Monstervision Host Segments for

"THE OUTER LIMITS" (1963)


"Cold Hands, Warm Heart" & "I, Robot"


"Astronaut Jeff Barton (William Shatner) returns from a successful, and much-heralded orbit of the planet Venus. His heroic exploit earns him full command of a proposed space flight to colonize Mars. But before funds for the project can be appropriated, General Barton must appear before a Senate Committee, with a complete report. All is well, until unexpected physiological changes begin to occur which dramatically affect Barton's appearance and well-being. In a dream, he relives an encounter with a Venus Creature he is beginning to resemble. And no matter what the room temperature, he feels like he's freezing in the Venusian atmosphere. All the facilities of space medicine are applied to effect a cure. They are only partially successful until coupled with the power of love manifest by the astronaut's wife. If he recovers in time to testify convincingly to the Senate Committee, he'll write a new chapter in Man's history in space." Description from www.theouterlimits.com
Directed by: Charles Hass
Written by: Dan Ullman and Milton Krims
"I, Robot" Directed by Leon Benson & written by Otto O. Binder

"COLD HANDS, WARM HEART" Intro

Now. There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. Remember that from "The Outer Limits"? Believe it or not, "The Outer Limits" only ran for a season and a half back in 1963 and 64, and it was never really a success, but somehow it got glorified in people's memories, and now it's become kind of a cult classic. Course, it's not as good as The Twilight Zone, which Shatner and Nimoy also appeared in, but how many times can you watch "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet?" I've already seen it three, four-hundred times. So we've got the Shatner and Nimoy "Outer Limits" episodes.

First up is the one with William Shatner as an astronaut whose recent trip to Venus is causing him a little temperature problem, so even though his overbearing wife is runnin around in shorts and flip-flops, Bill's colder than a stripper in a snow storm.

I don't wanna tell the whole story, so let's do the drive-in totals and get it started. We have:

No dead bodies.
No breasts.
Hot coffee chugging.
Reckless steam-bathing.
Finger-webbing.
Mysterious Venusian gremlin.
Burning Captain Kirk.
Gratuitous wifely duties.
Security guard Fu.

I give it about two stars, but it's historical, so check it out.

[fading] Keep in mind that this show was done a year after William Shatner's more famous "Twilight Zone" episode-- the one with the gremlin on the wing of the airplane--two years before Star Trek, and, most significantly, 25 years before "Rescue 911." It's all part of the evolution of Bill. Airplane passenger, astronaut, starship commander, TJ Hooker, host of lame TV rescue show. It's an arc.
Goes like this.


"COLD HANDS, WARM HEART" Commercial Break #1

So William Shatner is working on something called "Project Vulcan"--how weird is THAT? Do you think Gene Roddenberry saw this? This was one of the last TV shows Shatner did before he was cast in "Star Trek."

I don't really understand why the guy who just flew to VENUS and back is working on a project to colonize MARS, though. But we're barely into it, so let's keep it going.

[fading] We are controlling the transmission. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. We can steal the Playboy Channel off satellite and route it to nursing homes.


"COLD HANDS, WARM HEART" Commercial Break #2

"Dammit, Jim, go to your own medics!"
"Just give me a pill!" These guys in the 1960s were so volatile, weren't they? And did you like that little speech el wifey gives to the planets? "I'm his BEST world!" Hello, television police? We have a little over-acting going on down here? The gal playing the wife is Geraldine Brooks. She was actually in TWO "Outer Limits" episodes where her husband's turning into an alien. She did a lot of TV guest-star work, and then she died of a heart-attack at the age of 52. And no wonder -- she's a LITTLE high-strung, isn't she?
I say that with all due respect to the dead. Okay, let's roll.

[fading] When DID we orbit Venus, anyway? I guess I shoulda looked that up. Do we still have a space program? Every so often, you hear on the news that Space Shuttle number eight-hundred-and-two landed at Edwards to get its broken toilet repaired or something. And everybody kinda yawns and says, "Oh, have we landed on Pluto? That's interesting." We're not exactly throwin ticker-tape parades anymore, are we?


"COLD HANDS, WARM HEART" Commercial Break #3

Here's some mildly interesting dirt on this episode. It was based on a story by Dan Ullman called "Project Vulcan" (which still kinda trips me out). In that story, and in the first draft of the script, the extent of the astronaut's metamorphosis was his being cold. But the suits at ABC wanted MONSTERS, goshdarn it, so they were forced to write in the scaly monster hands. Those darn suits never know anything, do they?

The man is COLD -- isn't that enough? They got the coffee, the sweaters, the steam. The sweaters and the steam are very dramatic. Not to mention the scary alien that looks like a Barbie doll that's gone through the wash.
Okay, let's find out what else happened in the sauna. Roll it.

[fading] Even more dramatic --the lock on the door to the sauna. You can go clear back to Shakespeare for this narrative rule of thumb--when the story slows down, have some guys struggle to get into a steam room.


