Thanks MGM for finally releasing The Outer Limits on DVD in seasons – starting with season one, instead of only offering collections by various themes. I was not alone in holding out for DVD by seasons, and refusing to start collecting by the theme collections they are offering.
This is a must have for any serious collector of The Outer Limits! Many of the episodes from season one I had not seen in quite awhile, and a couple I can’t remember at all.
Although there is nothing really spectacular in the format of the DVD menus, or in the special features, I did find the special features informative. The episodes themselves are what make the collection a good one.
When I used to watch these on TV, I got used to hearing the words “Please Stand By” at the end of the opening where it says “…You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the deepest inner mind to the Outer Limits – Please Stand By.” – Somehow I still expect to hear that “Please Stand By”, but it is a small thing, and obviously Standing By is not necessary for very long when watching on DVD
It was great to see some of the actors and actresses that played in some of the episodes, such as Leonard Nimoy in I, Robot – And Robert Patrick in Quality of Mercy. Fans of the Dead Zone, will also recognize Nicole DeBor (Sarah Bannerman on the Dead Zone) from the same episode. Fans of La Femme Nikita, will recognize Alberta Watson (Madeline) from the episode, “If these Walls could Talk”
If you are only interested in time travel or in aliens or another single theme, you may be best off getting just that theme, but if you are a fan of The Outer Limits in general, I recommend getting season one of the New Series on DVD.
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Now that I have season one, plus the box set that is themed (which I got before season one was released, but it filled a void and still does), I’m looking forward to the rest of the seasons (and releasing one a year is NOT acceptable). When the show originally aired on Showtime, only people who received the pay-cable channel could see this great series–uncut and unsanitized. The SciFi Channel took over co-production with MGM in 2001, after the series was cancelled by Showtime in season 7, and the series finally ended in 2002 (for good reason). And if you think the production values and special effects were bad on Showtime, well, the SciFi channel’s were even worse (lower quality episodes and more clip shows). They apparently geared their budget to the Stargate franchise.
But compared to most TV shows, pay channel or not, it’s somewhat to be expected. The great stories, plots, philosophical questions poised, and vast cadre of stars (who later went on to be even bigger stars), makes you overlook the aluminum dryer ducts on many of the spaceships. Especially when the show was on Showtime.
The great thing about the DVDs is that you get the Showtime version, not the sanitized, syndicated version that most people have seen. Many of the cable-only shows were rated TV-MA for swearing, nudity, violence and stylized gore. A perfect example, “Flower Child”, can be seen uncut on the DVD “Sex and Science Fiction” collection.
This is one of the best TV show remakes in history, so if you feel like treating yourself, or someone else, this is the gift to get. You can literally watch a whole day of episodes and not get bored. Might even remind you to go do your laundry.
Following in the footsteps of Tales of Tomorrow, the original The Outer Limits was a landmark show. Many years later a creative team decided to resurrect the feel of the show and this is the result. As pointed out in one of the many extras, this is not The Twilight Zone. That show relied heavily on fantasy while this one would be grounded in science.
Aliens are a favorite in this season as is man’s need to tinker with the universe. We even get a robot. Some of the stories are based on classic science fiction like Sandkings (George R.R. Martin) and I, Robot (Eando Binder). Others are fresh and new. I was a big fan of the original series and have fully enjoyed this new one. At its heart, this is the same series.
There are several superficial differences between the old series and the new. The new series is in color. The new series includes harsher language. The new series even include nudity up to full-frontal. The new series can take advantage of slicker special effects. But all of these things are minor. Both series use quality actors and writers. It is the intelligent stories that make the series and not the window dressing. A great series that should be seen by all science fiction fans.
This season includes the following episodes:
The Second Soul
White Light Fever
Corner of the Eye
Under the Bed
Quality of Mercy
Caught in the Act
The Voyage Home
The New Breed
If These Walls Could Talk
The Voice of Reason (the only first-season flashback show)