In five tales from the outer limits, a scientist becomes
the master of a colony of intelligent Martian insects; a reporter
investigates the mysterious "removal" of a controversial author;
a US Senator realises he's not human; aliens make contact
with Earth so they can possess deceased human bodies; and
a disillusioned priest is given unearthly healing powers...
This themed collection drawn from the 1990s series of The
Outer Limits contains the episodes Sandkings, I
Hear You Calling, Birthright, The Second Soul
and Corner of the Eye.
the thematic connection (aliens on Earth), this is a pretty
mixed bag when it comes to quality. The two-part Sandkings
is over-long and I Hear You Calling also drags considerably,
in spite of the guest-starring roles played by Beau Bridges
and Ally Sheedy respectively. The other three episodes are
better, though Birthright and Corner of the Eye
are very similar to each other in terms of the aliens' plans.
Second Soul is the best of the bunch, combining a conspiracy
scenario with an emotive message about immigration and cultural
integration. This time it's not the fact that asylum seekers
are taking our jobs, our homes or our benefits that people
are protesting about. This time they're taking our dead.
I have found that, in general, there are two types of Outer
Limits story. The first is when an apparently good thing,
such as a scientific discovery or an alien visitor, turns
out to be bad. The second is when an apparently bad thing
turns out to be good. I won't give away which episodes are
which, but this collection contains both types. One episode
manages to twist things further, when apparently bad aliens
do good things - but then turn out to be very bad indeed!
being a two-disc collection containing six episodes, you might
expect a 3:3 split across the discs, but in fact the split
is 4:2. Don't be misled into thinking that this means tons
of extras on the second disc, because there is only a ten-minute
featurette, The Outer Limits Story.
of uneven divisions, I'm not sure why it was necessary to
split the 90-minute pilot episode Sandkings into two
instalments. The division seems rather arbitrary, leaving
us with a 50-minute Part 1 and a 40-minute Part 2. A scene
a few minutes earlier, in which a Sandking crawls up the bedroom
wall unseen by Simon Kress (Bridges) would have made a much
better cliffhanger. What's more, the second episode lacks
my whinging, this is a heck of a lot of Limits for
your money. For four and a half hours, you can control
all that you see and hear.
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