Destruct that ship, General!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Episode Spotlight: "The Architects of Fear" (9/30/1963)




“The Architects of Fear”
Season 1, Episode 3
Originally aired 9/30/1963



Something streaks across the sky at a downward angle. A rocket of some sort? We see a crowded city street, its panicked citizens fleeing in terror. We see the object again, and we realize that it’s a nuclear missile. The mob reaches a chaotic fevered pitch as people are trampled underfoot, the whistling of the missile growing louder and louder until----


The camera pulls back to reveal that what we've been watching is a filmstrip. Roughly a dozen men are seated around a table in a darkened room. They discuss their view that the only way to avert an all-out nuclear war is to force humanity to unite. One of them casts an ominous look at a nearby crate. “It is one of us who must submit to that ordeal.”



The scientists and doctors that comprise United Labs have devised a plan to present earth with an extraterrestrial threat; fervently hoping that a common enemy will lead to international cooperation and subsequent world peace. One of them will be surgically transformed into a hostile alien (from the planet “Theta”) who will interrupt the United Nations’ General Assembly session to essentially scare the world shitless. Lots are drawn. Young physicist Allen Leighton’s name is pulled.


Allen conceals the project from his wife Yvette, who gingerly shares the news that her heart murmur, which has heretofore precluded her from bearing children, is no longer a problem. “If we’d only known five years ago,” he muses (in truth he means yesterday, when he still had a chance to back out of the mission). His death is faked as a necessary step in the process and, as his irreversible transformation moves forward, he learns that Yvette is with child. On The Twilight Zone, such a cruelly ironic twist would signal the end of the episode; but no, we've still got quite a bit of story here.


Despite a couple of setbacks, Allen survives the intense and comprehensive surgical conversion from human to Thetan. He is then secretly launched into space with instructions to land right outside the UN; however, a navigational error upon reentry causes him to overshoot his target. He lands in the woods near United Labs and, as he makes his way back to regroup with the rest of the consortium, runs afoul of a hunting party who fires upon him in terror. Allen’s colleagues rush to intercept him at the lab; meanwhile Yvette, who shares a sympathetic psychic link with him (and has never truly believed that he’s dead), senses his danger and makes her way there as well. All parties converge on the lab for a heartbreaking, tragic climax.



RANDOMONIUM


“The Architects of Fear” rests comfortably on the top tier of Outer Limits episodes; it stands with the best that the series has to offer (it’s all subjective, of course, but it just may be the best, period). Every element of the production achieves an almost astonishing level of excellence. The script by Meyer Dolinsky is absolutely top-notch, expertly balancing the grotesque (Allan’s transformation) with the beautiful (his relationship with Yvette). The acting is first-rate, Robert Culp (Allen) and Geraldine Brooks (Yvette) in particular. The cinematography is every bit as arrestingly noirish as last week’s “The Hundred Days of the Dragon,” despite a much more pronounced sci-fi basis (part of the brilliance of Conrad Hall’s photographic direction is his insistence on bringing such heavy shadows to a genre that is historically brightly lit). This is the first episode in the series’ initial production cycle to be directed by Byron Haskin; however, due to the fact that production order rarely (if ever) matches broadcast order, it was actually the second Haskin-directed episode to air (after last week’s “The Hundred Days of the Dragon”). He’ll also direct “A Feasibility Study” later this season, then return for three more episodes in season two.

The episode is filled with wonderful touches. Dr. Gainer's twitchy, repulsed expression as he reaches into the cage to grab the mini-Thetan by the scruff of its neck perfectly underlines the grotesque, horrific nature of the project and the desperate, very human impetus behind it. Once Allen's transformation is complete, we see the scientists place him a casket and, in the very next shot, a hearse driving past the maternity clothing store. A few scenes later, when Yvette sympathetically experiences Allen being shot, she hails a cab... right in front of the same store.



The scene in act two in which Allen suffers a schizophrenic episode in mid-transformation and terrorizes the scientists, all while quoting (and misquoting) various literary passages, is straight up brilliant (it's probably my favorite scene in the entire episode, but really, almost any scene could take that honor). I could go on at extreme length listing all the things I love about this episode, so the question must be asked: how does one review such a marvelous production without succumbing to ingratiating and/or obnoxious gushing? I must admit, I was a bit trepidatious when I began tackling this episode, unsure that I’d have enough content (outside of finding synonyms for "brilliant" and "excellent"). But then I started examining United Labs’ plan from a bigger picture perspective, and the old wheels started turning.



