The Outer Limits - Original

Season 1 Episode 32

The Forms of Things Unknown

Aired Monday 8:00 PM May 04, 1964 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • My rating: 3 - Fair

    "The Forms of Things Unknown" is actually one of the stranger entries of The Outer Limits series. It was actually developed as a pilot for a new show but was reworked to fit into the Outer Limits format. This episode is gothic horror as opposed to the usual sci-fi style of the series. David McCallum stars in the episode as Tone, a young man brought back from death, who is consumed with his efforts to control time. McCallum does some good work here, giving Tone an almost juvenile wonder about "tilting" the past into the present. Vera Miles and Barbara Rush play two women, Kassia and Leonora, who are trying to hide the fact that they've just murdered Andre, a manipulative villian with a plan to blackmail Leonora's rich father. Vera Miles is, as always, stunning here where Barbara Rush adequately plays the part of the naive, but guilty victim. Sir Cedric Hardwicke is Colas, the blind owner of the mansion where the entire story takes place. Hardwicke is practically awful and it's pretty funny to watch just how poorly he performs this role. The story is entertaining enough, but the characters aren't really very interesting. Tone's time machine is a neat creation of clocks and wire but all of the other sets and props are uninspiring. One of the most disjointed moments is the crash of Andre's Rolls Royce. The slow speed of the car hardly leaves the impression that it could have caused such an incredible crash. As a closing episode of the first season of the greatest sci-fi series ever, it is a misplaced disappointment.

    My rating: 3 - Fair
  • Two young women kill the man who is tormenting them, only to have him resurrected by a young man experimenting with a "time-tilter" device.

    First thing to realize here is that this was meant to be a pilot for another, differently themed series called "The Unknown," which was to be more along the lines of "Thriller" than "Outer Limits." Even with the time-travel angle, it fits more into a gothic horror vein than that of sci-fi.

    Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable episode. David McCallum is perfect as the brilliant-but-naive experimenter, who himself was brought back from the dead by the time tilter. Vera Miles turns in an outstanding performance as the more resolute of the two would-be femme fatales. The rest of the cast is fair. As the blind servant, Cedric Hardwicke has been both better and worse. The murder victim/blackmailer is played well but is more caricature than character. Ditto for Barbara Rush's character, who becomes so annoying that her hypnosis scene is a relief--she's not screaming or passing out while she's in her trance.

    The story, crafted by one of the series' best writers in Joseph Stefano, ultimately carries the day, but don't expect to "get" everything right away. It intentionally begins somewhat ambiguously, but the pieces come together midway through. All in all, not the best episode, but worthy of a spot in the upper 12 or 15.