The Outer Limits - Original

Season 2 Episode 5

Demon With A Glass Hand

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 17, 1964 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

out of 10
52 votes
  • Hand of Fate

    This is my second favorate tale in this series and it was written by one of my favorate sci-fi writers Harlan Ellison whom is a great visionary of sci-fi but also infused humanity in the stories which made them memorable. This tale also might have been a partial inspiration to "The Terminator" franchise.

    The name of the game is isolation and it's sort of a fugative actioner sci-fi style. Robert Culp is great at the role of Trent. You really feel a sense of pathos for this guy who is being chased by aliens that want to kill him and he doesn't know why. He's trapped in a building in a force field he can't excape. But most of all he doesn't know who he is or even why he is the key to the future.

    The dynamic with the girl I thought was decent even though she really doesn't do much for the story nor does the dynamic between the two add up to much so I though she was sort of a weak point and probably unnessary for the story.

    However it's really the dynamic with the hand that I like, I even like the look of the hand even though he can't flex his fingers, but I'd perfer that pratical effect over a CGI hand which might look crappy. Anyway I like the voice of it and what it says to Trent which keeps us intregued but also at the same time makes us feel dread as it paints section by section a bleak picture in our imaginations of the future of humanity. Trent finding one finger after another for the hand really adds to the suspense because it's like a math equasion that is constantly adding up to something we don't know what.

    I only have one real quib about the episode, one were the aliens I thought they were lame looking. I know that it's the 60's and I know that this is a TV show which means budget limitations but "Star Trek" was able to pull of some good effects with it's limited budget, I don't see why they couldn't or they could of tried harder. They should of made the aliens look like the "Predator" aliens or something to least make them menicing. So the look of the aliens does hurt this episode a bit for me.

    The ending is sad and just like Trent really made me feel alone, as we discover who Trent is and is role for mankind's future. Being a hero or leader to many can sometimes be a cruel fate.
  • TOL--"Demon With a Glass Hand"

    "Demon With a Glass Hand" is a very good episode. Robert Culp is great in the lead role as "Trent", the last man on Earth left to battle an alien race and save humanity. Byron Haskin's direction really recreates the isolation of the Trent character. The story is perhaps the most action-oriented script of all Outer Limits episodes. Trent has a glass hand that is missing three fingers. The hand is actually a computer that guides him through his battle against the alien race called the Kyben. Both Trent and the Kyben need to complete the assembly of the hand. For Trent, it holds the secrets of what happened to the human race. For the Kyben, it will reveal where the human race went. You see, the entire population of Earth simply disappeared before they could be wiped out by the Kyben. The hand is a convincing and neat looking effect, but it's got to be. Along with Trent, it is the center point of the story. The ending of "Demon" is perfect. It leaves you with a feeling of loneliness.

    What doesn't work here is the cheesy effort to create what is supposed to be an alien race that conquered the Earth in just 19 days. The Kyben are such a letdown from an effects perspective, its a distraction. Not much should be expected from '60s special effects, but panty hose and black circles around the eyes?!? Even with the limited budget, you'd think the Outer Limits braintrust could have done something more when creating the Kyben.

    One other thing that Schow mentions in his book, The Outer Limits Companion, is also tough to get past...why does Trent not so much as check on the "force bubble" that confines him to the Dixon Building? It seems unbelievable that he would not even verify it's existence. Perhaps it is not a concern to him because he knows his mission will only be accomplished from within the confines of the building.

    Those items aside, it's easy to understand why "Demon With a Glass Hand" is considered by many to be a classic science fiction story.

    My Rating: 8 - Very Good
  • Today's aspirants want this. The future-glance episode, so well realised, would be best as a noire film, and all original contributors, are foremost in my mind. Gilgamesh indeed, alone but purposeful at end. The best of writing, acting and construct.

    Mr. Harlan Ellison: So gifted but out of kilter re current time with his insights, exorcised through short story or script writing. A man who feels the pain of "televising" the vision but continues, making compromises to ensure the vision-intact rockets on-through;
    US SCI-FI TV 1960s : Stridently versus the Gleasons etc - future-thought against pantomime,and
    Stevens/Stefano : Thinking always to the audience that thought "hey...what if?"
    The Directors, Set Makers : Making so much with little, and, even adults hide behind couches.

    Even now I hide but think. Forget "Monster of the Week" - just read the paper and what is coming tomorrow.
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