The Outer Limits - The Original Series, Season 2
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
You hold in your hands an artifact from a time now vanished forever a compendium of portals into worlds unknown. A three-disc set that controls over 14 hours of transmission from the 1964-65 series, this vessel has sought you out for one specific purpose: to expand your mind to "The Outer Limits"!
Despite forced changes in executive and creative personnel, plummeting ratings and the constant threat of cancellation, the truncated second season of The Outer Limits (1964-65) yielded some of the series' finest episodes. While The Twilight Zone was fading fast on CBS, the bean-counters at ABC used focus groups and ratings statistics to enforce their previous mandate for a "monster of the week" format for their flagging science-fiction series, and after a few promising episodes early in the season, Outer Limits settled into a regrettable routine of reduced budgets and rubber-suit creatures that wouldn't pass inspection at a drunken Halloween party. A former network executive with minimal creative input, Perry Mason producer Ben Brady struggled to keep the doomed series alive while coproducer Seeleg Lester sought legitimacy by courting respected writers and material.
As Harlan Ellison observes in David J. Schow's indispensable book The Outer Limits Companion, weak ratings allowed quality episodes to slip under the radar of ABC executives. Ellison's own classic teleplays--"Soldier" (which would later inspire The Terminator and subsequent legal squabbles) and "Demon with a Glass Hand"--yielded the season's finest stand-alone episodes, while the two-part "The Inheritors" (featuring the young Robert Duvall) fulfilled the series' neglected potential for longer-form plotlines. While these highlights redeem the season, "Wolf 359" (a title that would later factor in Star Trek: The Next Generation) is eerily effective despite low-tech restrictions, and "Behold Eck!" is the "best" (relatively speaking) of the tepid monster-themed shows that ABC demanded. It wasn't enough: After 17 episodes against the Saturday-night dominance of The Jackie Gleason Show, the greatest science-fiction anthology series of the 1960s was mercifully canceled, primed for phenomenal success in syndication and eventual revival as the "new" Outer Limits in 1995. --Jeff Shannon
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Having bought the tapes and DVDs, I didn't feel like buying the same thing a third time so I skipped the Blu-ray box for season 1. But because season 2 was cut short, there is a lot of room in this set for extras, and there are plenty.
The visual quality is, to my non-expert eyes, greatly improved and the sound even more so. That's the good news. But to be fair, almost all the supplemental material has been available as bootlegs for years. In this new set, The Unknown and Please Stand By are obviously fewer generations from the originals but they are not cleaned up the way the regular episodes are. They are still quite interesting, and hearing Dom Frontierre's music used for The Invaders over an Outer Limits variant is pretty cool.
There's lots of commentary (the comentators on The Inheritors did not seem aware the little girl, Minerva was the actress Morgan Brittany), the TNT special, the TV spots are there, and the best quality you'll find. There are also a couple promos that appear to have been made for the affiliates. One, that for some reason I thought was going to be Nick Adams, the great actor from season one's Fun And Games, turned out to be singer Edie Adams (didn't she sing about smoking her Tiparillo?) These illustrate the incredbily awkward fit of the Outer Limits in the lineup of TV shows we watched in those days. Recall that the Outer Limits competed with The Jackie Gleason Show and was replaced by the gigantic and not very interesting King Family. And then, there was the TV Guide cover with Joseph Cotten standing next to an Outer Limits monster. Those were the days....
There's a nice booklet by David Schow with capsule summaries of season 2. I don't agree with his choices; I thought Behold Eck was delighful and Expanding Human was petty dreadful. But everybody agrees on Demon With A Glass Hand, and The Inheritors is really good too, if a bit corny at the end. I remember being genuinely terrified by Cry Of Silence but I was around 10 years old and the frogs looked real. That's one case where modern digital effects would have been better.
Lastly, and I have no idea why, there is a brief bit on the "new" Outer Limits. In a set with so many extras, this really seems off-topic. But that aside, this is exactly the kind of upgraded set that gives you a lot for your money, including some things you might not have seen before.
Had I known ahead of time, I would not have shelled out good money on it.
I made comments on the commentaries in my other review and those pretty much apply here as well. Reba Wissner's commentaries are academic and tedious, read off of a text with mistakes and mispronunciations. Craig Beam is enjoyable so long as he is commenting on an episode he likes, otherwise he hams it up with tiresome attempts at sarcastic humor. David Schow's encyclopedic knowledge of the show is obvious and sometimes he can overwhelm the listener with too much information or focus obsessively on the development of a particular screenplay from first to final draft. Tim Lucas and Gary Gerani are the most enjoyable commentators, as they conversationally discuss the episodes in real time as the events occur onscreen.
There are some really great extra in the bonus material on Disc 4, and most of it is worth watching (except for the disposable Penn & Teller routines from the TNT marathons). The interview with Joseph Stefano is a full hour and highly interesting.
Mention has been made of the audio defect in part of "Soldier" on Disc 1. It is annoying although not all that bad, you can still understand all the dialogue, it only messes up the music really. Chances are many new copies still being sold here are of the defective first pressing, BUT Kino has repressed that disc with corrected audio. If you write to the email address given elsewhere, they will send you out a new corrected disc at no charge. It took them many weeks to do so, but I got mine and now I can watch that episode without any audio glitches.
In sum, the second season has some real gems here and the bonus material makes this a highly recommended purchase to augment your Season One set. My favorites are "The Inheritors" and "Expanding Human" and "Demon With A Glass Hand," among others. But I will probably not watch the final bomb of "The Probe" again, that one is so bad it doesn't even look like it belongs with a program called The Outer Limits.
No worries there. This set arrived (January 2020) with ALL the episodes correct, including "Soldier." No replacement disc needed.
Of course the overall content of The Outer Limits' season two wasn't on par with the first season (17 episodes vs. 32, reduced budget, departure of Joseph Stefano). But the Blu-ray quality certainly is as good as the first set. And the slew of bonus features will keep me busy for hours. Looking forward to watching it all.
Top international reviews
One of my personal favourite episodes here has to be 'I, Robot' in which the robot of the title is put on trial after being accused of the murder of it's creator, the central themes of prejudice and fear are subtly handled. I'm a real sucker for emotional endings, and the climax to this proverbial little gem is both touching and moving. While reading the other reviews, I can see that I'm not the only one to notice that the opening episode 'Soldier' is a precursor to Arnold Schwarznegger's 'The Terminator'.
'The Invisible Enemy' happens to be a vibration-sensitive carnivorous monster lurking below the sandy Martian surface, shades of 'Tremors' for the terrified Astronaut mission to the red planet. The seventeen, 50-minute episodes include the two-part 'The Inheritors' in which Robert Duvall investigates the mysterious 'infection' of four men whose minds have been infiltrated by an alien intelligence.
The performances are good in this enjoyable series, which strikes a nice balance between the intelligent and entertaining. As with the first series, the black and white prints used for this Region 2 collection are good, there are no extras.
The soundtrack languages are: English, French.
The subtitle languages are: English, Dutch, French.
My Favourite episodes were I Robot, Demon with a Glass hand, Soldier ,Behold Eck and The Invisible enemy but I enjoyed the full set as it is.
Check out the 90s series as this was pretty good too.