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The Outer Limits: The Architects of Fear

Scientists secretly plan to unify all the nations of the Earth by using a phoney alien being, thanks to the drugs and highly advanced surgery. They draw lots among themselves to determine which one of them will sacrifice his humanity to save Mankind.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x3
Airdate: Monday September 30th, 1963

Director: Byron Haskin
Writer: Meyer Dolinsky

  • Currently 8/10
8/10 (1 Vote cast)
Special Guest Stars
Geraldine Brooks
As Yvette Leighton

Guest Stars
Robert Culp
As Allen Leighton
Leonard Stone
As Dr. Philip Gainer
Martin Wolfson
As Dr. Herschel

Co-Guest Stars
Hal Bokar
As Bert Balsey
Billy Green Bush
As Big Tom (as William Bush)
Lee Zimmer
As Carl Ford

Douglas Henderson
As Dr. Paul Fredericks
Janos Prohaska
As Allen-as-Thetan
Main Cast
Vic Perrin
voiced The Control Voice


People in a nearby city panic when a nuclear missiles goes astray. It detonates harmlessly but a group of scientists take notice of the incident, the fourth near miss since the thermonuclear age began. Dr. Philip Gainer warns his associates that there will inevitably be more incidents, and one will prove fatal. He proposes that they make the nations of the world unite. As they listen to a painful squealing noise from a covered box, Dr. Herschel says that one of them will have to undergo the same ordeal...

Read the full recap
Episode Quotes
Opening Narration: Is this the day? Is this the beginning of the end? There is no time to wonder, no time to ask, "Why is it happening, why is it finally happening?" There is time only for fear, for the piercing pain of panic. Do we pray? Or do we merely run now, and pray later? Will there be a later? Or is this the day?

Dr. Philip Gainer: Now I don't care what reading of history you take. The pattern is always the same. Whenever a bacterium invasion strikes or a fire rages or a wild beast roams the streets. Then and only then do men stop fighting each other and work together to save themselves. A common enemy, a common fear. That is the only answer. If all the men of the Earth are threatened by an enemy from a hostile planet... well, gentlemen, we are going to create that enemy.

Dr. Philip Gainer: Ah, yes, I see a long journey in your future. During which you will become a small, dark stranger.

Allen Leighton: Stay back. Stay back. You think your putty little hands can hold Prometheus? Odysseus? Tychostar?

Allen Leighton: Can it really work?
Dr. Philip Gainer: Allen, there are no absolutes. You know that better than anyone. I put your probability of success at 70, 80%. Millions of soldiers have gone into battle, wars of hate, with less odds. And with less cause.
Allen Leighton: I... did need that. Thanks.

Yvette Leighton: You killed him. And for what?
Dr. Philip Gainer: Yvette... if he could go so far to save us all, maybe everywhere people... all of us might be shamed into stopping just a little to save ourselves.

Closing Narration: Scarecrows and magic and other fatal fears do not bring people closer together. There is no magic substitute for soft caring and hard work, for self-respect and mutual love. If we can learn this from the mistake these frightened men made, then their mistake will not have been merely grotesque. It will have been at least a lesson—a lesson at last to be learned.

Episode Goofs
When the scientists take the gurney with Allen on it into the elevator, it's clear that there is no elevator since there's no dividing line on the floor.

Cultural References
Allen Leighton: I am Caliban. With a PhD.

Caliban is a beastman, servant to Prospero, in Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorJoseph Stefano  |  Leslie Stevens
Executive ProducerLeslie Stevens
ProducerJoseph Stefano
Associate ProducerLeon Chooluck
MusicDominic Frontiere
Music SupervisorJohn Elizalde
Key GripHenry Maak
Set DecoratorChester L. Bayhi
Property MasterRichard M. Rubin
Script SupervisorHope McLachlin
Production CoordinatorElaine Michea
Director of PhotographyConrad L. Hall
Art DirectorJack Poplin
Production ManagerLindsley Parsons, Jr.
Sound MixerJay Ashworth
Special EffectsThol Simonson
Film EditorAnthony DiMarco
Special Creature DesignWah Chang
CostumerForrest T. Butler  |  Sabine Manela
Assistant DirectorLee H. Katzin
Production ExecutiveDominic Frontiere
Music CoordinatorRoger A. Farris
Production AssociateJohn Erman
ElectricianLloyd L. Garnell
Story ConsultantLou Morheim
Sound Effects EditorArthur J. Cornall
Make-up SupervisorFred B. Phillips
Special Photographic EffectsRalph Rodine  |  Jim Danforth  |  Paul Lebaron
Supervising Film EditorRichard K. Brockway
Warning: The Outer Limits season 1 episode 3 guide may contain spoilers
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