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The Outer Limits - Original

Season 1 Episode 4

The Man With the Power

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 07, 1963 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
48 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A radical experiment gives a college professor incredible power, which his subconscious mind uses to destroy his enemies.

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  • The floating thunderstorm

    I've always kinda liked that little floating thunderstorm thingie. Not sure why Pleasence opts for the ending he chose when there was the (fairly obvious) alternative of simply surgically removing that glowing doodad in his skull; but then, I don't suppose there would've been too much drama to that, would there? :) It is also interesting to note that, although his wife is rather shrewish, there ultimately proves to be more to her character than just that one-sided facet.moreless
  • A good episode to watch!

    This episode, much like many of this series, focuses on one man and what happens when a government experiment gives him incredible and deadly power he accesses on a subconscious level. At first, the man, who is portrayed by Donald Pleasance in his usual understated way, is unaware of what is happening around him but becomes aware of the power near the end. The decision he makes at the end of the episode is shown somewhat abruptly but is keeping with the timing and pacing of the show.

    I really enjoyed this episode on many levels. The appearance of the dark cloud, at the behest of Pleasance's subconscious desires, foretells moments of intense fear as we see an individual literally disappear when the cloud envelops them. The range of emotions the characters portray add a depth to the show that is welcome to those watching it.

    A solid episode that makes one think on many levels......moreless
  • Donald Pleasence plays a man who, feeling he is a failure, submits to an operation which gives him the power to move objects. What he learns over time, to his torment, is that it also gives him the power to destroy people, including those he loves.moreless

    The special effects, for the most part, were good in this episode. The 'storm clouds' that signal impending doom for the main character's foes are fun to watch. I recognized Ed Platt ("Chief"), who plays--guess who?--his boss. There is a good scene with the man's wife (she says that she didn't even want to bear him a child). The one decent relationship the main character has is with an astronaut who will undergo the same operation. It is only when **spoiler alert** the Pleasence character realizes the 'power' is evil that he decides he must do the right thing. He walks into the operating room and kills both the surgeon and himself.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Vera Finley: You wouldn't hurt anyone even if you could. You're not a violent man. You've never hated anyone, never.
      Harold Finley: Not to hurt them, no, Vera. But I have this power. It acts whether I want it to or not.
      Vera Finley: No, Harold, you don't have any power. You've always been quiet. You told me yourself you're too mild, you're too weak.
      Harold Finley: No more, Vera! I could split this ceiling open if I wanted to! I could crash down these walls. I could splinter this whole block into bricks and rubble.
      Vera Finley: Harold, you're a little man, a nobody. You don't have any power.

    • Harold Finley: Heaven help me. If I have such power, then I don't want to live.

    • Harold Finley: The terrible thing is, there's a part of me, there is a piece of my brain, which hates. It's like a dark cloud in my subconscious.

    • Harold Finley: You want me to stay a worm, don't you? Unimportant, unproductive, classroom worm! Some women take their husband by the hands and say, "Together we'll climb to the stars." Not you... Never you.

    • Keenan: It's like a cosmic reservoir, there's no limit to the amount that could be fed into the link gate. Pure power, pure and perfect, controlled by the mind of man. You know, I don't want to sound prophetic but, heh, we're close to becoming gods.

    • Control Voice: (closing narration) Deep beyond the kindest, gentlest soul may lurk violent thoughts, deadly wishes. Someday Man will learn to cope with the monsters of the mind. Then, and only then, when the human mind is truly in control of itself, can we begin to utilize the great and hidden powers of the universe.

    • Control Voice: (opening narration) In the course of centuries, Man has devoured the Earth itself. The Machine Age has dried up the seas of oil. Industry has consumed the heartlands of coal. The Atomic Age has plundered the rare elements... uranium, cobalt, plutonium... leaving behind worthless deposits of lead and ashes. Starvation is at hand. Only here, in the void of space, is there a new source of atomic power. Above us, in the debris of the solar system, in the meteorites and asteroids, are the materials needed to drive the reactors. Yet in their distant, silent orbits, these chunks of matter are beyond the reach of Man, beyond the reach of human hands... but not beyond the reach of human minds. Driving along a country road in an ordinary car is a modest man: Harold J. Finley, quiet and profound...

  • NOTES (0)


    • Dr. Hinderman: We all suffer the slings and arrows of an outraged subconscious.

      Referencing Hamlet's monologue, Act III, Scene I, line 56, from the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. It is part of the Prince of Denmark's "To be or not to be?" speech.