The Outer Limits - Original

Season 1 Episode 23

Second Chance

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Mar 02, 1964 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

A group of people board an amusement park ride. Then they (and their surprised "captain") find that they're really going on a space jaunt.

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  • Amusement park Space-ride turns into the Real thing.

    The very first time I saw this episode in the 1960s I felt, at first, puzzled at how a visually-grotesque space-alien could walk among humans withOut causing any panic. Then when I saw the episode again twenty years later,I realized the explanation and how clever the alien was, that is, the Real alien had POSED as a performer playing the role of an alien! So of course that goes along with the fact that the amusement park's space-ride was also a Real spaceship.

    But other than that cleverness, the storyline disappoints somewhat, as far as the individual characterizations of the abducted passengers. Especially with the cantankerous Mr. Beasley, how can his cynicism get a second chance by travelling to an asteroid? The ONLY character who has both a valid motivation and justification to travel to that asteroid is Dave Crowell in that he has both the scientific expertise as well as a disgust at the way the establishment treats that expertise. And I suppose the stewardess Mara Matthews is validly motivated too, as the story seems to hint that her relationship with Crowell will hopefully make up for her previous love-affair which had ended painfully.

    So the basic theme of "Second Chance" is regrettably flawed. But it's still one of my favorite episodes because of the dignified treatment that Mr. Oakland gives to the role of the alien Empyrian, and also due to the well-executed special effects for the Space-ship. The Space-ship's take-off and flight has Nothing fancy but its plainness surprisingly serves to make it look majestic. The same for the space-ship's Inside as its somewhat claustrophobic setting accentuates the tension among the abducted passengers.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The overhead studio microphone can be seen casting a shadow against a wall as it is moved in the upper left-hand part of the screen, while the alien (preparing for takeoff) is working upstairs in the control panel of the "ride" (spaceship).

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Control Voice: (opening narration) When fear is too terrible, when reality is too agonizing, we seek escape in manufactured danger, in the thrills and pleasures of pretending... in the amusement parks of our unamusing world. Here, in frantic pretending, Man finds escape and temporary peace, and goes home tired enough to sleep a short, deep sleep. But what happens here when night comes? When pretending ends, and reality begins?

  • NOTES (1)