The Outer Limits, Classic Science Fiction with a Few Lessons Thrown In

To most people science fiction is a genre dedicated to space ships, aliens or an asteroid that will bring mankind to extinction. Not very many people think of science fiction as great way to learn valuable lessons about the meaning of life.

Parables from the great beyond.

From the moment the control voice starts to give the viewer a tidbit of what the episode is about, you can't wait to see what happens next.
From the moment the control voice starts to give the viewer a tidbit of what the episode is about, you can't wait to see what happens next.
The Outer Limits with it unique perspective and thought provoking stories first entered American living rooms in the 1960's.
The Outer Limits with it unique perspective and thought provoking stories first entered American living rooms in the 1960's.

Yet there was a program, "The Outer Limits" that was dedicated to using science fiction to teach valuable lessons about our existence. The different episodes dealt with universal truths in a way that would really make you think about the message. Each episode would start with a message spoken by the control voice. Then there’s a story, where the viewer gets to see and explore the extreme situations, where that message would be relevant. At the end, the control voice would conclude the episode, with a wise teaching. There you have it, a parable from the outer reaches of the universe.

One of my favorite episodes was titled “The New Breed” which aired back in 1995 on Showtime. “The New Breed’ really left me thinking about the evils of modern medicine. How dangerous it is to tamper with our human design, even our flaws. Another favorite episode of mine is titled “Human Operators” the message here is the need for freedom for all life forms.

I’m also liked an episode titled “Stream of Consciousness” which is about a society, in which everyone wears a brain implant, that allows them to access any information available to mankind, through a system called the stream. It’s sort of like having a direct mental connection to the World Wide Web. Ryan is the one person, who cannot access the Stream, due to an accident he suffered as a child, that left him unable to receive any input through a mental implant. He is alienated, but when a virus attacks everyone’s brain, it is Brian’s quick thinking, and ability to choose for himself, that saves those in his community. At the end, the control voice states the following: “We make tools to extend our abilities, to further our reach, and fulfill our aspirations. But we must never let them define us. For if there is no difference between tool and maker, then who will be left to build the world?”

The Original Outer Limits first aired in 1963 – 1965. The episodes were in black and white and did not have the special effects that the new and revive version of the show had. However, even back then the stories were thought provoking and amazing. Suddenly in 1995, "The Outer Limits" was given a new lease on life. It was first aired on Showtime with the first episode, titled Sandkings. After a successful first season, the show went on for six more seasons. It later aired on the Sci-fi Channel during its sixth and seventh season. The show ended in January 2002. It ran 154 episodes. Like its 1960’s predecessor, it used the control voice, which is one of the features, that distinguishes this unique program. The intro had been changed a few times. I really liked the intros they used, they were so surrealistic. The best thing about The Outer Limits, were the stories and their unique perspectives. There were episodes that dealt with certain attitudes and prejudices, other episodes dealt with relationships, some episodes even dealt with religion and the meaning of life. There is so much wisdom to be gleaned from this show and it is also very entertaining.

If you are interested in getting more information on this unique program, here is a link to a website that has episode information. http://epguides.com/OuterLimits_1995/

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Comments 7 comments

lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

One of my favorite TV programs.

Another was the non-fiction mini-series, Connections, by James Burke.

Outer Limits, Star Trek, Twilight Zone, and a few others had the wonderful ability to get us to think.

Good Hub!


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

One of my favorite TV programs.

Another was the non-fiction mini-series, Connections, by James Burke.

Outer Limits, Star Trek, Twilight Zone, and a few others had the wonderful ability to get us to think.

Good Hub!


Internetwriter62 profile image

Internetwriter62 5 years ago from Marco Island, Florida Author

Thank you lone77star,

I'm glad you liked my hub, and that the Outer Limits is a favorite of yours. The Outer Limits has been a favorite of mine since it's black and white days back in the 60's. My parents use to put it on every weekend along with the Twilight zone. Both great show and destined to be classics.


Knightheart profile image

Knightheart 5 years ago from MIssouri, USA

I just loved that show, with that really frightening announcement at the beginning. I wrote a hub on the 1960s TV shows and I had to include The Outer Limits. Those writers and special effects guys were really geniuses and ahead of their time. I don't think that show was ever recognized as it should be... a true American classic that went beyond the box in every area!


Internetwriter62 profile image

Internetwriter62 5 years ago from Marco Island, Florida Author

Thanks Knightheart, it is always great to have true fans of the Outer Limits stop by and rave about this true classic. I'm glad you decided to write a hub on the 1960's episodes, I saw all of those as well and I really enjoyed them, this will always be a true American classic, I just hope they create more anthology shows like this one in the future. BTW, I wish you success on your hub.


Knightheart profile image

Knightheart 5 years ago from MIssouri, USA

Thank you for your encouraging words. That show was so awesome and definitely ahead of its time. It was pretty scary and totally unpredictable. That made it so much more enjoyable when you didn't have a clue how it would end. One of my favorites was the spaceship with the little bee/ant bug things. I will never forget that one...it scared the you know what out of me. The special effects were just superb! Even today they would be considered good...geniuses from the actors down to the writers/effects teams!


Internetwriter62 profile image

Internetwriter62 5 years ago from Marco Island, Florida Author

Thanks again Knightheart, I was really fond of the episode titled Human Operators, and I really liked an episode titled The Stream of Consciousness and The New Breed among other episodes. You are right the writing was really superb, and some of the actors are big names today.

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