This is an open letter to whoever currently owns the rights to The Outer Limits, which I believe is still MGM. There have been rumors of a new Outer Limits film dating back to 2010, despite the studio’s struggles. But it’s obvious that it was shelved as there is no IMDB page for it – not that it would’ve been what us fans really wanted, anyways.
No, what we want is a return to serial format. And with the type of stuff HBO and AMC are putting out, a new series, in this era, could potentially be the grittiest and most intense, ever. Imagine an Outer Limits that lives up to the name: few restrictions on content, little censorship, and the ability to really push the boundaries of TV.
But with all that said, its comeback in the 90s was still great. Episodes like Inconstant Moon, Stream of Consciousness, and Tribunal really were a step above all the science fiction that was on alongside of it. Sure, it’s been copied countless times by now, and a lot of the groundwork the show made wouldn’t be enough to base a reboot on. But it was great not because of what it previously did, but that it was always a step ahead of the trends, and there is no reason that it can’t be like that again.
When it came to the writing, it was some of the best I’ve ever seen in a show. Hell, even George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones, had an episode of the Outer Limits made from his short story, The Sandkings. This type of work has stuck with me through my entire life, and the impact of the show can’t even be quantified. Between this show and the Twilight Zone, I probably learned more about the follies of our nature than I ever did through history class.
Right now, there is a real craving for mystery. There are more shows about ghosts, monsters, aliens, and conspiracies airing at the same time than ever. As I type this, A Haunting is on my TV. The channel it’s airing on: Travel and Escape. The number of networks that are interested in this sort of content extend far past yesterday’s SyFy.
And if you’re worried about how science fiction is doing, look no further than the success of Doctor Who. They might not seem like it, but they’re the “they” in “if you build it, they will come.” They love serial style fiction. They love that anything can happen from episode to episode; this is what the Outer Limits did best. Also, the success of video games like Alan Wake, which featured a facsimile show called Night Springs, bodes well for a comeback.
Whatever you decide to do, please do it already. And if it’s not worth the risk, sell the IP to someone who can see its value and potential.
(Editor’s Note: Here is the intro to the show. Click play, sit back and close your eyes. You’ll want this show back as much as we do!)