The episode coyly sidesteps the backstory of the Thetan and, by association, the planet Theta itself. So... what’s the story with the critter in the cage? Is it an actual Thetan? If so, is it a baby? Or are Thetans in fact the size of a Sideshow Collectibles deluxe action figure (roughly twelve inches tall)? If this is the case, then only the scientists must know this, since their plan requires an adult human-sized one. So are we to believe that this collective of big brains has secretly discovered another planet, traveled there, and successfully brought back a native? We only see a few glimpses of the little guy, obscured by shadows, so I can’t tell if it’s wearing a tiny nitrogen pack or not. 


The more plausible explanation is that they've transformed a chimp into a mini-Thetan as a test-run before they attempt the procedure on a human being (sorry, PETA), but this still doesn't explain how they know about the planet Theta at all (unless, again, they've discovered it and visited it in secret).  An even more plausible explanation is that the Thetan (and the planet Theta along with it) is a fiction dreamed up by the scientists, and the modified chimp was their first successful attempt at creating a living (albeit miniature) “alien.” 

Run, Bubbles, Run!!!

But who the hell knows? The episode never explains it one way or the other. I guess it doesn't really matter, since it ultimately has no bearing on the ultimate outcome (and the story's power certainly isn't diminished); however, if “The Architects of Fear” ever gets expanded into a feature, I’ll be expecting some goddamned backstory.

Focusing on the portion of United Labs’ plan that is depicted: what is the intended end game for this whole endeavor? I don’t mean the hoped-for achievement of world peace; I mean what’s supposed to happen when Allen confronts the UN? We've already seen that he can only communicate verbally through a special speaker setup, which doesn't appear to be part of his nitrogen-tank-and-loincloth ensemble. 

And how will the UN react to this mute (but undeniably scary) intruder? They may indeed just sit there, quaking in their seats and fearfully holding hands with representatives from other nations, but the US military is going to quickly show up and reenact the last act of “The Galaxy Being” from two weeks ago. Allen, lacking Andy the Andromedan’s radiation shield technology, will either get slaughtered immediately beneath a shit-storm of gunfire or, even more horribly, will be taken apart and studied piece by piece, Alien Autopsy-style. Either way, I’m pretty damned sure world peace isn't gonna be achieved.

So yeah, this noble plan is starting to look incredibly short-sighted and insanely reckless, even more so than the events in the episode would indicate.


And finally, here’s a sobering thought: Yvette is presumably impregnated after Allen starts his initial gene therapy. I understand why he’d want to, um, hit that while he still had the chance, but it evidently never occurs to him that he might just sire something other than a healthy human baby. Put another way: is Yvette’s baby gonna be some hideous human/Thetan hybrid? Robert Culp was so hot on the idea of Harlan Ellison writing a sequel to “Demon with a Glass Hand,” but maybe the real sequel potential was right here all along.


AURAL PLEASURE


"The Architects of Fear" is one of thirteen season one episodes to be graced with an original score by Dominic Frontiere (the rest of the episodes are tracked with a combination of recycled cues from both Stoney Burke and The Outer Limits). Frontiere's sweeping love theme for Allen and Yvette is lovely and effective, but of broader interest (to me, anyway) are the themes that debut here and will be heard in futures episodes: the frenetic strings that underscore Allen's attempted phone call to Yvette will also punctuate Laurie's forced encounter with the rock alien in "Corpus Earthling" (in which Robert Culp also stars), and the lurching, almost drunken music written for Allen's first appearance as his new Thetan self will reappear in "The Invisibles" to accompany Luis Spain's horrendous ankle injury. I'm hoping to take a more comprehensive look at the use and subsequent re-use of music throughout both seasons of the series at some point...



Frontiere's score can be found on a three-disc soundtrack release from La La Land Records. It was released in 2008, and it's still available for the insanely low price of $19.98. Get yours here before they vanish forever.


DRAMATIS PERSONAE

The wonderful Robert Culp makes his series debut in “The Architects of Fear" as Allen Leighton. Culp had the good fortune of appearing in three of the series’ finest offerings, and he’s brilliant in all three of them. He is to The Outer Limits what Jack Klugman is to The Twilight Zone, which is the highest praise I can possibly give him. I first became a Culp fan during his stint as FBI agent Bill Maxwell on TV’s The Greatest American Hero in the early 80's (which I was obsessed with in the sixth grade). I discovered TOL soon after, and became a fan for life. Like Klugman, Culp died pretty recently, before I ever had the opportunity to shake his hand and thank him for his wonderful work. The Outer Limits, simply put, would not be the same without him.



