|Trent getting handy advice.|
2. The Architects of Fear - With the world facing annihilation from a nuclear war, a group of idealistic scientists decide to fake an alien invasion so warring factions will join against a greater enemy. In this way, they hope to achieve world peace. They draw lots and Dr. Allen Leighton (Robert Culp again) is selected to undergo surgeries that will transform him into an "alien being." Like any great science fiction story, The Architects of Fear balances social comment on the macro level with human drama on the micro level (in this case, the relationship between Leighton and his wife). The ending of the popular graphic novel Watchmen owes much to this classic Outer Limits episode.
|A very memorable alien creature.|
|Bee-ware of the new lab assistant!|
4. Zzzzz - An entomologist studying bees needs a new lab assistant. A queen bee who can transform herself into human form needs a new mate. The entomologist is married. We now have a conflict. This entertaining episode benefits mightily from Joanna Frank, who scores as the exotic bee queen determined to get her way. This episode may lack the social significance of other better episodes--but it is sure is fun.
5. The Inheritors - An Army officer, Lieutenant Minns (Steven Ihnat), miraculously survives after being shot in the head by a bullet forged from a meteorite. He tracks down three other men who endured a similar experience. They began to build a spaceship while Minns recruits handicapped children for a special mission. What in the heck is going on? The Outer Limits' only two-part episode is a stellar one, unfolding as a mystery and ending in inspirational fashion. Ihnat, a good actor often relegated to supporting roles, is first-rate as Minns.
Honorable Mentions: Soldier (also written by Harlan Ellison); The Sixth Finger (David McCallum becomes the man of the future); and It Crawled Out of the Woodwork.
What are your favorites?