Outer Limits:
Aliens Among Us

Outer Limits: Aliens Among Us

In the tradition of the original Outer Limits, Aliens Among Us used aliens as a mirror to the human condition

Outer Limits: Aliens Among Us

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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.

In the Aliens Among Us series, life on other planets has been a favorite topic for science fiction for well over a century. In the tradition of the original Outer Limits the new series used aliens as a mirror to the human condition, letting us see the best and worse that mankind has to offer in the strange faces of extra terrestrial creatures. In the ‘Quality of Mercy’ there is a interstellar war between mankind and a monstrous alien species. Major John Skokes (Robert Patrick) finds himself as a prisoner of war, kept in a barren room. The aliens also place a young woman Cadet Bree Tristan (Nicole de Boer) in the cell. Naturally, a bond forms between the pair, the young girl seemingly desperate for human companionship as the aliens experiment on her turning her into one of them.

In ‘Relativity Theory’ a biologist (Melissa Gilbert) is on a mission to another world accompanied by a group of zealous soldiers. The come across huge aliens and proceed to kill them off. This is a recurring theme in several Outer Limits episodes, the dark side of exploration, the human need to rid themselves of anything strange or different, the imposition of the conquering culture upon the native. The prospect of unimagined wealth supersedes ay possible respect for the existing culture found on this new world.

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.

Movie Review of Outer Limits: Aliens Among Us
by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com

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