The Outer Limits - Original

Season 1 Episode 17

Don't Open Till Doomsday

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jan 20, 1964 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Eloping lovers come on a strange house. There they find an old woman still despairing over the loss of her fiance on their wedding day many years ago. Little does she know that one of her wedding presents is responsible for the disappearance of the groom: the present with the card that reads "Don't Open Till Doomsday".moreless

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  • Vintage Outer Limits!

    This is a very interesting episode. It begins with a joyful wedding reception and promptly moves to an eerie box labeled "Do Not Open Till Doomsday." This box contains a strange creature with an unusual ability: it can transport people into the box (shrinking them in the process). Of course since the box arrives at a wedding reception, one of the people captured by the creature is from the wedding party (i.e., the groom). Once the groom cannot be found, time passes by until another victim is captured by the creature. Eventually the episode reaches a climax with a surprise ending. Vintage Outer Limits!moreless
  • One of the creepiest, most atmospheric, and memorable episodes of the series, on par with the greats of the Twilight Zone.

    It's not often that an episode stays with you, lurking in the corner of your mind, shouting out voicelessly to you in idle moments of your otherwise humdrum day, but this is one episode. It leaves an imprint. It abides. The tone is set for this horror tale with SF overtones by the control voice speaking of the perfection of evil. That is, that evil cannot afford to make a mistake -- and so the voice fades as a mysterious man delivers a gift to wedding party. Upstairs, curiosity gets the better of the groom, who opens the gift. He goes mad and the next scene is some years later, where history threatens to repeat itself. Two young lovers have met at a justice of the peace to wed; the tension in the atmosphere is nearly unbearable; the acting and atmosphere are top-notch. Worry clouds the expressions of the runaway underage lovers; the justice of the peace is a conflicted, careful man; his wife is a scheming malevolent soul. It is she who arranges for the newlyweds to spend the night at the house with the gift. The house has fallen into ruin and decay; its sole inhabitant, the woman who still expects her husband to return at any minute. Time has not been kind to her body, nor her mind; she is now quite mad and morbid, keeping her wedding dress at the ready and marking the bridal suite with petrified flowers. I cannot emphasize enough how utterly chilling and disturbing her scenes are!

    I will not spoil the ending, but the twists and the turns keep coming as we find out what resides in the box marked "Do Not Open Until Doomsday" and whether or not evil prevails.

    This is a true classic.moreless
  • Overly silly episode just does not pull it off

    This episode has an interesting plot, but fails to pull it off adequately, and totally ruins any suspense by having yet another one-eyed blob for an alien monster. What is with this series and blobs? It would have been far more effective to never show the alien, leaving only a mysterious box with a blinking light behind glass. The way the newlyweds conveniently come to the house and the over-the-top acting of the old flapper make this grating to watch.moreless
Buck Taylor

Buck Taylor

Gard Hayden

Guest Star

John Hoyt

John Hoyt

Emmett Balfour

Guest Star

Russell Collins

Russell Collins

Justice of the Peace

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • In this episode, Russell Collins portrays a justice of the peace who suspects that the couple he is marrying is below the age of consent. In the Dick Van Dyke Show episode "Very Old Shoes, Very Old Rice," Rob must re-marry Laura because she was underage at the time of their first marriage, and Russell Collins portrays the judge who performs the ceremony.

    • An old newspaper in the bridal suite gives the viewer a clue to the contents of the mysterious box. It reads: "The Winterfield Bugle, Saturday, June 15, 1929. Noted Scientist Declares Country Invaded by Enemies from Outer Space. Dr. Mordecai Spazman branded 'comic strip fanatic' by Academy President Harvey Kry, Sr." Harvey Kry, Jr. disappeared on his wedding night when the box was delivered during his wedding reception.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Mary Kry: (Talking to Harvey Kry about the alien)What do you care if he destroys the world? Let him annihilate a million worlds! What are worlds to people who live in hell?

    • Gard Hayden: (While entering the bridal suite after being locked out) Nothing like being on the wrong side of a stuck door on your wedding night.

    • Justice of the Peace's Wife: (Speaking to a newlywed couple about a local honeymoon suite) She's finally decided to rent that big, empty, bridal suite on the top floor. Heaven itself couldn't find you there.

    • Control Voice: (closing narration) Without that deadly talent for being in the right place at the right time evil must suffer defeat, and with each defeat doomsday is postponed for at least one more day.

    • Control Voice: (opening narration) The greatness of evil lies in its awful accuracy. Without that deadly talent for being in the right place at the right time evil must suffer defeat. For unlike its opposite good, evil is allowed no human failings, no miscalculations. Evil must be perfect or depend upon the imperfections of others.

  • NOTES (0)


    • 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.

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