Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday Random Ten un-Limited

Today I borrowed a library DVD of eight episodes from the original Outer Limits.  It was "The Architects of Fear", a story involving the creation of a false alien meant to unite the peoples of earth.  The story has a not-so-coincidental similarity to part of Alan Moore's Watchmen comic. 

Boy, do people sweat in this episode.  At the end of the day that may be what makes it work.  The story has its share of problems.  Not least of them is the fact that these "Thetans" the hero is supposed to be transformed into are actually supposed to be a real race, and I don't imagine they'd be pleased about being framed for an invasion of Earth just so that we can get our shit together.  But it's played matter-of-fact, and everyone seems so affected by it that it's hard not to get pulled along.

Now the music.

1. Neko Case - This Tornado Loves You
2. The Beatles - The Word
3. Roxy Music - If It Takes All Night
4. Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
5. Sarah Vaughan - I Cried For You
6. Sonic Youth - Dude Ranch Nurse
7. Louis Armstrong - St James Infirmary*
8. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced?
9. Pink Martini - Ohio Ohayoo
10. The Clash - The Card Cheat

* A ballad whose authorship has long been disputed, this has to be one of the most impressively assholish songs of all times.  He sees his girlfriend in the morgue, and after a couple of lines is all "but enough about her..."


susan said...

We saw that story from the Outer Limits a few years ago - Jer remembered it was David McCallum who played the alien. True?

Do you mean real sweat? Lately we've been re-watching the Twilight Zone and couldn't help but notice how drenched in perspiration the actors were in some episodes. When you consider just how hot those old studio lights were it's no wonder. It worked really well in one show where the plot involved a couple of characters reaction to the fact the earth was falling into the sun. Hilariously, some folks were running off to Toronto to avoid the heat.

Great FR10 with a couple of well remembered and still favorite songs. I just looked up St James Infirmary and learned it was originally a hospital for lepers in London until Henry VIII used the land to build St. Jame's Palace. I was reminded of the very entertaining 'Baroque Cycle'.

Ben said...

The alien in this one is Robert Culp. I remember the one Jerry is thinking about, though. "The Sixth Finger" I believe. One of the few pieces of American media, along with How Green Was My Valley, to attempt to represent Welsh accents.

The lighting in this episode is pretty high-key, several scenes lighting everybody really sharp on black backgrounds. So yeah, I bet it is real sweat. And I remember that Twilight Zone too. There's a scary intruder played by Velie from Ellery Queen.

The song does have an interesting history behind it. Lawsy there was a lot of churn in Henry's time.