"COLD HANDS, WARM HEART" Commercial Break #4

"Jeff, what happened up there?" "You still haven't come home to me, Jeff--not really!" So William Shatner is slowly turning into a Vulcan, or a Venusian, or whatever, and all the lab nerds are standing around twiddlin their thumbs till the wife tells em to "talk to him, find out what happened!" and they go, "Hey, good idea!" Meanwhile he's supposed to be making some pitch in a few hours for the big Mars presentation, only his dark side wants to punch out security guards and destroy all the files. Is that about what's happening here? Is the alien a dream, or real? I still have no idea.

Well, let's see if we can find out. Go. Exciting conclusion to "Cold Hands, Warm Heart."

[fading] They use the "ticking clock" device in this story. The ticking-clock is usually: A bomb is gonna go off, aliens are gonna take over the world, somebody's gonna turn into a vampire--so we have to ACT QUICKLY. Only, in this story, we have to act quickly because . . . the Appropriations Committee meets at 9 a.m. That's the ticking clock!


"COLD HANDS" Outro/"I, ROBOT" Intro

Well, that wasn't that great, was it? Why is everyone so happy that we're gonna colonize Mars, when this guy just barely escaped turning into a steam-addicted reptile from too much space travel? I wasn't exactly picking up on any irony there. This episode was supposed to be the season-opener for Year 2 of "The Outer Limits," but the network wasn't really thrilled with it, so they moved it to the second week, where it got killed by the season premiere of "The Jackie Gleason Show."

Anyhow, don't go to sleep YET, cause now we got the Leonard Nimoy "Outer Limits" episode, "I, Robot." Nimoy plays a newspaperman--that's what they called em in those days, newspapermen--who gets a curmudgeon old lawyer out of retirement to defend a robot who's accused of murdering his creator.

Sort of a cross between Frankenstein and "Perry Mason." The robot's really convincing--you can even see the gaffer's tape holding it together in some of the shots. Let's do those drive-in totals, cause it's gettin late. We have:

One dead body.
One dead robot.
No breasts.
Child-jerking, with broken arm.
Redneck cops with shotguns.
Consensual short-circuiting.
Generator to the back.
One motor-vehicle pedestrian run-in.

I give this one about two stars, too. Check it out, cause I've still got this Leonard Nimoy poetry for ya.

[fading] I'm not gonna read it just yet, but I WILL tell you that it's inspired by the death of Spock. But it's also about love. Love, and death. You know what I always say, Ernie? It's all about love, man.


"I, ROBOT" Commercial Break #1

I love those opening titles. The original title for "The Outer Limits" was "Please Stand By." They really wanted to go full bore with that taking-over-your-television gimmick. I'm not sure why they changed it. Hey, do you guys remember which "Twilight Zone" Leonard Nimoy was in? It was called "A Quality of Mercy," and he actually had a pretty dinky part in it.

That was the one with Dean Stockwell, where the soldier sees what it's like to be the enemy. Not near as good as the William Shatner episode on the airplane, but what the hey, Leonard Nimoy's a better director.

He directed "Star Trek 3" AND "Star Trek 4," the really good one where they go to back in time to earth to beam up the whales. William Shatner directed "Star Trek V," the one with Spock's brother.

"What one with Spock's brother?" Yeah, exactly. Plus Leonard Nimoy directed "Three Men and a Baby," which don't get me started on, but it was a HUMONGOUS hit. Even bigger than Look Who's Talking Too. Okay, let's quit blabbin and get back to the show.

[fading] Actually, "Three Men and a Baby" wasn't that bad. I can't remember--who was the actual father in that movie? Tom Selleck or Ted Danson? It couldn'ta been Steve Guttenberg. That goes without saying. Nothing against Steve. He was awesome in Police Academy 3--well, the whole series, but especially 3.


"I, ROBOT" Commercial Break #2

The late Howard DaSilva as the reclusive defense attorney Thurman Cutler. One of Howard's claims to fame is that he was in the ORIGINAL 1943 stage production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" That's with an exclamation point -- "Oklahoma!"

I know you guys love it when I talk about musical theater. Anyhow, he was also a hard-working supporting actor in war movies and noir flicks of the forties--he was in "The Blue Dahlia," The Lost Weekend--until Robert Taylor fingered him before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and he got blacklisted from Hollywood for ten years.

It's really weird when you look at a guy's resume who's been blacklisted.

It has all these movies from 1940, 41, 42, 43, all the way up to 51, and then NADA. NOTHING until 1962, when he starts working again. It's really a trip. This TV show was made when he'd only been back on the scene for a year or two, so that bit about his having been retired from the human race is sort of poignant, isn't it?
Okay, the show must go on. Roll it.

[fading] Oooooooklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, some-thing na na na-na-na! What are the words to that song? Favorite of beauty pageant contestants everywhere. You know, Oaak-lahoma...