The lovely Geraldine Broooks shines as Yvette Leighton, the first of two Outer Limits roles she’ll tackle (she’ll play  William Shatner’s wife in season two’s “Cold Hands, Warm Heart”); however, her association with Daystar Productions had already been established before her work here: she appeared in the “Death Rides a Pale Horse” episode of Stoney Burke earlier in 1963. She’d also go on to three appearances on TV’s The Fugitive (which, as fate would have it, would utilize some of Dominic Frontiere’s TOL music in its fourth season). TOL Babe? Why yes.


Dr. Phillip Gainer, head of United Labs, is brusque and conflicted (it appears Allen is a good friend, though we aren't given any background on their relationship), and he’s well essayed by Leonard Stone. This is Stone’s only Outer Limits appearance; however, he worked for series producer Joseph Stefano again in 1964 in The Haunted: "The Ghost of Sierra Cobre," a pilot for CBS starring TOL (and Twilight Zone) alum Martin Landau that never materialized into a series (and was never aired, at least not in the US).

Dr. Paul Fredericks is played by Douglas Henderson in the first of three TOL appearances; we’ll see him later this season in “The Chameleon” and next season in “Behold Eck!”  He also appeared in John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate, which we touched on last week.



Janos Prohaska lumbers monstrously about as the post-transformation Allen. Prohaska will reappear as Darwin the Monkey in “The Sixth Finger" in two weeks; we'll also see him next season in "The Probe" as the notorious Mikie the giant microbe (“notorious” in this case meaning goofy and ridiculous). He also did similar duty over on Star Trek, where he played several alien creatures, including Yarnek the rock monster in “The Savage Curtain” (which we already somehow connected to The Outer Limits last week).



Fred the Hunter is played by Clay Tanner, who previously crossed paths with Daystar Productions when he appeared on the “Forget No More” episode of Stoney Burke.



Finally, Ginger the Dog turns in a stellar performance as the hunting hound. I wasn’t able to track down any other acting credits, so maybe the sight of that Thetan scared her the hell right out of show business forever (sorry again, PETA).





HOME VIDEO RELEASES



I count eight distinct home video appearances of "The Architects of Fear.” It first arrived on VHS in 1988, then was re-released in the mid-90's with different artwork. I greatly prefer the original design; it's just gorgeous, don'tcha think?


It was also sold through Columbia House, paired with last week’s “The Hundred Days of the Dragon.” For the retail release in the UK, it was paired with next week's “The Man With the Power.”


"The Architects of Fear" also appeared on LaserDisc in 1990 in the first of four such collections. I never had a LaserDisc player, so I never collected ‘em. I have to assume that they looked better than their VHS counterparts, but not as good as the subsequent DVD releases.


It’s shown up on DVD three different times: in the season one boxed set in 2002, the volume 1 set in 2007 (which comprised the first half of season 1), and the complete series boxed set in 2008 (just in time for the show’s 45th anniversary; however, the 50th anniversary doesn't appear to merit jack shit).


In the virtual realm, MGM has made the series available for standard-def streaming on Hulu (but not Hulu Plus, dammit), but there’s been no indication that the series will ever be remastered in high definition (for blu-ray, 4K, holo-ray, direct neural interface, or whatever new formats might loom on the horizon). 


TRADING CARD CORNER


The Thetan is depicted on two cards in Topps’ Monsters from Outer Limits series from 1964. These cards create new storylines for the monsters that are patently silly; here, the Thetan is the “Man from Galaxy X” who mistakes a colony of ants for human beings. Sigh.


MERCHANDISE SPOTLIGHT



Japan’s X-Plus released a deluxe Thetan action figure earlier this year, which quickly sold out and is currently commanding aftermarket prices well over $100.00. I don’t have it, but I did find a great review of it here.


Dimensional Designs, who have immortalized most of the series’ creatures in model form, naturally included the Thetan among their offerings. It’s still listed on their (woefully under-maintained) website, but there’s no picture and no option to order, so I assume it’s no longer available (the image above came from a Google Images search). 


I did spot another model during my intensive internet search for All Things Thetan, a very limited creation by Saturn Ltd., that’s pretty amazing (and really expensive if you can track one down; here's one currently on eBay, fully assembled and painted, for $395.00!).


