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The Outer Limits can be defined as both a dramatic show and one which incorporates elements of science fiction. Each episode is formatted as a short story with one or two central characters. A story usually opens with a small narrative provided to give a short synopsis about the main characters and their ordinary lives. As the story continues the characters will encounter situations, places or people who do not fit in with the way they perceive their world. The unusual and unexpected developments are designed to keep the viewer guessing as well.

The elements of science fiction incorporated into the show are designed to question what people accept as being reality. The unusual situations can revolve around parallel worlds, alien beings or alternate dimensions. Some episodes take a familiar experience and put a new and unexpected twist on it. A show involving time travel could take an astronaut and place him in a future time or in an alternate universe where the outcome to world events as he knows them have been changed. He could now find himself in a world with superpowers that didn't exist in his original time.

In addition to using elements of the paranormal the shows also reflect the human element by following the decision making process of the main characters. When faced with an unusual situation which has paranormal aspects people often make choices that are not in keeping with their usual behavior. The stories are designed to show how different people react under different circumstances. When faced with creatures from alien worlds or unexplained events, people can act differently in groups than they would separately.

While the show is classified as science fiction it also uses suspense to keep viewers interested. The explanation or end result of an event is never revealed until the very end of the show. With the exception of one or two episodes, the stories are presented in a serious manner to reflect how important the decision making process is to the outcome of what is happening. The show examines the way most people choose to look at their world and what they consider to be of value or importance.

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ABC
5 Seasons, 87 Episodes - Ended
Science Fiction, Drama
8.4/10
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The Outer Limits Full Episode Guide

  • Set in the future, an anarchist threatens to blow up the central computers that control the world.

  • A young boy suspects a houseguest of being an alien.

  • Two Civil War reenactors travel back in time to actual Civil War battle at Gettysburg.

  • Tent revivalist finds faith as he battles an evil alient masquerading as divine power.

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