Soldier

The Outer LimitsTwo soldiers rush into a man-to-man fight to the death in the future – but a freak electrical discharge sends one of them plunging back through time to the 20th century. The soldier mistakes a newspaper man’s knife for a weapon and guns him down, immediately drawing attention to himself. Police arrive at the scene and a fierce fight ensues – only to end abruptly when the soldier collapses in sudden pain. A criminal psychiatrist, Kagan, is asked to examine the soldier, with whom no one has been able to communicate since his arrest. Kagan finally breaks through and discovers the true nature – and origin – of his charge, he begins trying to coach him on the ways of life during peacetime. Just as the soldier is adjusting to the life of a human being, his enemy finds a way back to 20th century Earth, still seeking nothing less than the destruction of his mortal foe, regardless of who gets in the way.

Download this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Harlan Ellison
directed by Gerd Oswald
music by Harry Lubin

The Outer LimitsCast: Lloyd Nolan (Kagan), Michael Ansara (Qarlo), Tim O’Connor (Tanner), Ralph Hart (Loren), Jill Hill (Toni), Allen Jaffe (Enemy), Marlowe Jensen (Sgt. Berry), Catherine McLeod (Abby Kagan), Ted Stanhope (Doctor)

Notes: After the release of the thematically similar movie The Terminator, writer Harlan Ellison filed a lawsuit against writer/director James Cameron over that movie’s similarities to this episode, leading to the on-screen credit in The Terminator acknowledging Ellison’s original story.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Demon With A Glass Hand

The Outer LimitsIn modern-day Los Angeles, faceless pursuers are hot on the trail of a man named Trent with a glass hand – a man who is only ten days old. A computer intelligence within Trent’s hand guides him, but only tells him precisely what he needs to know to survive and complete a mysterious mission; it can’t share any more information until he retrieves the hand’s missing fingers, which contain additional instructions. Trapped in a building that his pursuers have placed a force bubble around, Trent finds a human woman – oblivious to any knowledge of the conflict from a millennium into her future – and confides in her what little he knows. He’s from the future, where humans have simply vanished after a horrible war with an alien race. And somehow, he holds the key to reviving the entire species… but only if he survives his attackers’ constant attempts to capture him.

Download this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Harlan Ellison
directed by Byron Haskin
music by Harry Lubin

The Outer LimitsCast: Robert Culp (Trent), Arlene Martel (Consuelo), Bill Hart (Durn), Rex Holman (Battle), Steve Harris (Breech), Robert Fortier (Budge), Abraham Sofaer (Arch)

Notes: In interviews in Cinefantastique Magazine in 1994, Ellison claimed to be working on an episode of Babylon 5, Demon On The Run, which would have been a direct sequel to this story, featuring either Robert Culp or his son, actor Joseph Culp, as Trent, still eluding capture in the distant future. Ellison served as Babylon 5’s creative consultant for its entire run and even appeared onscreen in the role of a Psi Cop, but Demon On The Run was never produced. Demon With A Glass Hand was filmed on location in the Bradbury Building (not named for fellow SF author Ray Bradbury), which was also a key location used in Blade Runner.

LogBook entry by Earl Green