We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

The Outer Limits - Original

Season 1 Episode 14

The Zanti Misfits

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Dec 30, 1963 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
47 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Aliens from the planet Zanti send their criminals to Earth and insist that they be kept in an isolated area outside of all human contact. However, the situation becomes complicated by the intrusion of outsiders.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Another view from the pulpit

    About as subtle as a hand grenade. Unfortunately this series got very preachy indeed, as can be seen all too readily in this episode. I always have remembered the little (or big) ant guys anyway; I can't really decide though whether they're cool or just kinda goofy.
  • A great episode that shows what the Outer Limits represents...

    This is an episode that I have to admit I am quite fond of. The idea that criminals, who resemble giant spiders, are teleported from another planet to Earth is not totally unusual. However, the fact that that aliens sent their brethren to Earth to be executed and not for incarceration is something that, for myself, was unexpected and thought provoking for me.

    You have to wonder if the Zanti represent countries that don't have the death penalty and the military/scientists representing the ones that do. Or is it an anti war message with the implication that the Zanti don't believe in killing their own kind but mankind doesn't have such a qualm under certain circumstances? Or is it just two different philosophies?

    An excellent episode!moreless
  • The planet Zanti forces Earth to be a prison for its "misfits."

    About 20 years ago TV Guide listed the top 100 episodes in TV history. "The Zanti Misfits" ranked 97. OK. We diehards will take it. From start to finish one of the very best scifi episodes not only of TOL, but in all broadcast television. Thematically dealing with how societies deal with those who cannot adjust to its norms, "The Zanti Misfits" entertains and enlightens. A young Bruce Dern gets a little too close to the misfits thus initiating the action. Olive Deering's performance as his moll is a mixed bag. She has that weary, worn-out look of a waitress on her heels too long. There are a couple of problems. Once more security is a problem. I figured battalions would be dispatched to guard the penal area instead of just a guard here and there. And, as great a climax as the final shoot out is, you can see the strings. Darn it! But "The Zanti Misfits" still holds up after decades...after all - we are still practiced executioners!moreless
Michael Tolan

Michael Tolan

Steve Grave

Guest Star

Olive Deering

Olive Deering

Lisa Lawrence

Guest Star

Robert F. Simon

Robert F. Simon

General Maximillian R. Hart

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The Zanti ship is apparently bigger on the inside than the outside. Despite the fact that it is no larger than a small closet (approximately 6' x 6'), hundreds of the foot-long creatures crawl out of the ship.

    • Around 44-45 minutes into the story when the Zanti ship has landed on the roof, we see several shots of Zantis going out the open door of the ship. There is a piece of broken wood by the door. Sometimes the wood is on the left side of the door, and sometimes it's to the right. It would appear that budget had forced a flipping over of the film to make it look as if the ship is being shot from another angle rather then use more stop animation.

    • Trivia: This is the only episode of the series where the aliens don't speak English.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Control Voice: (opening narration) Throughout history, compassionate minds have pondered this dark and disturbing question: what is society to do with those members who are a threat to society, those malcontents and misfits whose behavior undermines and destroys the foundations of civilization? Different ages have found different answers. Misfits have been burned, branded, and banished. Today on this planet Earth, the criminal is incarcerated in humane institutions or he is executed. Other planets use other methods. This is the story of how the perfectionist rulers of the planet Zanti attempted to solve the problem of the Zanti misfits.

    • Grave: History has been recorded in some pretty morbid places, Major. But when a historian named Grave finds himself in a ghost town called Morgue...

    • Grave: I wonder what they're like.
      Hill: From our viewpoint, Professor, they're either superhuman or subhuman.
      Grave: Or non-human.

    • Ben: Lisa, we can never turn back, not you and me. A runaway wife and a three-time loser must always go forward.

    • Ben: I'm going to tell you something, you're not going to believe it. But I'm going to go ahead and tell it anyway. I would never kill a reasonable man.
      Lisa: Ha. Open the windows, Ben, you smell bad when you lie.

    • Hill: Fifteen minutes is not a long time. In our conception of time. For them it could be long enough to conquer a world. When a country allows itself to be coerced, it has to suffer the consequences.
      Grave: So far the only real consequence is uncertainty.
      Hill: I've always felt that was one of the worst things a country could suffer.

    • Hart: If they retaliate, it means death, suffering. Broken bodies and broken hearts. I can't let everybody break.

    • Grave: I've studied history for years, Max. Even before anyone said I had to. Big moments, small moments, some so insignificant they barely got recorded. But it isn't like being there. It isn't, and I'm always conscious of it. Always aware that the clean edge of participation is missing. I'd give anything to be there just once, alive and awake.
      Hart: I suppose you'd have liked to be at Hiroshima.
      Grave: If I could have helped.

    • Lisa: No. All botched up now. I--I tore all the seams apart. To see what held it together. And--and then I couldn't get it back together again. I... I did that with a--with a ragdoll. I... done it with my own life. And now here I am... all torn apart. By my own hand. Mine own executioner.

    • Zanti Commander: This is the commander of the government of the planet Zanti. I speak to you from Zanti. You have destroyed the misfits. We will not retaliate. We never intended to. We knew that you would not live with such aliens in your midst. It was always our intention that you destroy them and their guards, who were of the same spoiled persuasion. We chose your planet for that purpose. We are incapable of executing our own species, but you are not. You are practiced executioners. We thank you.

    • Control Voice: (closing narration) Throughout history, various societies have tried various methods of exterminating those members who have proven their inability or unwillingness to live sanely amongst their fellow men. The Zantis merely tried one more method, neither better nor worse than all the others. Neither more human nor less human than all others. Perhaps merely... non-human.

  • NOTES (2)