Say whatever you will, this one will always likely be remembered as the episode of the Talking Rocks. It's hard really to get beyond the goofiness of that (or of the metal plate somehow proving to be an antenna for their speech). When Culp heads out into the desert and tumbleweeds go blowing past, I had a passing thought that maybe he could ask Eddie Albert and June Havoc for their advice on how to handle his problem! lol
This is a bit of a strange episode, to say the least. As a result of a freak accident, Paul Cameron, ably played by series mainstay Robert Culp, is able to hear the telepathic communication that is ongoing between two seemingly ordinary rocks. Realizing their murderous intentions, Paul desperately races to stop their plan for world conquest in a fast paced episode. The ending, for me, was a bit on the sloppy side as I don't think it answers all the questions a viewer might have about the episode.
"Corpus Earthling" is, as a script, one of the poorer "Outer Limits" episodes. It's cheap pulp shlock of the "humans taken over by aliens" genre that was old and overdone 20 years before.
What makes it a standout is the superb direction. The execution is so dark and morbid -- sci-fi noir, if you like -- that one forgets just how hackneyed a story it is. Not only does the principal character go through hell, but ihis wife apparently dies. This is unusual, even for an anthology series -- most TV shows have "happy" endings.
Robert Culp's contribution is invaluable. I've never seen an actor, anywhere, who expresses love for women as Culp does. (Kind of hard to believe he was married five times.) In "Corpus Earthling", as in "The Architects of Fear", you truly believe that he's totally devoted to his wife.
"Corpus Earthling" is an excellent example of how good acting and creative direction can turn a mediocre script into something memorable.
This episode just does not live up to the overall quality of the series. The good-ol’ metal-plate-in-the-head lets Robert Culp listen in on plotting alien rocks, but for some reason the concept of threatening rocks which also morph into attacking blobs seems more hokey than otherworldly. In other episodes everyday items do take on a new twist, but here it just does not work effectively.
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