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The Outer Limits: Season Two (May 16/05)

Given that The Outer Limits premiered four years after The Twilight Zone, it'd be easy to refer to the show as nothing more than a carbon copy of that Rod Serling classic. But with writers like Harlan Ellison and Joseph Stefano contributing scripts and such notable names as Robert Duvall and William Shatner making appearances, such comparisons seem somewhat unwarranted.

It does seem clear, though, that the series would've been far more effective had individual episodes been limited to half an hour a piece. At a running time of 60 minutes, virtually all of these episodes feel as though they've been padded with a variety of needless elements (ie unnecessary subplots, extraneous supporting characters, etc). As talented as some of these writers are, the majority of them just aren't able to effectively keep these stories going for a full hour.

Having said that, there's a reason that The Outer Limits has endured over the years. Many of these episodes feature some exceedingly intriguing ideas, focused in the realm of science fiction (ie the dangers of technology, the possibility of alien life, etc). And, as expected, most episodes conclude with a decidedly downbeat ending that the central character will usually have brought upon himself.

MGM Home Entertainment collects all 17 episodes from The Outer Limits' second and final season in this set, including such notable shows as: I, Robot, in which a robot must stand trial for the murder of his creator; Wolf 359, which revolves around a scientist who foolishly recreates an alien atmosphere in his den; and The Inheritors, a two-parter in which a group of Vietnam veterans build a mysterious machine.

 

About the DVD: MGM presents each of these episodes with sharp full-screen transfers, although extras are non-existent (the DVD does include a nifty little booklet that lists the episodes).