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"The Outer Limits" (1963-1965) - One-Hour Science-Fiction Anthology by Executive Producer Leslie Stevens


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No doubt that Star Wars was a seminal film and the very embodiment of space opera, but it was also the start of a long downward spiral wherein "science fiction" [in film, not literature] became synonymous with "action adventure". As someone who loved classic "hard sf", the literature of "what if...?" - of possiblities that sometimes came to pass, like radar or communications satellites in geosynchronous orbits - I really came to resent this conflation of two genres. I mean really, do we need to see Captain Kirk dangling one-handed from a precipice three times in a single film? Oy.

If you haven't seen it already, you will *love* "The Galaxy Being" - the first episode of The Outer Limits (September 16, 1963).

You can see the entire episode (it's an hour long) on Hulu. This episode just celebrated its 50th birthday.


In advance: You're welcome. :)  *** SPOILERS *** follow from this point on, so make sure you watch the episodes *before* (or as) you're reading my commentaries.

Season One (Sep 16, 1963 - May 4, 1964)

1.1 - "The Galaxy Being" - Screenshot 2016-09-11 at 20.35.55.png
Directed by Leslie Stevens (Creator of "The Outer Limits," Director of "Incubus"), Written by Leslie Stevens
Featuring Lee Phillips (Michael Rossi in the film "Peyton Place"), Jacqueline Scott (Polly Baron in "Macabre"), Cliff Robertson (Academy Award Winner for Best Actor as Charly Gordon in "Charly")

Okay, I'm making an effort here to only use value-added comments; you can get the plot summaries from Wikipedia (just click on "The Galaxy Being" and go to "Plot" - you can (and should) assume that everything I write contains spoilers since my target audience is people who have already watched the show. I'm going to watch "The Galaxy Being" a third time before moving on to episode 2 (it's actually good enough to warrant multiple viewings - do watch it if you haven't). I don't care about science fiction accuracy (i.e., "sucking the Galaxy Being in from 2.5 light years away") unless it's something really silly, like defying gravity, or visible strings seen in the special effects. I'm going to sit back and enjoy watching these, and if anyone has any question, please feel free to ask - I'd  love to discuss the episodes with anyone who's interested. Radio Station KXKVI is in "sunny southern Cal," and here's the reference in case anyone still wonders why some radio stations begin with "W," and others begin with "K" - it's worth knowing if you don't already (this should be part of everyone's general knowledge). The family who owns the radio station (Electrical Engineer Alan, wife Carol, brother Gene) are all named Maxwell in honor of James Maxwell (another part of your general knowledge base). Alan's talk with Carol about "the universe not caring if you're a nobody" was an incredibly inspired speech that's about the only thing that could move an engineer to tears. Let me tell you something: This is a classic episode of television that *everyone* needs to watch - it's a *great Outer Limits that will stand the test of time as being one of the very greatest in the entire series.

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