The Thetan was depicted on the box of Milton Bradley’s Outer Limits board game in 1964. Milton Bradley also released a series of series-themed jigsaw puzzles, at least two of which featured the Thetan, that same year.



THE WRAP-UP



"The Architects of Fear" is wildly successful on all fronts, and the fifty years that have elapsed since its premiere haven't lessened its impact at all. It's a beautiful, fascinating tragedy, rich and profound. The series will present equally brilliant episodes in the coming weeks and months, but there's something.... I dunno, complete about this one. Everything just plain works, and it's imminently satisfying even after multiple viewings (I've probably watched it at least thirty times over the years, and it still captivates me). I imagine my opinions and feelings will shift around some as I make my way through the series but right now, as I write this... it's perfect.



Monday, September 23, 2013

@#&%!!!!!!!


So... yeah, this happened while I was at work today.


Stupid mutts. I don't know which one of 'em did it. Hell, it might've been both.

Bijou and Luna, terrorists at large.


I've had (and treasured) this book since it was first published in 1986. That's 27 years. And yeah, it's way out of print, too. Some third party sellers on Amazon have "acceptable" copies for around forty bucks, and mint condition copies starting at $150.00. So I won't be replacing it any time soon, especially given how tight money is right now (single income, wife in school, etc.).

Damn, damn, damn, damn.



Episode Spotlight: "The Hundred Days of the Dragon" (9/23/1963)




“The Hundred Days of the Dragon”
Season 1, Episode 2
Originally broadcast 9/23/1963




We open somewhere in China, where an eager young doctor is demonstrating a remarkable scientific breakthrough to dictator Lin Chin-Sung. It becomes evident very quickly that said breakthrough, like many breakthroughs throughout history, is to be used as a weapon.




“The Hundred Days of the Dragon,” which first aired fifty years ago tonight, concerns presidential hopeful William Lyons Selby, favored to win the election by a landslide. Selby has the misfortune of being targeted by an insidious (though highly brilliant) Chinese plot to overthrow the US government by replacing key public and private figures with identical replacements. In a bold and surprising move, they've opted to start at the top instead of the more standard ‘work your way up’ evil conspiracy method; call it a 'trickle-down' form of invasion.


Selby is dispatched shortly before the election and replaced by a Chinese operative who has mastered Selby’s voice and mannerisms and, courtesy of a revolutionary serum, has taken on his appearance (and fingerprints) as well. The faux Selby is elected as predicted and immediately begins shifting his stance on foreign policy on China, arousing the ire (and growing suspicion) of Ted Pearson, his Vice President.

Selby’s daughter and son-in-law begin to take note of subtle differences in Selby’s behavior and take their concerns to Pearson. As fate would have it, a Chinese agent has already broken into the Pearson home with the intent of replacing him. His plan foiled, he flees the premises, but not before Pearson gets a good look at his exact double.


Ted and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

The three are now convinced that the man in the Oval Office is not the Selby they know (well, knew), and must find a way to expose the conspiracy and save the nation from this most dire of threats.


RANDOMONIUM

“The Hundred Days of the Dragon” is a fairly atypical Outer Limits episode, as there aren't any aliens, monsters or time travelers to be found; as such it’s a curious choice for the series’ first post-pilot broadcast. This is by no means a criticism, as I absolutely love this episode. It strongly evokes John Frankenheimer’s 1962’s political conspiracy thriller The Manchurian Candidate (a favorite of mine), thanks more to its brooding, menacing tone than the similarities in plot. 


The doppelgänger-replacement element also evokes 1956’S Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which American citizens are supplanted by alien duplicates. Carol describing the changes in Selby’s personality is quite similar to a scene in that film in which a character tries to articulate why her uncle no longer seems like her uncle.



The only real sci-fi element present is the magic injection that rubberizes human skin (monkey skin too, which pushes the episode into horror territory for any PETA members watching). The “stamp mold” used to endow subjects with new faces reminds me of Saul Bass’s poster art for 1966’s Seconds (which Criterion used as the cover for their recent blu-ray/DVD release of the film):


Come to think of it, Seconds feels a lot like an Outer Limits episode, doesn't it? Frankenheimer directed that one too.



