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Topic: Why Is The Outer Limits Compared To The Twilight Zone? Post ReplyPost New Topic
Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 04 November 2018 at 4:22pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The latest issue of sci-fi magazine INFINITY (which I believe is available outside the UK) had a feature about THE OUTER LIMITS:

I have read much about THE OUTER LIMITS over time (a book was published many moons ago). And to this day, I am dismayed whenever I hear people compare it to THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

They are two different shows. It's like comparing apples to oranges. Or cheese to chalk.

According to the article, showrunner Joseph Stefano outlined the need for a "monster of the week" approach to the show, which was a science fiction series. Personally, I think it did "monster of the week" well. And thank you very much, THE OUTER LIMITS, for the childhood nightmares pertaining to the Galaxy Being. Not sure I slept for weeks after that!

THE TWILIGHT ZONE was more of a fantasy show. I am sure it had sci-fi episodes, but from the various stuff I've read about THE OUTER LIMITS, it was never ever meant to be anything like THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Like THE TWILIGHT ZONE, it was an anthology series, but with an emphasis on monsters. The science may have been important, but the monsters seemed more important (would I be wrong in calling the monsters the "cake" and the sci-fi aspects the "icing"?).

Many, many publications over time have gone to great lengths to convey the fact that THE OUTER LIMITS was never intended to be anything like THE TWILIGHT ZONE (other than the anthology aspect), and yet although I don't discuss the show with strangers on the street daily, there have been some conversations over time which tells me there is a perception out there that the series was trying to imitate THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

Going by what various researchers and the showrunner said, I don't believe that was their intent.

Anyway, THE OUTER LIMITS is out on Blu-ray now, so I guess I'll be revisiting it soon.
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Doug Centers
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 3582
Posted: 04 November 2018 at 5:45pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Aaahh!! Why did I have to see the Zanti!?
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Laren Farmer
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 946
Posted: 04 November 2018 at 5:47pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

They were two serious 'sci-fi' shows on TV in an era when 'sci-fi' was viewed as juvenile garbage.  The both were anthologies and they both were successful in syndication.  To 'civilians' those similarities would be more than enough to lump the two shows together.  
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 04 November 2018 at 7:00pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

When TWILIGHT ZONE was announced (lacking at that point a definite article) Mike Wallace, in an interview, asked Rod Serling if he was giving up serious writing.

Sci-Fi was considered as a single mass, with occasional superior efforts viewed as exceptions.

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Joseph Greathouse
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Joined: 19 August 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 499
Posted: 04 November 2018 at 9:06pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I have always compared them,  but I was not introduced to Twilight Zone in order.  Because of my general interests as a kid,  the sci fi episodes suck with me more than the horror or fantasy.  I did see your point.  I just never thought of out that way. 
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Andrew Saxon
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Joined: 19 June 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 304
Posted: 05 November 2018 at 4:35am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

The two shows sort of compliment each other though, and I often watch an episode from one back-to-back with one from the other when I'm in the mood for some classic Science Fiction.
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