I conclude from the site rating for this episode that my high estimation is out of step with the general opinion. This type of story is right up my alley, so perhaps I overrate the production. Gary Merrill, Harry Guardino and Sally Kellerman turn in excellent performances from a script that is fully up to the excellence of their talents. I think the sci-fi herein is outstanding because it's grounded in a high degree of psychological realism that lays an effective foundation for the fantastic elements. Watching this show provides valuable lessons in the history of the sci-fi genre. After an episode of "The Outer Limits," I realize more fully how far shows like "Sarah Connor" and "Fringe" have come, speaking in terms of both literary freedom of expression and visual effects. Back in the early 1960's, sci-fi programs were disadvantaged by shabby visual effects that often destroyed believability. Take for instance "The Zanti Misfits." Site visitors rate this episode highly, so I watched it with expectations of delight. The wretchedly bad visual effects had me swimming upstream against an inclination to laugh out loud. In addition to this, "The Outer Limits" was further hampered by an obviously paltry budget. These circumstances point toward the need for an emphasis upon psychological force and suggestion over and above visual pageantry. This is why "The Human Factor" gets a rating of 8.00 from me. The writer was shrewd enough to use the best asset for telling a high-concept story on a shoestring budget, the actors, and thus the episode is aptly titled.
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