"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