Horror and sci-fi fans rejoice: the possibility of a The Outer Limits TV series revival is now more tangible than ever. The recent success of anthology shows has proved that audiences are quite receptive to the narrative style of The Twilight Zone: The Outer Limits’ closest rival.
While we haven’t had official confirmation yet, business insiders have all but confirmed that a contemporary version of The Outer Limits is in the works at some premium cable network. Information is scarce on the subject, so most of the info is merely conjecture at this point. Nevertheless, we can guess how the show will turn out by looking at some similar shows that have found success in recent years.
Before we delve deeper into the modern vogue of horror/sci-fi anthology shows, let’s begin by analyzing one of the shows that started the whole genre – and the one we hope gets a revival soon.
In 1963, horror fans lived through one of the best times for television: The Twilight Zone had been delivering some of the most fascinating and thought-provoking sci-fi stories of its time. That year, a competitor arose to rival Rod Serling’s legendary show: ABC’s The Outer Limits dealt with more sci-fi-inspired themes than the fantastical and supernatural subjects predominated in The Twilight Zone.
Aliens and robots captivated the audiences’ imaginations, making the show an immediate hit. The show’s cultural impact can’t be overstated, with some critics saying that The Outer Limits was partially responsible for the successes of other sci-fi shows of the sixties.
This isn’t the first time an Outer Limits revival has been considered. In 1995, following the success of shows like The X-Files, a new version of The Outer Limits debuted on TV. The show ran for seven distinctively more provocative seasons than their 60s counterparts.
Bringing back The Outer Limits in whatever form has been the goal of many studios ever since the revival show was cancelled. At one point, Kevin Smith was signed to write a feature film based on an episode of the original show, and plans for another film first began circulating in 2014, but those rumours quietly vanished.
For whatever reason, The Outer Limits has fervently resisted the modern trend of reboots of old shows. Perhaps it’s due to the show’s sci-fi-oriented themes – even though, as most of us know, there’s a lot of content to explore in the realm of science-fiction anthologies.
Anthology shows seem to be all the rage in our current streaming services: from The Twilight Zone to Black Mirror, there’s a clear spike in the audience’s interest in this format, and that’s something that many showrunners in the business are beginning to notice.
Perhaps the closest we got right now to a modern version of The Outer Limits would be Netflix’s Black Mirror. This popular anthology show details the woes of our technological society in a ‘cautionary tale’ manner that seems akin to what The Twilight Zone did so many years ago.
Other shows like The Haunting on Hill House – which first began as adaptations of a particular story – quickly turned into anthology series. The structure of these shows allows various creators and filmmakers with diverse and unique visions to turn their ideas into fascinating tales of the occult and the fantastical.
The Outer Limits revival might be closer than everyone thinks. While we still don’t know just how it will be released or by whom, the possibility seems almost inevitable now. In the meantime, don’t be alarmed, and don’t attempt to adjust the picture on your TV; they control the transmission, after all.