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Category:    Home > Reviews > Anthology > Science Fiction > Fantasy > The Outer Limits - The New Series

The Outer Limits – The New Series (MGM/1996 – 2001)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Episodes: C



In the early days of television, the anthology series thrived and those in the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy genre are especially remembered, like The Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond, Thriller and The Outer Limits.  Joseph Stephano was the guiding force behind the original Outer Limits in it’s first of two memorable seasons, which MGM already issued in some DVD sets for fans.  Decades later, looking for a hit and having possession of the rights, MGM created a new version of Outer Limits and it was syndicated filler at best.  Despite Stephano’s name in the credits, he had less input than Rod Serling did in Night Gallery, resulting in a revival that fell way short of the original.


Except for the occasional big name like Joel Grey, Nancy Allen or Leonard Nimoy, the show was not strong enough to draw the top-rate talent it should have been, considering the name it was using.  Black and white film notwithstanding, the new series never developed any character, distinction, uniqueness or offered anything new or innovative to justify using the name Outer Limits or coming close to matching its greatness.


This box set has six DVDs released individually as well.  What follows is the title of each DVD, followed by the episodes on each disc:


Aliens Among Us:


Quality Of Mercy


The Grell

Relativity Theory

Alien Ship

Beyond The Veil


Death & Beyond:


The Second Soul

Other Side

New Lease

Essence Of Life

Human Trails

Black Box


Fantastic Androids & Robots:


I, Robot

The Hunt


The Camp


Small Friends


Mutation & Transformation:


The New Breed


The Joining

Double Helix

The Gun

The Inheritors


Sex & Science Fiction:


Caught In The Act

Bits Of Love

Valerie 23

The Human Operators

Skin Deep

Flower Child


Time Travel & Infinity:


A Stitch In Time



Time To Time

Déjà vu

Patient Zero




The Nimoy I, Robot show is especially poor, lame and as empty as a shell.  It makes no points, is sappy, embarrassing and the worst thing Nimoy did since he directed the offensive feature film The Good Mother (1988), which helped bring an end to his once-promising directing career.  Nimoy appeared in the original, which was vastly superior, neither of which was directly based on the Isaac Asimov book.  The Inheritors here is a remake of a two-part show originally with Robert Duvall, all stuffed into one show here and is as great a disaster.  Not only did this series have little regard for the original, it ideologically tries to undermine anything good the original show achieved and even seems to have a strange Right-of-center political agenda (see Time To Time) that wants to trivialize the past and even negate history by making anything significant or creative a joke.  The new teleplays display this with glee.  But time has caught up with the show.  It’s lame attempts to update the aliens taking over TV transmission have been rendered obsolete by the arrival of digital and HDTV, though the new opening was awful to begin with, now it just got that much worse.  I was not a fan of this version of Outer Limits to begin with, but getting to see it on DVD without commercial breaks makes its problems, flaws and stupidity all the more obvious.


The 1.33 X 1 image is hazy throughout and if it were any worse, it would be very hard to watch.  The quality is substandard often for how good it should look and is no better than the DVDs for the original series, which is grainy and needs updating, but still looks better.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is without any real surround information and has dated quickly.  The music is forgettable and it is also a disappointment.  Each DVD comes with The Outer Limits Story and featurettes for all the episodes that only makes them look worse, plus one for the theme of each DVD.  That this version tries to explain itself so extensively shows what the actual episodes are lacking.  Like the many failed Twilight Zone revivals, it just goes to show you that some classics are best left alone, especially when they are anthology shows.  At least the originals are out there and you are better off buying them.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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