Outer Limits: Robots
and Androids

Outer Limits: Robots and Androids



One thing that the new Outer Limits did was to take an episode from the sixties series and re-imagine it in the context of the nineties





Outer Limits: Robots and Androids

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One of my favorite television shows when I was much younger was the Outer-Limits. Sure, I was a fan of the famous Twilight Zone but there was something really off beat and engrossing about the stories on the Outer-Limits.

Unfortunately, that classic black and white series only lasted two seasons. Then some thirty years later I noticed something on the premium cable station Showtime, the logo of a new Outer Limits series. With some trepidation I tuned in, after all a remake was never as great as the original, right? To my pleasant surprise it was every bit of good, in fact, in some ways it was better. MGM/UA has been releasing box sets of the new Outer Limits but instead of the typical season oriented sets they are doing theme oriented releases.

With Robots And Androids, another way to explore the nuances of human nature has traditionally been looking at robots and their more humanized counterparts, the androids. Here, man is the creator; the god like being that makes a sentient creature in his own image. One thing that the new Outer Limits did was to take an episode from the sixties series and re-imagine it in the context of the nineties. They managed to keep the pathos of the original while presenting a fresh look at a perennial problem. One such episode was the famous ‘I, Robot’. Here, a robot, Adam is accused of killing his creator, Doctor Link. Although the authorities want to immediately dismantle Adam, Link’s daughter Mina (Cynthia Preston) is appalled at the thought of her father’s work being destroyed. She hires a retired lawyer Thurman Cutler (Leonard Nimoy) to stop the procedure. He comes up with a novel approach, forcing the prosecutor to charge Adam with murder and put him on trial. Not only does this episode examine the rights of self aware machines but is an indictment of the justice system.

The episode ‘The Hunt’ is set in a world where environmentalist and animal rights groups have banned the hunting of animals. To satisfy those that demand the thrill of the hunt a black market emerges, hunt human looking obsolete robots. Unfortunately, the robots being sentient have found a way to disable the program that prevents them from fighting back. Now, the prey is able to stalk the hunters for their own survival.

What made the original and new series such a great experience in television viewing was the writers never pandered to the lowest common denominator, they made you think. Where the original series was able to explore rather touchy topics veiled in the genre of science fiction, the new series pushed the envelope even more, taking on some of the topics that where as old as the human experience or new, developing out of the rapid advances that are the hallmark of our times. Each episode had the same basic format. The famous control voice sets up the plight of the episode and ends with a little question that makes the audience consider a moral dilemma. Few series have ever been as thought provoking as this one.

As mentioned previously most of us true fans would have preferred season sets. After all if ‘Punky Brewster’ has season sets shouldn’t the new Outer Limits? Still, the quality of this series is such that I’m just happy to have any episodes on DVD permitting me to retire the long cherished video tapes. The video is full screen but is generally well done with no artifacts or flaws. The audio is presented in Dolby Surround and provides a nice full sound field. If you are a fan of this series this is a must have. For the rest of you this is a perfect way to get to know some of the best television ever.

Movie Review of Outer Limits: Robots and Androids
by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com

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