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Outer Limits, The (ABC 1963-1965)

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“There is nothing wrong with your TV set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We can reduce the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to…The Outer Limits.”

When that deliciously sinister opening narration kicked in, viewers knew they were in for an hour not quite like any other on TV. The Twilight Zone was a similarly and effectively creepy 1960’s anthology, but if you liked science fiction and otherworldly cinematography, if you were eager to be transported out of reality for a full hour and not just a half, then The Outer Limits was where you went to hole up.

Even more than The Twilight Zone did, this show loved creepy, hard-science premises. It loved space travel, time travel, aliens, invasion conspiracies and man’s debatable evolutionary dogma. The special effects, for the time, were impressive, and the camera work was steeped in German expressionism—the moodily-lit episodes looked much more like film than regular old TV.

The Outer Limits

Though the cast changed every week, some of the actors who appeared and later went on to great small and big screen success included Martin Sheen, Martin Landau, Ed Asner, Bruce Dern, Dabney Coleman, Sally Kellerman, Carroll O’Connor, Robert Culp, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. Vic Perrin, the narrator—or as the show deemed, the “Control Voice”—was a popular actor in sci-fi shows and comic book adaptations. By the end of the episode, the Control Voice’s closing comments emanated from the TV set, replete with a moral or a lesson, then informed you that it would now return the control of your television back to you. The idea being…you had truly spent the last hour someplace else, and in that someplace else, you weren’t exactly in control of your own destiny.

In 1995, thirty years after the original black and white Outer Limits was produced, Showtime got back into the spirit and produced a batch of new shows for weekly cable viewing. There was no more Vic Perrin, unfortunately, and no more of the inherent Cold War fear that made viewing those shows in the 60’s extra creepy. But when a foundation as interesting as this, a remake’s bound to score a few points.

production details
USA / ABC – United Artists – Daystar – Villa di Stefano / 49×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 16 September 1963 – 16 January 1965

Creator and Executive Producer: Leslie Stevens / Producers: Joseph Stefani (Season 1), Ben Brady (Season 2)

cast
Vic Perrin as The Control Voice

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Royal Christmas Ball, A (ION 2017, Tara Reid, Ingo Rademacher)

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Royal Christmas Ball ION

Dateless for the Christmas ball, 39-year-old bachelor, King Charles of Baltania, tracks down his American college sweetheart, only to discover Allison has never been married, yet raised a 17-year-old daughter, Lily, who mathematically might be Charles’ biological princess.

cast
Tara Reid as Allison
Ingo Rademacher as King Charles
Mira Furlan as Rosa
Haley Pullos as Lily
Faune Chambers Watkins as Eva
Mykel Shannon Jenkins as Sam
Marc Anthony Samuel as Marcus
Christian Olivo as Victor
Miles Burris as Emile
Kennedy Lea Slocum as Taylor
Claire Cohen as Lorena
David Meza as Waiter
Cesar Cipriano as Florist
Stan Bly as Paparazzi
Brian Nolan as Paparazzi

crew details
Director: David DeCoteau
Writer: Suzanne Dunn
Story: Jeffrey Schenck, Peter Sullivan

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: ION – Hybrid Films
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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Runaway Christmas Bride (ION 2017, Cindy Busny, Travis Milne)

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Runaway Christmas Bride ION 2017

A runaway bride, Kate, making herself scarce for the holidays, meets a ski patrol rescuer, Jason, at a resort. Her December days begin to brighten, until her parents and jilted fiancé, Alex, show up at the mountain to reset the wedding for Christmas.

cast
Cindy Busby as Kate
Travis Milne as Jason
Christos Shaw as Mike
Karen Kruper as Lily Paulson
Mark Milburn as Alex Atkins
Bruce Dawson as Rick Atkins
Roz Murray as Kim Atkins
Trent Pryor as Wedding Rehersal Guest
Holly James as Wedding Guest

crew details
Director: David DeCoteau
Writer: Brian Skiba

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: ION – Odyssey Media
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Saturday 9 December 2017

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Christmas Encore (HMC 2017, Erin Agostino, Marie Dame)

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Christmas Encore Hallmark 2017

In Christmas Encore a struggling actress is cast in her last off (off) Broadway show – a modern take on “A Christmas Carol” – before giving up her dream and moving home.

Instead, she finds romance with her director and a renewed passion for her craft and the city. But when the historic theater loses its lease and the show is set to fold, she and her cast mates are need of a Christmas miracle.

cast
Erin Agostino as Morgan
Marie Dame as Ellen Lambert
Brennan Elliott as Julian Walker
Maggie Lawson as Charlotte Lacy
Mélanie St-Pierre as Samantha Cross

crew details
Director: Bradley Walsh
Writer: Jennifer Notas Shapiro

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Hallmark Movie Channel
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Saturday 9 December 2017

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