The Outer Limits: Soldier

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…

The Outer Limits: Soldier

Season Two, Episode 1
September, 1964

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In celebration of the upcoming Terminator film, here is footage from an eerily familiar story of a war from the future that finds its way into our time.

Based on a short story by Harlan Ellison (the man behind another OL classic Demon With a Glass Hand), Soldier is a clever time travel story with many wonderful touches. The last two soldiers of a war set in the far future are somehow cast backwards in time to the 20th Century. Appearing to be mentally deranged or damaged, Qarlo attempts to form a mental link with a house cat, light a cigarette by striking it along the side of the box and speaks in a guttural slur of words that sounds foreign but is actually English chopped to pieces and re-assembled.

The Outer Limits is a 1960’s TV series responsible for some of the most mind-bendingly original ideas ever developed for science fiction. A hallmark of its time, the series is surprisingly not remembered as fondly as other programs of its era such as the Twilight Zone. Recently released on DVD, the program has a new chance to attract a whole new audience.

As the science fiction genre enjoys another revival, there can be no better time to delve into this world and be part of ‘a great adventure.’

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