The Outer Limits - Original

Season 1 Episode 28

The Special One

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Apr 06, 1964 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
41 votes
  • My rating: 3 - Fair

    The first time I viewed "The Special One", I didn't think there was anything special about it at all. Upon further review, it still isn't all that special. What it is though is an okay but slow story about an alien named Mr. Zeno who is sent from the planet Xenon to educate children to assist in Xenon's future invasion of Earth. One thing is apparent right away, Mr. Zeno is not particularly good at carrying out his mission because he's discovered by the parents of both children he attempts to abduct. Luckily for Zeno he is able to control the minds of the parents, forcing one to jump to his death from a high rise window. There are a lot of holes in this story, not the least of which is a 14-year old child out thinking a supposedly advanced alien menace. There is a neat special effect with Mr. Zeno materializing from a flash of lightning. This is one of the best effects of any Outer Limits episode. The 14-year old boy is relatively believable here and Marion Ross of "Happy Days" fame is lively and gives some grounding to the whole affair. Mr. Zeno's struggle near the end of the story is almost entirely shown in slow motion and it's evident this was done to pad out a too-short episode. "The Special One" is one of the less impressive entries of the Outer Limits first season.
  • The Science Spoiler

    Xenon is an inert gas and combines with other elements only under special circumstances. A biological organism wouldn't be able to use it for metabolic processes. Also, the amount of Xenon in the air is so miniscule that you wouldn't see as much "precipitation" as you see in the final scene. Would have been better to use even nitrogen, though "fixing" N2 into usable form has its own problems. Science advisors were absent for this episode, I fear.

    Still, not too bad. Better than The Production & Decay of Strange Particles--ugh.
  • An alien takes on a human form to act as a tutor to gifted children, using their intelligence and vulnerability to help him to save his planet. If met with parents who resist, he has a way to destroy them.

    This episode has several problems. First, the 'teaser' (the preview, at the beginning of the show, of a scene later in the story) was different from the story we saw, so we were confused as to what happened that the first child did not work out. It looked like clumsy writing. Also, the boy came off as either too leaden or too smarmy. The finale went on too long. What was a nice special effect lost its meaning. It was nice to see a young Marion Ross (the "Happy Days" mom). This was an interesting concept, but it was poorly executed.
  • Annoying to the Older viewers in the audience due to the smarty-pants kiddie-character, but still manages to entertain.

    Annoying to the Older viewers in the audience due to the smarty-pants kiddie-character, but the Alien's ruthlessness makes for some scenes which are scary, maybe even disturbingly so.

    The precocious boy's Mother is played by actress Marion Ross who would later play a Mother again in the tv-series "Happy Days." Surprisingly, it's the trivia of Marion Ross's appearance that somehow adds to the entertainment in that Marion Ross is so much associated with that other series "Happy Days."

    A riveting scene is where the Alien's GILLS are exposed at the ending. This alien characteristic is what provides the mood of Eerieness. It would have been better if those GILLS had been shown earlier in the episode in addition to the ending. After all, it's Not his superpowers but rather his Gills which establish his extraterrestrial origin.