"I, ROBOT" Commercial Break #3

You know what I think they got right in this "Outer Limits" episode? The robot. He's pretty sympathetic. It's those big doe eyes he's got, right? I mean, he doesn't have the beady little red eyes like the robot in Saturn 3, he's got big, brown, dewy-lookin eyes. The ironic thing is that no one at the production company takes credit for building the robot suit. They think someone found it in the prop closet at Paramount.

But the thing they really DID NOT get right is that it's so obviously a guy in a suit. He looks like he could break out into dance any second, all limbered up and ready to go. All right, let's get back to it.

[fading] People were actually afraid of robots in the sixties.
Lotta guys thought robots were smart enough to take over their jobs, put em outta work. And they were RIGHT.


"I, ROBOT" Commercial Break #4

Wait, we're supposed to believe that the robot was trying to SAVE the little girl by the pond? That's not what it looked like to ME. That's cheating. They fooled us. Oh, my goodness--ram a steel rod though my brain--I almost forgot to do the Leonard Nimoy poetry! You guys ready for this? Don't laugh, this is serious.

It's called "Will I Think of You?" and I personally believe, as I said earlier, that it's inspired by "Star Trek II: The Death of Spock." Or The Wrath of Khan, whatever it's called. Here we go:

Only
When I die
And realize
That I am born again
For dying is
A beginning
And I
have died
thousands of times

Sometimes
Several times a day
I am learning
That from each death
Comes a new vision
Of life

A new sense of the miracle
Of being and creation

For fear
Is worse than dying

Fear prevents discovery
And destroys the creative flow
Of God-man's soul

And when I let my old self
Hardened and rigid
Die
I am re-born
Vital, open and fresh

And this discovery
This victory over the
Fear of death
Came

When I thought I was dead
And found you

So
Each time
I rise
Out of the ashes
Of my fear
I will gratefully
Think of yop

Wait a minute--is that a typo?

"Think of yop"? I don't remember it ending that way. Who typed this up? Where's my Nimoy poetry book, goldurn it? Do I have to do everything around here? Show the end of the . . . thing. I don't believe this. [searching] Where is it?


"I, ROBOT" Outro

Now lemme explain why "The Twilight Zone" is ten times more watchable than "The Outer Limits." "The Outer Limits" was always so dern bleak. It was always about how man jumps to conclusions about the unknown, or abuses his own technology, or destroys what isn't just like him . . . All right, the last one had a happy ending, but it was pretty grim along the way. And, yes, "The Twilight Zone" DID have a lot of UNhappy endings. Okay, maybe that's NOT why "The Twilight Zone" was better. Maybe it just WAS.

I think I'll stop talking now, and remind you that next week we have the classic, one of the original Mel Gibson flicks, The Road Warrior, followed by 2020 Texas Gladiators, which is basically a Mad Max movie with an Eyetalian cast and no script.

And that's it for me, Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that no matter how good she looks, some other guy is sick and tired of putting up with her crap.

Did you guys hear the one about the Hindu, the Rabbi, and the Lawyer who are looking for a place to sleep on a rainy night out in the middle of nowhere? They see a light in the distance, and come upon a farmer's house. They knock on the door and ask, "Can we have a place to pass the night until the rain stops?" The farmer says, "I only have enough room for two in my house. One of you has to sleep in the barn." So the Hindu says, "I am humble, I will sleep in the barn." So he goes out to the barn. A few minutes later, the farmer hears a knock on the door. It's the Hindu. He says, "There is a cow in the barn. It is against my religious beliefs to sleep with a cow." So the Rabbi says, "I'm humble, I'll sleep in the barn." A few minutes later, the farmer hears another knock on the door and it's the Rabbi. He says it's against his beliefs to sleep where there's a pig, and there's a pig in the barn. So the lawyer's forced to sleep in the barn. A few minutes later, there's a knock on the door. It's the pig and the cow . . .

Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die.

[fading] A New York divorce lawyer dies and arrives at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter asks him, "What have you done to merit entrance to Heaven?" The lawyer thinks for a minute, and then says, "A week ago, I gave a quarter to a homeless person on the street." Saint Peter asks Gabriel to check this out in the record book, and after a minute Gabriel confirms that it's true. Saint Peter says, "Well, that's fine, but it's not really quite enough to get you into Heaven." The lawyer says, "Wait, wait! There's more! Three years ago I also gave a homeless person a quarter." Saint Peter nods to Gabriel, who after a moment, nods back, confirming that this, too, has been verified. Saint Peter pulls Gabriel aside and whispers to him, "Well, what do you suggest we do with this guy?" Gabriel gives the lawyer a sidelong glance, then says to Saint Peter, "Let's give him back his 50 cents and tell him to go to Hell."

Oh, did you guys hear Saddam Hussein has a thousand lawyers held hostage? He said that if his demands aren't met by the American goverment by noon tomorrow, he'll release one of them every hour.

Outer Limits episodes are available on video and on DVD from Amazon.com

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Host segment transcript 1999 Turner Network Television. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved

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