Streaming Finds: Tracking down sci fi and fantasy shows of interest available on the streaming services.
What Is It? “There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission . . .” Thus begins the infamous opening lines to The Outer Limits, one of the most recognized sci fi anthology series of all-time which ran for two seasons in the 1960’s and then seven seasons when it was revived in the 1990’s.
The Skinny: The Outer Limits is one of the most iconic sci fi anthology shows, second only to The Twilight Zone which preceded it in 1959. It first hit the small screen in 1963 during the same season when TZ was wrapping up its legendary five-year run. ABC insisted that The Outer Limits follow a monster-of-the-week formula which could have doomed it to routine scare-fest tales with little substance. But the creative team figured out how to use the formula to their advantage and produced a show that delivered some all-time sci fi classics during its all-too-brief run (two seasons totaling 49 episodes). When the show was revived by Showtime in 1995, it did not quite match up to the original series, but it stuck around for seven seasons and 154 episodes producing its fair share of gems during its tenure.
For those who have not seen the original Outer Limits in while or who never managed to catch it, this one is definitely worth revisiting. Sure, the special effects are super-cheesy and the production values are from another era, but the stories still hold up to the test of time. The revival is worth checking out as well, but you may want to scan the internet for some guides that will help you identify the better episodes. Both the original and the revival series are available on Hulu and you can start a subscription with that service for as little as $5.99 per month for ad-supported streaming or go up to $11.99 for no ads.