Out of the Unknown

BBC Two (ended 1971)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 4 : Ep 11

    The Shattered Eye

    Aired 6/30/71

  • S 4 : Ep 10

    The Uninvited

    Aired 6/23/71

  • S 4 : Ep 9

    The Chopper

    Aired 6/16/71

  • S 4 : Ep 8

    The Man In My Head

    Aired 6/9/71

  • S 4 : Ep 7

    The Last Witness

    Aired 6/2/71

  • Cast & Crew
  • David Buck

    Jon Hoff

  • Ann Firbank

    Dr. Inge Jensen

  • Geraldine Moffat


  • Roland Curram

    Ronnie Cash

  • John Wood (I)


  • show Description
  • Out Of The Unknown was an anthology series of science fiction, fantasy and horror stories, featuring adaptations of works by leading writers in these genres, together with original screenplays. Initially broadcast in monochrome (black and white), the show was broadcast in color from its third season on starting in 1969.

  • Top Contributor
  • orswel

    User Score: 452


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (3)

    • Kuno: Men invented the Machine. Never forget that. Great men, but men.

    • Vashti: How far we have advanced, thanks to the Machine!

    • Vashti: Can you imagine anything more absurd? A man who was my son believes the Machine is stopping. It would be impious if it was not mad.

    Notes (12)

    • This episode was remade, with a slightly altered script (also by David Campton) as an episode of Journey To The Unknown. It had the same title and was first aired in 1969.

    • One wonders, did Kate Wilhelm, the authoress of the original story, ever see a British comedy film of the late 1940s called The Perfect Woman, which features a female robot passed off as a real person? Wilhelm, who was married to the legendary science-fiction writer Damon Knight, published her first story in 1956.

    • The set designer of this episode was Ridley Scott. He was at the time the youngest set designer in British television, and went on to become a director of TV episodes and commercials before directing such films as Alien and Blade Runner.

    • In addition to inspiring several imitations, this story was adapted both for the stage and radio and was the basis of a song composed and performed by the band Level 42.

    • This story line would inspire two episodes of Star Trek (TOS) and the movie Logan's Run.

    • This story line would be used and reworked to view crimes not yet committed in the 2002 motion picture Minority Report with Tom Cruise.

    • From this episode onward, the series was produced in color.

    • John Wyndham's famous story was remade for television over thirty years later, as an accompaniment to a drama-documentary about Wyndham. This version was televised on BBC-4 on November 27th, 2006. The same story was the basis for a 1971 cinema film, retitled Quest For Love and directed by Ralph Thomas.

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    Trivia (23)

    • Irene Shubik, who produced the first two seasons of this well-remembered series, was also the producer of the very similar "Out Of This World" series produced on ITV a few years earlier.

    • Unfortunately, there seem to be no extant tapes of this play in the BBC Archives.

    • This episode was one of a handful from this series to be repeated on BBC-1, not as part of a science-fiction series, but as a single play. The BBC-1 repeat was a month after its original airing, on December 29th, 1965.

    • E.M. Forster's famous story was first published in a magazine in 1909 and was, its author claimed, written as a reaction to the Utopian science-fiction of his contemporary H.G. Wells. It was not anthologized until 1928.

    • One of six episodes of this series to be repeated on BBC-1 the following Spring. This wa shown on BBC-1 on 15th April, 1967.

    • There are no known tapes of this episode still in existence, unfortunately.

    • This episode was shown at the Trieste Science-Fiction Film Festival.

    • Although J.B. Priestley did write a handful of original TV plays, this was the only occasion in his long writing career when he adapted someone else's work for an episode of a genre television series.

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  • Fan Reviews (1)
  • Could such a series be possible nowadays?

    By orswel, Aug 01, 2012