The Chinese infiltrators are also tasked with murdering their targets, which is an interesting choice; it also seems a bit reckless: had the real Selby put up a fight in those final few seconds before he got iced, his replacement could have been injured. And Pearson's double drops the ball big time, which leads to the unraveling of the whole plot. We see other Chinese agents here and there; having them do the killing might've been wiser.


Not a shot from "The Duplicate Man." That's season two, kids.


This is the first episode aired that was shot by Director of Photography Conrad Hall and, while its visuals are comparatively tame compared to what we’ll see in the weeks and months to come, it gives us a glimpse of how much of season one will look. The view through Hall’s (and cameraman William Fraker's) lens is like film noir on steroids: shadows and contrast abound, canted angles heighten, extreme close shots titillate, and goddamn, it’s all gorgeous to behold. I can’t think of another television series, then or now, whose cinematography compares.


Byron Haskin with Sabu, on the set of 1948's Man-Eater of Kumaon. Why this pic, you ask? Because it was the best picture of him I could find on Google Images.

This is the first of six episodes directed by Byron Haskin, who will direct a few of the series' greatest offerings, most notably next week's "The Architects of Fear" and season two's "Demon with a Glass Hand" (both of which star Robert Culp). He also directed the film noir classics I Walk Alone (1948) and Too Late for Tears (1949), so I imagine he's at least partly responsible for this episode's thick noir vibe. His other credits include 1953's The War of the Worlds and 1964's Robinson Crusoe on Mars, so his sci-fi cred is impressive too. I'm proud to report that Haskin was a local boy, born right here in Portland, Oregon.



Maybe this is my racially sensitive progressive side talking, but does the newspaper photo depicting Selby wearing an Indian headdress seem… I dunno, questionable? I’m sure there was no racism intended (things were very different 50 years ago, after all), but it’s still a bit jarring.





Okay, what's the deal with the Chinese scientist? I get that he's excited about his discovery, which is totally understandable, but watch as he lovingly caresses the face mold, then glances almost resentfully at the others in attendance, as if they've disturbed an intimate moment. Seriously creepy. 

May we have a moment alone please?


I love the shot of Wen Lee, the enemy agent, checking his watch while hiding in VP Pearson’s hallway waiting for his chance to strike (having been diverted by the unexpected arrival of Selby’s daughter and son-in-law). I’m sure he’s got a strict timetable to observe, given the gravity of his mission, but it comes off as boredom. Personally, I employ this tactic to convey not-so-subtle messages to those who bore me (it’s pretty effective too, probably because I don't wear a watch).


Hey, I just realized something: Bob and Carol come to see Ted… now, if Ted’s wife was named Alice instead of Ann, we might’ve ended up with a very different story:


1969’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is a comedy-drama about wife-swapping that stars Robert Culp, probably The Outer Limits’ most recognizable leading man (who, by the way, makes his series debut in a big way next week). 








It’s fascinating to note that this episode aired a scant two months before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I’m sure security measures around the President were ramped up considerably after that tragic event, but I can't believe that things were ever as loose and casual as they are depicted here (the Secret Service has been tasked with protecting the President--- and more pointedly for our purposes, Presidential candidates--- since 1901, long before JFK). There's nobody standing watch outside Selby’s hotel room when he is murdered. During the faux Selby’s hunting excursion with Pearson, there’s no evidence that the Secret Service is anywhere nearby keeping a watchful eye. Later, an enemy agent enters and exits the faux Selby’s White House office unescorted. It’s a wonder that the faux Selby doesn't end up assassinated himself, given his ridiculous level of accessibility.


“The Hundred Days of the Dragon” was the seventh episode produced; I assume it was aired so early because all of its effects were done in camera, resulting in quicker post-production (by contrast, the effects-heavy “The Borderland” was the second episode produced but the twelfth broadcast). But hell, what do I know? It’s a great episode, so I probably would've shown it as early as possible too.

Shamelessly pilfered from David J. Schow's indispensable The Outer Limits Companion.


Most fans are aware that Daystar Productions produced more than just The Outer Limits. There's the western series Stoney Burke, which lasted one season (1962-63) and was recently released on DVD by Timeless Media. In 1963, they produced "Fanfare for a Death Scene," a pilot for a proposed series called Stryker (which didn't sell and therefore vanished into obscurity). I'll spotlight it more in depth later, but I wanted to mention it here because it has definite parallels to this week's episode. The plot involves a "shadow Mongolian government," which may as well have been the same one responsible for the conspiracy depicted here; further, some of Dominic Frontiere's "Hundred Years of the Dragon" cues were repurposed as part of its underscore.

