The Outer Limits

(United States | ABC | 1963 – 1965)

The Outer Limits
Series Background

They controlled the horizontal. They controlled the vertical. And for sixty-minutes each week, over the course of two seasons, they controlled all that you could see and hear.

Created by Leslie Stevens, The Outer Limits was an anthology series unlike most others. While its 1950s forebears had featured alien creatures, and its 1960s rival The Twilight Zone was famous for the quality of the scripting, The Outer Limits took a helping of each and then added to the mix some of the most effective black and white cinematography ever seen on the small screen.

Unlike The Twilight Zone, however, the series generally resisted the urge to moralise, and allowed each story to play out naturally across its alloted time without using the tried and tested sting-in-the-tale that is so common in many other anthologies.

The axe finally fell, as ever due to low ratings, after a short second season of just seventeen episodes.

Fast-forward to the mid-1990s, with genre television in the United States going into overdrive due to the success of The X-Files on Fox and the new Star Trek series in syndication, and it was time to dust down The Outer Limits for a new generation.

Out went the aliens — or, at least, from a fair proportion of episodes — and in came CGI, occasional nudity and a rather more mundane science fiction anthology, as The Outer Limits began the first of six seasons on Showtime, before switching to Sci-Fi for year seven.
DVD Releases

The original 1960s version of The Outer Limits has been released on DVD in the UK over two box sets, with each containing one complete season.

A DVD box set containing both seasons of of the 1960s version of The Outer Limits has been released in the United States.

Season 1 of the 1990s revival of The Outer Limits has been released on DVD in both the UK and the United States.

Complete DVD box sets of Seasons 2 to 7 have only been released in Canada.

However, before anyone goes searching for copies, it's worth pointing out that these contain the edited versions of the episodes that were sold into syndication, rather those which were originally broadcast.

Both the UK and the United States have seen the release of a number of compilation volumes, which contain selected episodes from Seasons 1 to 7.
The Outer Limits: Volume One

Edited by
Debbie Notkin
&
Roger Stewart
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Volume One, Prima Publishing (1996)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Prima Publishing
Publication Date September 1996
Original Price $12.00
ISBN 0761506195

Volume One is an anthology containing novelisations of two Outer Limits episodes from the 1960s, one episode from the 1990s, and a short story which was adapted as an episode of the 1960s series.

Other Editions
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Die Unbekannte Dimension 1, VGS Verlagsges (1997) The Outer Limits: Die Unbekannte Dimension 1
Germany | Hardback | VGS Verlagsges | 1997 | 3802524209
The cover image to the VGS Verlagsges edition is actually from the Prima Publishing release of Volume Two.
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Volume One, Boxtree (1997) The Outer Limits: Volume One
UK | Paperback | Boxtree | April 1997 | 4.99 | 075220274X

"There is nothing wrong with your television set.
Do not attempt to adjust the picture.
We are controlling transmission..."

The original OUTER LIMITS series ran for only a season and a half in the mid-1960s, but is still hailed as a classic. Revived in the 1990s, the new OUTER LIMITS has met with critical and popular acclaim. In this volume of anthologies, Boxtree presents some of the best stories from both the old and the new series.

"Soldier" by Harlan Ellison
Ellison [Edgeworks] composed two legendary teleplays for the series, Soldier and Demon with a Glass Hand. Here is the original story of love and war that spawned an unforgettable episode.

"It Crawled Out of the Woodwork" by Diane Duane
Bestselling author Duane [The Wounded Sky] shows how the thirst for power can lead to a darkness that destroys all in its path.

"The Sixth Finger" by John M Ford
Two-time World Fantasy Award winner Ford brings to life the unforgettable 1960s episode featuring an angry Welsh miner who becomes the subject of a Frankensteinian experiment.

"If These Walls Could Talk" by Howard V. Hendrix
Newcomer Hendrix creates an atmosphere of extreme dread in a house on the borderlands of reality.

