‘The Outer Limits’ celebrates anniversary of 1963 ABC debutby Cherlyn Gardner Strong on Sep. 16, 2010, under General Paranormal, Life
Today is the anniversary of the premiere of The Outer Limits in 1963. This television series that premiered on ABC consisted of 49 episodes, and aired from 1963 to 1965. It was similar to the earlier The Twilight Zone, but with a focus on science fiction. It was revived for a time on Showtime and SyFy, when it was called the Sci-Fi Channel.
I did not see the original premiere of the series, but as a young girl in the 1970′s, I watched reruns. The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Star Trek, and Science Fiction Theatre were favorites of mine and “new” to me. Tucson summers were way too hot to go play outside, so I started watching these shows instead.
It was exciting to hear “The Control Voice” at the beginning of The Outer Limits: “There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical…”
It was originally to be called Please Stand By, but ABC rejected the title. The show would end up influencing Star Trek in many ways. First, monsters used on The Outer Limits were recycled and used on Star Trek. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and James Doohan had appeared in episodes before winning their starring roles in Star Trek. Gene Rodenberry, the creator of Star Trek, hired several former Outer Limits staff members to work on the show.
This show influenced the science fiction genre in other ways, too. Much later, a writer named Harlan Ellison, who wrote for The Outer Limits, filed a lawsuit against James Cameron. Ellison contended that Cameron used his work from the show to inspire Terminator. Ellison was awarded money with the ending credits of The Terminator acknowledging “the works of Harlan Ellison”.
Reruns of these shows paved the way for my interest in a 1970′s television series starring Leonard Nimoy, called “In Search of…”, which i credit for actually igniting my interest in the paranormal. However, that’s another post for another time.
All 49 original episodes of The Outer Limits are available on Hulu, along with the revived, newer, episodes of the series. Perhaps if you have nothing else to do tonight, you can watch the premiere episode from 1963: “The Galaxy Being”.
Here’s the famous intro from that show: