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Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Outer Limits in Portland, circa 1985

The following is the result of an entire Saturday wasted. Using the Multnomah County Library's online research archive, I was able to piece together a complete record of The Outer Limits’ late-night run here in Portland in 1985 (when I first saw the series; I did something similar for The Twilight Zone a couple of years ago, but nowhere near this extensiveness). Forgive the formatting --- I was way into it before I realized that putting the dates first would've been infinitely tidier). 

The Outer Limits on Portland's KPDX-49

Jan-June 1985 M-F @ 10:00 pm
July-Sept 1985 M-F @ 11:00 pm + Sat @ 10:00 pm

Run #1 (Monday 1/07/1985 - Monday 3/11/1985)

I wasn't able to get specific episode descriptions for the first 3 weeks, but I did determine that the show was preempted THE VERY FIRST FUCKING DAY. Not a great start, KPDX programmer (whoever you may have been).

(preempted) Monday 1/07/1985
(?) Tuesday 1/08/1985
(?) Wednesday 1/09/1985
(?) Thursday 1/10/1985
(?) Friday 1/11/1985
(?) Monday 1/14/1985
(?) Tuesday 1/15/1985
(?) Wednesday 1/16/1985
(?) Thursday 1/17/1985
(?) Friday 1/18/1985
(?) Monday 1/21/1985
(?) Tuesday 1/23/1985
(?) Wednesday 1/24/1985
(?) Thursday 1/25/1985
(?) Friday 1/26/1985
"The Invisibles" Monday 1/28/1985
"The Bellero Shield" Tuesday 1/29/1985
"The Children of Spider County" Wednesday 1/30/1985
"Specimen: Unknown" Thursday 2/01/1985
(preempted) Friday 2/02/1985
"Moonstone" Monday 2/04/1985
(preempted) Tuesday 2/05/1985
"The Guests" Wednesday 2/06/1985
(preempted) Thursday 2/07/1985
"The Special One" Friday 2/08/1985
(preempted) Monday 2/11/1985
"Production and Decay of Strange Particles" Tuesday 2/12/1985
"The Chameleon" Wednesday 2/13/1985
"The Forms of Things Unknown" Thursday 2/14/1985
"Soldier" Friday 2/15/1985
(preempted) Monday 2/18/1985
"Behold, Eck!" Tuesday 2/19/1985
"Expanding Human" Wednesday 2/20/1985
(preempted) Thursday 2/21/1985
"Cry of Silence" Friday 2/22/1985
"The Invisible Enemy" Monday 2/25/1985
"Wolf 359" Tuesday 2/26/1985
"I, Robot" Wednesday 2/27/1985
"The Inheritors Part 1" Thursday 2/28/1985
"The Inheritors Part 2" Friday 3/01/1985
"Keeper of the Purple Twilight" Monday 3/04/1985
"The Duplicate Man" Tuesday 3/05/1985
"Counterweight" Wednesday 3/06/1985
"The Brain of Colonel Barham" Thursday 3/07/1985
"The Premonition" Friday 3/08/1985
"The Probe" Monday 3/11/1985

That first run is confusing---- the fourth week (the first week that the TV listings provided episode synopses) starts off with "The Invisibles," so I'm thinking that they either didn't start with "The Galaxy Being" or they skipped several episodes. However, they almost-religiously stuck to the same order of episodes throughout all four runs, which makes "The Invisibles" the 19th episode overall. If they'd started with "The Galaxy Being," "Controlled Experiment" should've aired on Monday 1/28/85, and "The Invisibles" shouldn't have aired until Thursday 2/01/1985. This mystery aside, KPDX kept strictly to the same schedule for all four passes (except for one really weird exception in Run #3) ... so if an episode was preempted, they didn't kick it ahead a day---- they just skipped it, so you were shit outta luck until it came around next time (if indeed there was a next time; who knew how long they'd keep airing the series?). The first Outer Limits episode I ever saw was "The Sixth Finger" during that first run (which aired at some point in those first three weeks; wish I knew which date); by then I was fairly well-versed in the series thanks to David J. Schow's Twilight Zone Magazine articles/episode guide (which would form the basis for his Outer Limits Companion in 1986); so yes, every episode was spoiled for me before I ever saw it... but hell, for all I knew I'd NEVER see them). I'm convinced KPDX started airing the series because said articles resulted in enough viewer inquiries to justify it (though I have no proof).

Run #2 (Tuesday 3/12/1985 - Friday 5/17/1985)

The second run, well, ran like a well-oiled machine. Eight episodes weren't shown due to preemptions, but otherwise... clockwork.

"The Galaxy Being" Tuesday 3/12/1985
"The Hundred Days of the Dragon" Wednesday 3/13/1985
"The Man with the Power" Thursday 3/14/1985
"The Architects of Fear" Friday 3/15/1985
"The Sixth Finger" Monday 3/18/1985
"The Man Who Was Never Born" Tuesday 3/19/1985
(preempted) Wednesday 3/20/1985
(preempted) Thursday 3/21/1985
"Corpus Earthling" Friday 3/22/1985
"Tourist Attraction" Monday 3/25/1985
"Nightmare" Tuesday 3/26/1985
"It Crawled Out of the Woodwork" Wednesday 3/27/1985
"The Borderland" Thursday 3/28/1985
"The Zanti Misfits" Friday 3/29/1985
"The Mice" Monday 4/01/1985
"Controlled Experiment" Tuesday 4/02/1985
"Don't Open till Doomsday" Wednesday 4/03/1985
"ZZZZZ" Thursday 4/04/1985
"The Invisibles" Friday 4/05/1985
"The Bellero Shield" Monday 4/08/1985
"The Children of Spider County" Tuesday 4/09/1985
"Specimen: Unknown" Wednesday 4/10/1985
"Second Chance" Thursday 4/11/1985
"Moonstone" Friday 4/12/1985
"The Mutant" Monday 4/15/1985
"The Guests" Tuesday 4/16/1985
"Fun and Games" Wednesday 4/17/1985
"The Special One" Thursday 4/18/1985
(preempted) Friday 4/19/1985
"Production and Decay of Strange Particles" Monday 4/22/1985
"The Chameleon" Tuesday 4/23/1985
"The Forms of Things Unknown" Wednesday 4/24/1985
"Soldier" Thursday 4/25/1985
"Cold Hands, Warm Heart" Friday 4/26/1985
"Behold, Eck!" Monday 4/29/1985
(preempted) Tuesday 4/30/1985
"Demon with a Glass Hand" Wednesday 5/01/1985
"Cry of Silence" Thursday 5/02/1985
(preempted) Friday 5/03/1985
(preempted) Monday 5/06/1985
"I, Robot" Tuesday 5/07/1985
"The Inheritors Part 1" Wednesday 5/08/1985
"The Inheritors Part 2" Thursday 5/09/1985
"Keeper of the Purple Twilight" Friday 5/10/1985
"The Duplicate Man" Monday 5/13/1985
(preempted) Tuesday 5/14/1985
(preempted) Wednesday 5/15/1985
"The Premonition" Thursday 5/16/1985
"The Probe" Friday 5/17/1985

Run #3 (Monday 5/20/1985 - 7/20/1985)

The third run was a bit all over the place. I will note that there was nearly an entire week preempted by a couple of movies and baseball games (only one episode aired that week, "Tourist Attraction" on Friday 5/31/1985) and, in a move of profound dickheadedness (or inspired tomfoolery), they aired "The Mice" on a Friday (6/07/1985), then AGAIN the following Monday (6/10/1985). They added Saturday airings starting 7/06/1985, so going forward The Outer Limits controlled local TVs for six nights... however, the two weeks leading up to that had NO Outer Limits at all... it appears the show was removed from the KPDX schedule for two weeks, then as inexplicably put back on with no interruption in episode order (meaning 10 consecutive episodes weren't shown, 11 counting the preemption the preceding Friday). Did I say a "bit" all over the place? Try a lot.

"The Galaxy Being" Monday 5/20/1985
"The Hundred Days of the Dragon" Tuesday 5/21/1985
(preempted) Wednesday 5/22/1985
"The Architects of Fear" Thursday 5/23/1985
"The Sixth Finger" Friday 5/24/1985
(preempted) Monday 5/27/1985
(preempted) Tuesday 5/28/1985
(preempted) Wednesday 5/29/1985
(preempted) Thursday 5/30/1985
"Tourist Attraction" Friday 5/31/1985
"Nightmare" Monday 6/03/1985
(preempted) Tuesday 6/04/1985
(preempted) Wednesday 6/05/1985
"The Zanti Misfits" Thursday 6/06/1985
"The Mice" Friday 6/07/1985
"The Mice" Monday 6/10/1985
"Don't Open till Doomsday" Tuesday 6/11/1985
"ZZZZZ" Wednesday 6/12/1985
"The Invisibles" Thursday 6/13/1985
"The Bellero Shield" Friday 6/14/1985
"The Children of Spider County" Monday 6/17/1985
"Specimen: Unknown" Tuesday 6/18/1985
"Second Chance" Wednesday 6/19/1985
"Moonstone" Thursday 6/20/1985
(preempted) Friday 6/21/1985
N/A Monday 6/24/1985
N/A Tuesday 6/25/1985
N/A Wednesday 6/26/1985
N/A Thursday 6/27/1985
N/A Friday 6/28/1985
N/A Monday 7/01/1985
N/A Tuesday 7/02/1985
N/A Wednesday 7/03/1985
N/A Thursday 7/04/1985
N/A Friday 7/05/1985
"Demon with a Glass Hand" Saturday 7/06/1985
"Cry of Silence" Monday 7/08/1985
"The Invisible Enemy" Tuesday 7/09/1985
"Wolf 359" Wednesday 7/10/1985
"I, Robot" Thursday 7/11/1985
"The Inheritors Part 1" Friday 7/12/1985
"The Inheritors Part 2" Saturday 7/13/1985
"Keeper of the Purple Twilight" 7/15/1985
"The Duplicate Man" 7/16/1985
"Counterweight" 7/17/1985
"The Brain of Colonel Barham" 7/18/1985
"The Premonition" 7/19/1985
"The Probe" Saturday 7/20/1985

Run #4 (Monday 7/22/1985 - Friday 9/14/1985)

The fourth and final run suffered the least number of preemptions, so it certainly aspires to clockwork-dom... but there were a couple of notable, um, issues...

"The Galaxy Being" Monday 7/22/1985
"The Hundred Days of the Dragon" Tuesday 7/23/1985
"The Man with the Power" Wednesday 7/24/1985
"The Architects of Fear" Thursday 7/25/1985
(preempted) Friday 7/26/1985
"The Man Who Was Never Born" Saturday 7/27/1985
"O.B.I.T." Monday 7/29/1985
"The Human Factor" Tuesday 7/30/1985
"Corpus Earthling" Wednesday 7/31/1985
"Tourist Attraction" Thursday 8/01/1985
"Nightmare" Friday 8/02/1985
"It Crawled Out of the Woodwork" Saturday 8/03/1985
"The Borderland" Monday 8/05/1985
"The Zanti Misfits" Tuesday 8/06/1985
"The Mice" Wednesday 8/07/1985
"Controlled Experiment" Thursday 8/08/1985
"Don't Open till Doomsday" Friday 8/09/1985
"ZZZZZ" Saturday 8/10/1985
"The Invisibles" Monday 8/12/1985
"The Bellero Shield" Tuesday 8/13/1985
"The Children of Spider County" Wednesday 8/14/1985
"Specimen: Unknown" Thursday 8/15/1985
"Second Chance" Friday 8/16/1985
"Moonstone" Saturday 8/17/1985
"The Mutant" Monday 8/19/1985
"The Guests" Tuesday 8/20/1985
"Fun and Games" Wednesday 8/21/1985
"The Special One" Thursday 8/22/1985
"A Feasibility Study" Friday 8/23/1985
"Production and Decay of Strange Particles" Saturday 8/24/1985
"The Chameleon" Monday 8/26/1985
"The Forms of Things Unknown" Tuesday 8/27/1985
"Soldier" Wednesday 8/28/1985
"Cold Hands, Warm Heart" Thursday 8/29/1985
"Behold, Eck!" Friday 8/30/1985
"Expanding Human" Saturday 8/31/1985
"Demon with a Glass Hand" Monday 9/02/1985
"Cry of Silence" Tuesday 9/03/1985
"The Invisible Enemy" Wednesday 9/04/1985
"Wolf 359" Thursday 9/05/1985
"I, Robot" Friday 9/06/1985
(preempted) Saturday 9/07/1985
"The Inheritors Part 2" Monday 9/09/1985
"Keeper of the Purple Twilight" Tuesday 9/10/1985
"The Duplicate Man" Wednesday 9/11/1985
"Counterweight" Thursday 9/12/1985
"The Brain of Colonel Barham" Friday 9/13/1985
"The Premonition" Saturday 9/14/1985

That's right, they didn't even show "The Probe" to close out the final run! Even more egregious is the preemption that occurred on Saturday 9/07/1985 (imagine the dismay felt by those poor unfortunates who'd never seen "The Inheritors Part 1"!).  

KPDX adhered mostly to the original broadcast order, with a few weird exceptions: "The Man with the Power" was shown before "The Architects of Fear." "Tourist Attraction" and "The Borderland" weren't where they belonged either. Otherwise, broadcast order.

Thus ended the syndicated run of The Outer Limits here in Portland in 1985. And so ends an entire day of my life that I ain't never getting back.


  1. I grew up in Seattle, and after The Outer Limits ended its original network run, it reappeared in syndication in the fall of 1965 on KTNT TV channel 11, and ran through the summer of 1967, after which it disappeared for what seemed like forever. For some reason, the episodes were not presented in their correct syndication order during that two year run from 1965-1967. Instead, the order of the shows was scrambled somewhat; the first two shows, The Galaxy Being and The Hundred Days Of The Dragon, were skipped, and the first several episodes were presented in this order: The Man With The Power, The Architects Of Fear, The Sixth Finger, O.B.I.T etc. Along the way, first season shows were skipped, to be shown later, mingled with the second season episodes. The Galaxy Being, which did not receive a network rerun in the summer of 1964, did not appear again until August of 1966. Whether this scrambling was done by United Artists Television or by my local station I don't know, but there might have been some method to the madness, I believe. The show's network run was so brief, only 49 episodes, that when KTNT started showing it in the fall of 1965, only eight months after it had been cancelled by ABC, the show's original running order might have been too familiar with viewers in syndication, so they scrambled it to make it more "interesting", and less familiar, as if it had been off the air longer. Seattle station KTVW 13 revived the show briefly, in the spring of 1973, this time with the correct running order, but that run ended near the end of that year. KSTW 11, formerly KTNT 11, brought the show back in December of 1975, and ran it on and off through 1988, sometimes on Saturday afternoons, otherwise stripped M-F at 11:00 PM.

  2. The Outer Limits had three syndication runs here in Cleveland; I personally saw only the last of them. Sorry, no exact dates--but otherwise, prepare for maximum nerdage! WARNING: includes a footnote.

    1. WJW Channel 8, 1966-70

    WJW, Cleveland's CBS affiliate at the time, reran TOL on the weekends. Through old TV listings, I've confirmed that they ran at least 47 of the episodes, with "The Invisibles" and "The Forms of Things Unknown" being the exceptions. However, since TV guides didn't always list which episode was shown, I'm sure WJW ran them both at some point.

    2. WKBF Channel 61, 1972-75

    By the end of 1968, Cleveland had two indies: WKBF, owned by the powerful Kaiser Broadcasting chain, and WUAB Channel 43, owned by United Artists Broadcasting, the company that produced TOL. WUAB ran UA series such as The Patty Duke Show and The Rat Patrol, so why didn't they get TOL? I speculate that Kaiser's clout, along with the fact four of their other stations already had TOL, allowed them to win the day.

    WKBF first ran TOL as a daily strip in January 1972. By June, they'd gone through the entire series twice. From then on, they ran it on weekends until financial problems forced them off the air in March 1975.

    As far as I know, TOL then disappeared from the Cleveland airwaves until...

    3. WUAB Channel 43, 1983-84

    Yes, WUAB (now owned by Gaylord Broadcasting) finally got their chance at TOL--and they treated it pretty badly.

    WUAB started playing TOL at 11 AM on Saturdays in 1983. There was no advertising that I ever saw--they just used it as filler, which became obvious a few weeks into the run. After going through the first seven episodes, WUAB ran a skiing special instead of "The Human Factor", then skipped right over it and went directly to "Corpus Earthling". This turned into a pattern, leading WUAB to omit several episodes from TOL's Saturday morning run. And after they got to "Second Chance", they dropped the show...

    ...until the fall of 1984, when they brought it back late Saturdays/early Sundays at 12:30AM. They started with "The Guests", so "Moonstone" and "The Mutant" got skipped, but this time there were no pre-emptions--until the very end. Just as WUAB had gone through ALMOST the entire second season and was about to run "The Probe", they replaced TOL with a wrestling show and never brought it back. WUAB wound up skipping 11 episodes*, and since they ran each ep only once, there were no do-overs...

    ...until the era of digital subchannels. WUAB was Cleveland's This TV affiliate for a while, and This's schedule then included TOL. I never personally saw it, but I'm pretty sure that WUAB finally ran "The Missing Eleven" as part of This TV... and so cosmic justice was served.

    P.S. During WUAB's Saturday morning TOL broadcasts, they ran ads for Collectors Warehouse, a local comic book and memorabilia store. One of the Warehouse's employees was artist Gary Dumm, who did some great illustrations for Ted Rypel's The Outer Limits: An Illustrated Record.

    * The Missing Eleven: "The Human Factor", "It Crawled Out of the Woodwork", "The Mice", "Controlled Experiment", "ZZZZZ", "The Invisibles", "The Bellero Shield", "The Children of Spider County", "Moonstone", "The Mutant", and "The Probe".

    1. Correction: Ted Rypel's publication was actually called The Outer Limits: An Illustrated Review.

  3. Craig, I might have an explanation for the discrepancies of the fourth KPDX run. IIRC, "The Man with the Power" was originally scheduled to run the week before "The Architects of Fear" until they switched places. Also, "Tourist Attraction" was meant to be the ninth episode, but was pre-empted by coverage of the Kennedy assassination and not shown until a month after its intended airdate (which would explain "The Borderland"'s displacement). Somehow, KPDX wound up using this original schedule for their fourth run. Weird, huh?

    Also, thank you for bringing up this topic! I don't know how many people are interested, but I'm into it.

  4. I enjoy ur site very much, Why the interest in the reruns on various stations ? Also was thinking what age of viewer, would have the most, strongest impact,when first watched. ?? I was 7 to 9, pretty powerful stuff, I thought.