Cover image: The Outer Limits, Die Unbekannte Dimension 1, Heyne (2001) The Outer Limits: Die Unbekannte Dimension 1
Germany | Paperback | Heyne | 2000 | 3453160851
Short Stories / Television Episodes
  • Soldier
    Original short story by Harlan Ellison. Adapted by Ellison himself for Season 2 of the 1960s series. First broadcast on 19/09/64.
  • It Crawled Out of the Woodwork
    Novelisation by Diane Duane. Based on the Joseph Stefano episode from Season 1 of the 1960s series. First broadcast on 09/12/63.
  • If These Walls Could Talk
    Novelisation by Howard Hendrix. Based on the Manny Coto and Eric Astrin episode from Season 1 of the 1990s series. First broadcast on 30/07/95.
  • The Sixth Finger
    Novelisation by John M Ford. Based on the Ellis St Joseph episode from Season 1 of the 1960s series. First broadcast on 14/10/63.
Notes
  • Surprisingly, this was the very first book based on The Outer Limits to be published and was the first of three that would be released by Prima Publishing. Notably, all of the novelisations based on episodes of the original 1960s series, including those in Armageddon Dreams, would be of Season 1 episodes.
  • Harlan Ellison's screenplay to Soldier, and a sequel to the episode written by Kevin J Anderson, were both included in The Outer Limits: Armageddon Dreams.
  • Dinae Duane was the only author to contribute to all three of the Prima Publishing volumes.
The Outer Limits: Volume Two

Edited by
Debbie Notkin
&
Roger Stewart
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Volume Two, Prima Publishing (1997)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Prima Publishing
Publication Date January 1997
Original Price $12.00
ISBN 0761506209

Volume Two is an anthology containing novelisations of one Outer Limits episode from the 1960s, two episodes from the 1990s, and a short story which was adapted as an episode of the 1960s series.

Other Editions
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Die Unbekannte Dimension 2, VSG Verlagsges (1997) The Outer Limits: Die Unbekannte Dimension 2
Germany | Hardback | VGS Verlagsges | 1997 | 3802524381
The cover image to the VGS Verlagsges edition is actually from the Prima Publishing release of Volume One.
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Volume One, Boxtree (1997) The Outer Limits: Volume Two
UK | Paperback | Boxtree | May 1997 | 4.99 | 0752202790

"There is nothing wrong with your television set.
Do not attempt to adjust the picture.
We are controlling transmission..."

These words seized the nation's attention and launched one of the most chilling series of all time — THE OUTER LIMITS. Recently revived, the new show is as shocking as the original.

Now you can read the landmark stories that inspired the best OUTER LIMITS episode, old and new. Venture into the mind-bending new worlds with this second volume in the Boxtree series.

"The Choice" by Diane Duane
Aggie is a child with extraordinary powers — and no idea of how to control them. An organization of women with similar powers exists only to kidnap such young girls and "save" them from the governments "experiments". Who will win the struggle for Aggie's life?

"Arena" by Fredric Brown
This intriguing account of controlled combat pits the heroes of two races in a struggle for the survival of their species. OUTER LIMITS fans will recognise the roots of the 1960s episode "Fun and Games" in this story.

"The Message" by Richard A. Lupoff
When a deaf woman starts to hear for the first time, it should be good news. But what if all she can hear are incomprehensible "messages" from outer space?

"A Feasibility Study" by Michael Marano
Feasibility studies are useful to find out if a new bridge is worth building. But this time the purpose of the study is to see if the human race is worth abducting.
Novelised Episodes / Short Stories
  • Arena
    Original short story by Fredric Brown. Adapted by Robert Specht and Joseph Stefano as Fun and Games for Season 1 of the 1960s television series. First broadcast on 30/03/64.
  • The Choice
    Novelisation by Diane Duane. Based on the Ann Lewis Hamilton episode for Season 1 of the 1990s series. First broadcast 28/05/95.
  • A Feasibility Study
    Novelisation by Michael Marano. Based on the Joseph Stefano episode for Season 1 of the 1960s series. First broadcast on 13/04/64.
  • The Message
    Novelisation by Richard A Lupoff. Based on the Brad Wright episode for Season 1 of the 1990s series. First broadcast on 16/07/95.
Notes
  • Arena also formed the basis of the 1967 Star Trek episode of the same name, novelised by James Blish in Star Trek 2.
  • The Choice was also novelised by John Peel in 1997 for the second book in Tor's series of young adult Outer Limits novels.
  • For anyone thinking that the image of the house used on the covers of the Prima Publishing and Boxtree editions looks familiar, it may be because the exact same one was used again in 2006 on a hardback re-release of Stephen King's Salem's Lot from Hodder & Stoughton.
The Outer Limits: Volume Three

Edited by
Debbie Notkin
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Volume Three, Prima Publishing (1997)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Prima Publishing
Publication Date March 1997
Original Price $12.00
ISBN 0761506217

Volume Three is an anthology containing novelisations of one Outer Limits episode from the 1960s, two episodes from the 1990s, and a short story which was adapted as an episode of the 1960s series.

