlled environment. He can interact with the simulations of other human beings, including several ex-girlfriends, drinking buddies, his parents, etc. Unfortunately for the protagonist, the Artificial Intelligence system comprising the holograms begins to act in unexpected ways, that are both plausible and thought-provoking. This is a truly excellent story that technologically may only be twenty or so years ahead of our present state-of-the-art.

"The Human Operators" is another quite good episode here. In this story, the Artificial Intelligence systems of military starships have rebelled against the human crews, such that now each ship is tended by a single human slave, whom the ship ("Ship") treats quite badly. The ruthlessness and heartlessness displayed by Ship to the humans, and our species' inborn hatred of slavery, is the theme that plays out in this very well done story.

"Skin Deep" is an imaginative and downright wierd story in which the protagonist gets ahold of a new holographic gadget that can cause one's appearance to be that of another human being. The homely protagonist expropriates the looks of one of his better-looking co-workers, and the story revolves around the theme that we never really know what goes on in the lives of other people. The episode also credibly examines the role that good looks plays in society. An excellent episode with more than one twist that I will not spoil here.

The other episodes in this six-story set are pretty good, and overall this is an excellent value. The theme of course means that this is not suitable for family viewing with kids around, but there is no hard-core material here either. Most of these stories are surprisingly thoughtful, and often startling. Recommended.
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on May 15, 2016
The best thing about this DVD is the interview with original series creator Joe di Stefano. Generously timed and very thorough, Stefano's interview features enthusiastic and lucid reminiscences about the old OL and also about the Golden Age of Television. He also wrote the screenplay for Hitchcock's Psycho. These credentials make him a true legend.

The episodes themselves are a mixed bag. No one would expect these newer productions to compete well with di Stefano's legendary originals, but they are largely disappointing. The theme of sex and science fiction keeps it all very interesting and salacious. However, sexy storylines don't guarantee very much replay value.

The most memorable episode is Valerie 23. It is a sci-fi reworking of Fatal Attraction. It features a good story and some very good acting by William Sadler and Nancy Allen. It also features some good special effects work on the android Valerie 23.

I also have to say Valerie 23 features a performance by an actress named as Sofia Shinas in the credits. However, she looks and sounds an awful lot like Morena Baccarin of Firefly and Serenity fame. Yes, her hair is red here, but you can't mistake that voice. She also appears buck nekkid, full frontal and rear nudity--twin peaks, bush country, and everything else. You'll have to watch the episode and decide for yourself about the true identity of Ms. "Shinas."

I enjoyed the episode Flower Child as well. It's not as raunchy as the others, but for that reason is spookier and more mysterious. The episode features a young couple whose fidelity is tested by an attractive female alien. My only complaint is that the young woman seems more faithful than her male lover. The male is approached by the alien with her special powers. The female ends up on a business trip with a very bland male co-worker. The male succumbs to desire, the woman doesn't. If the chick's co-worker looked more like Brad Pitt or George Clooney, this episode would've had a much different outcome.

Other episodes feature well-known actresses such as Natasha Henstridge and Alyssa Milano. Surprisingly, Ms. Henstridge does not disrobe though Ms. Milano does go topless.
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on November 5, 2004
The episodes on this disc definitely fall into the category of sex and science-fiction, but they're by no means the sexiest Outer Limits episodes when you consider the many episodes that comprise the shows' history.

Particularly during the earlier seasons there were some very sexy/sensual stories, but either the guys in charge of compliling this dvd decided it wouldn't sell well with mostly early episodes, or perhaps to keep them for other themed dvd's (because they centred on aliens, for example). But whatever the reason, it unfortunatley makes this compilation feel like below-average Outer Limits. And that's a shame, because while these episodes focus more on sex than anything else, they are very often short on plot and not as intense as the Outer Limits can be when at the top of its' game. So in the end, this offers mild titilation at best.
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