The Outer Limits - Original

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (186)

  • Allan Maxwell: The secrets of the universe don't mind. They reveal themselves to "nobodies" who care.

  • Control Voice: (sign-off narration) We now return control of your television set to you, until next week, at the same time when the Control Voice will take you to... The Outer Limits.

  • Control Voice: (closing narration) The planet Earth is a speck of dust, remote and alone in the void. There are powers in the universe inscrutable and profound. Fear cannot save us. Rage cannot help us. We must see the stranger in a new light-the light of understanding. And to achieve this, we must begin to understand ourselves, and each other.

  • Control Voice: (opening narration) There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits.

  • Control Voice: (closing narration) To Theodore Pearson not even so monstrous a crime as the assassination of William Lyons Selby justifies an act of war, because there is no war as we knew it, only annihilation. A great American has been killed in the service of his country. Now it is the job of those who continue to serve to carry on guarding our freedom with dignity and unrelenting vigilance.

  • Control Voice: (opening narration) Somewhere south of the Mongolian border and north of the Tropic of Cancer in that part of the world we call the Orient a slumbering giant has shaken itself to wakefulness. Passed over in most histories as a nation forgotten by time its close-packed millions in the short span of twenty years have been stirred to a fury by one man Lee Ching Sung a benevolent despot in his homeland Sung stands as an irresponsible threat to peace in the eyes of the rest of the world. William Lyons Selby, candidate for the presidency of the United States, predicted by every poll, survey, and primary to be a certain winner in the forthcoming election.

  • Control Voice: (opening narration) Is this the day? Is this the beginning of the end? There is no time to wonder. No time to ask why is it happening, why is it finally happening. There is time only for fear, for the piercing pain of panic. Do we pray? Or do we merely run now and pray later? Will there be a later? Or is this the day?

  • Gainer: Now I don't care what reading of history you take. The pattern is always the same. Whenever a bacterium invasion strikes or a fire rages or a wild beast roams the streets. Then and only then do men stop fighting each other and work together to save themselves. A common enemy, a common fear. That is the only answer. If all the men of the Earth are threatened by an enemy from a hostile planet... well, gentlemen, we are going to create that enemy.

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Notes (34)

  • The creature in this episode was judged by some local TV stations to be too frightening for younger viewers, so the final scenes with the creature were not aired in some markets.

  • According to David J. Schow's The Outer Limits Companion, the script for this episode was entitled "Cry of the Unborn."

  • At one point during the episode where Robert Culp's character hears a disturbance in the hall of his apartment, his wife checks it out and states that "It's Billy Fraker, he's been drinking again." It was a kind nod to Billy or William Fraker who happened to be the uncredited cameraman on this episode.

  • This episode was later remade under the same title "Nightmare" for the 1990s version of The Outer Limits.

  • Locations: Vasquez Rocks, CA; the "Ghost Town Street" Western set at MGM studios

  • Burt Reynolds was originally offered the part of Ben Garth but declined.

  • This episode was the least expensive to produce in the series, costing only $100,000.

  • Actor Robert Fortier, an accomplished mime, actually did many of the scenes of his character standing still or "walking backwards" rather than rely on special effects.

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Trivia (26)

  • The children in the movie "Mrs. Doubtfire" are watching this episode of The Outer Limits.

  • When the scientists take Allen away in the elevator, it's clear that it's merely a studio mockup. There's no metal strip on the floor to indicate where the floor ends and the elevator begins.

  • When Harold Finley lifts the large fragment with his mind, the supporting wires are clearly visible.

  • O.B.I.T. stands for Outer Band Individuated Tele-tracer.

  • In the scene in which one of the divers is fighting the fish monster underwater, the wires controlling the fish monster are clearly visible.

  • The Zanti ship is apparently bigger on the inside than the outside. Despite the fact that it is no larger than a small closet (approximately 6' x 6'), hundreds of the foot-long creatures crawl out of the ship.

  • Around 44-45 minutes into the story when the Zanti ship has landed on the roof, we see several shots of Zantis going out the open door of the ship. There is a piece of broken wood by the door. Sometimes the wood is on the left side of the door, and sometimes it's to the right. It would appear that budget had forced a flipping over of the film to make it look as if the ship is being shot from another angle rather then use more stop animation.

  • Trivia: This is the only episode of the series where the aliens don't speak English.

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Allusions (7)

  • Allen: I am Caliban. With a PhD.
    Referencing the hideous beastman in Shakespeare's The Tempest. The son of a devil, Caliban is found by Prospero. Although Prospero initially befriends him, he enslaves Caliban when the beastman tries to rape Miranda.

  • Dr. Hinderman: We all suffer the slings and arrows of an outraged subconscious.

    Referencing Hamlet's monologue, Act III, Scene I, line 56, from the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. It is part of the Prince of Denmark's "To be or not to be?" speech.

  • Jong: Good friend grasshopper, will you play the caretaker for my little grave? Referencing the haiku by Kobayashi Issa, poet and lay Buddhist priest (1763-1827), considered one of the four great haiku masters of Japan. He wrote over a thousand verses concerning insects, verses such as thsi one.

  • Mrs. Kry closely parallels Mrs. Haversham from Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations." Being deprived of her groom on her wedding day, she keeps her bridal suite untouched for 35 years.

  • The storyline for this episode loosely follows Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of Macbeth."

  • Episode Title: The title of this episode is taken from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream: "The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen / Turns them all to shapes, and gives to airy nothing / A local habitation and a name."

  • Wolf 359, the site of the planet simulated in this episode, is a real location. It is a small variable red dwarf 7.8 light years from Earth. It lies within the astronomical boundaries of Leo, but is not part of the visible constellation - with a visible magnitude of 13, it cannot be seen without a telescope, even though it is the third known closest star to our solar system (only the Alpha Centauri system and Barnard's Star are closer). It was discovered in 1918 by German astronomer Max Wolf on photographic plates. Wolf 359 is the star's most common name; it has alternate designations from other star catalogues: CN Leonis, GCTP 2553, GJ 406, G 045-020, LTT 12923, LFT 750 and LHS 36.