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In a devastated future, two footsoldiers fight each other in a twilight landscape. Suddenly, beams of light send them in the present time: 1964. One of them, Qarlo, appears in broad daylight, in the street of a big city and frightens the population. He's arrested by the police and locked up in an official asylum where one philologist watches, studies, establishes a communication and tames him. Later on, Qarlo is released and taken to the scientist's family home. Meanwhile, the other soldier is stalked between two times. Qarlo escapes from the home and is caught up while robbing a rifle store. Back home, alerted by the pet (Macbeth, the cat), he faces again his mortal enemy. By accident, the two warriors are desintegrated by a laser beam machine gun.

Episode Info

Episode number: 2x1
Airdate: Saturday September 19th, 1964

Director: Gerd Oswald
Writer: Harlan Ellison

  • Currently 8.5/10
8.5/10 (2 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Marlowe Jensen
As Sgt. Berry
Tim O'Connor
As Paul Tanner
Allen Jaffe
As Enemy
Catherine McLeod
As Abby Kagan
Jill Hill (1)
As Toni Kagan
Lloyd Nolan
As Tom Kagan
Michael Ansara
As Qarlo Clobregnny
Ralph Hart
As Loren Kagan
Main Cast
Vic Perrin
voiced The Control Voice
Episode Notes
This is generally regarded as being one of the main sources for The Terminator, and the basis for author Harlan Ellison's lawsuit against James Cameron after that movie was released.

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration: Night comes too soon on the battlefield. For some men it comes permanently; their eyes never open to the light of day. But for this man, fighting this war, there is never total darkness. The spidery beams of light in the sky are the descendants of the modern laser beam—heat rays that sear through tungsten steel and flesh as though they were cheesecloth. And this soldier must go against those weapons. His name is Qarlo, and he is a footsoldier, the ultimate infantryman. Trained from birth by the State, he has never known love, or closeness, or warmth. He is geared for only one purpose: to kill the Enemy. And the Enemy waits for him...

Additional Narration: Time is fluid. The waters of forever close—and passage may not be completed. The present and the future are for a moment united. And the Enemy, half-today, half-tomorrow, is locked between.

Closing Narration: From the darkest of all pits, the soul of Man, come the darkest questions: Did the soldier finally come to care for those he protected? Or was it just his instinct to kill? Questions from the dark pit. But no answers. For answers lie in the future. Is it a future in which men are machines, born to kill, or is there time for us? Time. All the time in the world... but is that enough?

Inspector Paul Tanner: Ho, now, wait just a second, friend, you lost your mind, that's not some ordinary psycho down there, that's the most dangerous piece of equipment I've ever seen!

Other Episode Crew

CreatorJoseph Stefano  |  Leslie Stevens
Warning: The Outer Limits season 2 episode 1 guide may contain spoilers
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