"Fanfare for a Death Scene" has apparently been quite a rare collector's item for years; imagine my delight to find it available for streaming on Netflix! If you're a member, do check it out. I'm trying to figure out a way to somehow transfer it from Netflix to DVD for my collection. Any tech-minded readers out there, feel free to help a brother out.



AURAL PLEASURE


After last week’s minimal underscore, Dominic Frontiere’s considerable talents are fully on display here. His suspenseful score is augmented with Eastern touches and proves invaluable to maintaining a constant air of exotic intrigue. The score has been released twice, first in 1993 on a single volume soundtrack from GNP/Crescendo Records (out of print but pretty easy to track down), and again in 2008 as part of a much more comprehensive three-disc release from La La Land Records (which is still available for the ridiculously low price of $19.98 plus shipping, go here to get yours).



DRAMATIS PERSONAE


President William Lyons Selby is played by Sidney Blackmer in his only TOL appearance, but genre fans may have spotted him in episodes of Suspense, Lights Out, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Thriller, and The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. He is excellent as Selby but, more importantly, he’s excellent as the faux Selby, particularly his malevolent squinting (which kinda makes him look Chinese, appropriately enough).


Vice President Ted Pearson is played by Phillip Pine, veteran of The Twilight Zone (“The Four of Us Are Dying,” “The Incredible World of Horace Ford”). You may have also seen him in “The Savage Curtain” on the original Star Trek, which also featured a wacky rock-based alien that would've been right at home alongside The Outer Limits’ box demon from “Don’t Open Till Doomsday.”

Cousins?


Carol, President Selby’s daughter, is played by Nancy Rennick, who also appeared twice on The Twilight Zone (“The After-Hours” and “The Odyssey of Flight 33”). And yes, she absolutely qualifies as a TOL babe.








Joan Camden (Alice, err, Ann Pearson) ventures into The Outer Limits for the first of two appearances she’ll make this season (we’ll see her in “It Crawled Out of the Woodwork” in December).


Wen Lee is played by James Hong, whose voice my 12 year-old daughter would probably recognize from the Kung Fu Panda films (in which he voices Mr. Ping); however, he’ll always be Mr. Chew to me, the virtuoso eyeball manufacturer in 1982’s Blade Runner.





Li Kwan is played by James Vagi (pictured,;he's the one on the left), who also passed through The Twilight Zone just a few months earlier than his appearance here (in the episode “No Time Like the Past”).









HOME VIDEO RELEASES



“The Hundred Days of the Dragon” has been released on home video a total of eight different times. First, it arrived on VHS in 1987 (along with “The Galaxy Being” and “The Man With the Power”) in a plastic clamshell case. It was re-released later on in the standard cardboard slipcase to match the other 45 tapes.



It was also sold through Columbia House, paired with “The Architects of Fear.” For the retail release in the UK, it was paired with “The Galaxy Being.”



The episode also appeared on the fourth and final LaserDisc volume in 1995. It's the only LD volume whose cover is identical to a VHS release ("O.B.I.T.").



It’s shown up on DVD three different times: in the season one boxed set in 2002, the volume 1 set in 2007 (which comprised the first half of season 1), and the complete series boxed set in 2008 (which happened to be the show’s 45th anniversary; gee thanks, MGM, for marking the occasion by releasing yet another repackaging of the same goddamned discs).

Which brings us to now, the show’s 50th anniversary, which would be the perfect time for a blu-ray release, right?  Wrong. As of this writing, it ain't happening.


TRADING CARD CORNER

“The Hundred Days of the Dragon” has never been represented on a trading card. Meanwhile, Andro from “The Man Who Was Never Born” was seen on SIX different Topps cards, renamed “The Clay Man.” Call me crazy, but wouldn’t the plastic-faced doppelgängers here fit that description a bit better?



MERCHANDISE SPOTLIGHT


Like most Outer Limits “bears,” William Selby’s doppelgänger was immortalized by Dimensional Designs in a model kit, sculpted by Chris Choin. Look! He even comes with his face mold as an accessory. Get yours here for $49.99 plus shipping.


THE WRAP-UP



After last week’s mid-level “The Galaxy Being,” the series come on much stronger in its second week with “The Hundred Days of the Dragon." However, the series has only started its upward trajectory. Next week will bring not only one of the series’ greatest episodes, but one of the greatest things ever produced for network television.