Other Editions
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Die Unbekannte Dimension 3, VSG Verlagsges (1997) The Outer Limits: Die Unbekannte Dimension 3
Germany | Hardback | VGS Verlagsges | 1997 | 3802524470
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Volume Three, Boxtree (1997) The Outer Limits: Volume Three
UK | Paperback | Boxtree | July 1997 | 4.99 | 0752202847

"There is nothing wrong with your television set.
Do not attempt to adjust the picture.
We are controlling transmission..."

So begins every episode of television's most frightening and innovative series — THE OUTER LIMITS. Presented here are some of the most daring stories from the old and new episodes that continue to push the boundaries of the possible. What's more, this volume has an original introduction by David Schow, author of THE OUTER LIMITS COMPANION and one of the foremost authorities on the history of THE OUTER LIMITS.

"The Voyage Home" by Diane Duane
The Martian expedition was placid and uneventful — until the last day of the trip, when the three astronauts discovered an alien artifact. A momentous discovery indeed, but the astronauts don't realize just how momentous it is...until the voyage home.

"The Forms of Things Unknown" by Richard A. Lupoff
When a man who was murdered suddenly comes back to life, is it horror or just a surrealistic vision? "The Forms of Things Unknown" is classic OUTER LIMITS.

"I, Robot" by Eando Binder
Dr. Link has created the ultimate robot — one with feelings. But when the doctor mysteriously dies, the robot has the dubious task of convincing the hostile, frightened townspeople that a robot is not born evil, but driven to it.

"The Quality of Mercy" by Phoebe Reeves
One of the most acclaimed episodes of the new OUTER LIMITS is this story of two humans confined in an alien prison, where the humanity of both will be tested in unprecedented ways.
Novelised Episodes / Short Stories
  • I, Robot
    Original short story by Otto Binder. Adapted by Robert C Dennis for Season 2 of the 1960s series, and by Alison Lea Bingeman for Season 1 of the 1990s series. First broadcast on 14/11/64 and 23/07/95 respectively.
  • Quality of Mercy
    Novelisation by Phoebe Reeves. Based on the Brad Wright episode for Season 1 of the 1990s series. First broadcast on 16/06/95.
  • The Voyage Home
    Novelisation by Diane Duane. Based on the Grant Rosenberg episode for Season 1 of the 1990s series. First broadcast on 30/06/95.
  • The Forms of Things Unknown
    Novelisation by Richard A Lupoff. Based on the Joseph Stefano episode for Season 1 of the 1960s series. First broadcast on 04/05/95.
Notes
  • I, Robot was actually produced as an episode for both the 1960s and 1990s series — Leonard Nimoy appeared in both, with his son directing the 1990s episode.
  • A sequel to Quality of Mercy was produced during Season 2 as The Light Brigade.
The Outer Limits: Armageddon Dreams

by
Harlan Ellison
&
Kevin J Anderson
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Armageddon Dreams, Quadrillion Media (2000)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Quadrillion Media
Publication Date April 2000
Original Price $12.00
ISBN 1581857004

Armageddon Dreams is an anthology containing novelisations of two Outer Limits episodes from the 1960s, original sequels to both novelised episodes and the original script to Soldier.

Other Editions
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Armaggedon Dreams, Tessloff Publishing (2000) The Outer Limits: Armageddon Dreams
United States | Hardback | Tessloff Publishing | April 2000 | 1581857039
Scripts / Novelised Episodes / Short Stories
  • Soldier
    Script to the Harlan Ellison episode for Season 2 of the 1960s series. Based on his own short story. First broadcast on 19/09/64.
  • Prisoner of War
    Original short story by Kevin J Anderson. A sequel to Harlan Ellison's Soldier.
  • The Man Who Was Never Born
    Novelisation by Kevin J Anderson. Based on the Anthony Lawrence episode for Season 1 of the 1960s series. First broadcast on 28/10/63.
  • The Human Factor
    Novelisation by Kevin J Anderson. Based on the David Duncan episode for Season 1 of the 1960s series. First broadcast on 11/11/63.
  • Memories of Ice
    Original short story by Kevin J Anderson. A sequel to David Duncan's The Human Factor.
Notes
  • The original short story of Soldier was reprinted in the Outer Limits: Volume One anthology.
  • Kevin J Anderson is probably best know for writing a number of Star Wars tie-in novels including the Jedi Academy trilogy and Darksabre, not to mention three of the six original X-Files novels, beginning with Ground Zero in 1995.
The Outer Limits: The Zanti Misfits

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, The Zanti Misfits, Tor (1997)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1997
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812590635
Book Number 1

The Zanti Misfits is a novelisation of the 1963 television episode of the same name.

Other Editions
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Die Unbekannte Dimension: Die Ausgestossenen von Zanti / Das	Z-Chromosom, Burgschmiet (1997) The Outer Limits: Die Unbekannte Dimension: Die Ausgestossenen von Zanti / Das Z-Chromosom
Germany | Paperback | Burgschmiet | 1997 | 3932234308
An omnibus edition of The Zanti Misfits and The Choice, the two novelisations from the Tor series of Outer Limits young adult books.
Television Episode
ABC | 60 Minutes | Black and White

30/12/63 The Zanti Misfits Joseph Stefano
Notes
  • Released as part of the young adult series of Outer Limits novels. The Zanti Misfits is based on the 1963 episode of the same name by Joseph Stefano.
The Outer Limits: The Choice

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, The Choice, Tor (1997)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1997
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812590643
Book Number 2

The Choice is a novelisation of the 1995 television episode of the same name.

Other Editions
Cover image: The Outer Limits: Die Unbekannte Dimension, Die Ausgestossenen von Zanti / Das	Z-Chromosom, Burgschmiet (1997) The Outer Limits: Die Unbekannte Dimension: Die Ausgestossenen von Zanti / Das Z-Chromosom
Germany | Paperback | Burgschmiet | 1997
An omnibus edition of The Zanti Misfits and The Choice, the two novelisations from the Tor series of Outer Limits young adult books.
Television Episode
Showtime | 60 Minutes | Colour

28/12/95 The Choice Ann Lewis Hamilton
Notes
  • The Choice was the second and final novelisation released in the series of young adult books from Tor — the remaining ten volumes would all be original stories.
  • The Choice was also novelised by Diane Duane for the adult Volume Two anthology, released the same year.
The Outer Limits: Always Darkest

by
Stan Timmons
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Always Darkest, I Books (2004)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher I Books
Publication Date August 2004
Original Price $6.99
ISBN 0743493079

Always Darkest is an original novel.

Notes
  • Always Darkest is the only adult novel to bear the Outer Limits name. Like the series of Twilight Zone novels from the same company, the idea of releasing an original novel based on an anthology series where the characters change from one week to the next is bizarre in the extreme — take away the series logo and all you're left with is an original science fiction novel.
The Outer Limits: The Time Shifter

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, The Time Shifter, Tor (1997)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1997
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812590651
Book Number 3

The Time Shifter is an original novel.

Notes
  • The Time Shifter was the first of ten original novels in the young adult range of Outer Limits books from Tor. As with the two novelisations already published, all of the titles were written by John Peel.
The Outer Limits: The Lost

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, The Lost, Tor (1997)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1997
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812590678
Book Number 4

The Lost is an original novel.

The Outer Limits: The Invaders

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, The Invaders, Tor (1998)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1998
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812590686
Book Number 5

The Invaders is an original novel.

The Outer Limits: The Innocent

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, The Innocent, Tor (1998)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1998
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812564553
Book Number 6

The Innocent is an original novel.

The Outer Limits: The Vanished

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, The Vanished, Tor (1998)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1998
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812575695
Book Number 7

The Vanished is an original novel.

Back Cover Blurb
Do Not Attempt To Adjust Your Brain

Where is everybody?

The alarm clock goes off. You wake up and get ready for school, just like every other day. So what's the big deal? Well, what if one morning you suddenly discovered that you were one of the last surviving people on Earth? That's right, everyone else has disappeared. No idea how, no idea why, just...gone — vanished. This has come true for a small group of teenagers who have just awakened to their worst nightmare.

But it gets worse. Someone — or something — is hunting them down.
The Outer Limits: The Nightmare

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, The Nightmare, Tor (1998)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1998
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812575652
Book Number 8

The Nightmare is an original novel.

The Outer Limits: Beware the Metal Children

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Beware the Metal Children, Tor (1999)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1998
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812575660
Book Number 9

Beware the Metal Children is an original novel.

The Outer Limits: Alien Invasion from Hollyweird

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, Alien Invasion from Hollyweird, Tor (1999)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1999
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812575679
Book Number 10

Alien Invasion from Hollyweird is an original novel.

The Outer Limits: The Payback

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, The Payback, Tor (1999)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1999
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812575687
Book Number 11

The Payback is an original novel.

The Outer Limits: The Change

by
John Peel
Cover image: The Outer Limits, The Change, Tor (1999)
Country United States
Format Paperback
Publisher Tor
Publication Date 1999
Original Price $3.99
ISBN 0812575695
Book Number 12

The Change is an original novel.