Friday, December 13, 2013

Talking Bees, A Killer Moon Plant and Curvy Ladies: A Fun Day with The Outer Limits

I watched a dozen episodes of The Outer Limits in one day.  It was a marathon with breaks only for snacks and squirts.  I have to admire the series for its audaciousness.  I mean, I couldn't do anything but laugh at killer moon plants that shoot popcorn and talcum powder.  

My favorite innovation, though, was a bee-to-human language translator introduced in the episode "Zzzzzz."  Once the machine translates bee-buzz into English, it relays the words out of a speaker box in a high-pitched, Mayor-of-Munchin-City voice.  That is funny stuff. 

Marianna Hill and Peter Brocco in "I, Robot" (November 14, 1964)
What makes the series even more enjoyable is the curvy-hipped actresses that share screen time with the robots and the aliens.  I love the fact that, in the late 1950s and the early 1960s, television casting directors favored actresses with a Marilyn Monroe type of physique.  I see this a lot in episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  The lead actress would be curvy, the actress with a nonspeaking role as a receptionist would be curvy, and the actress who makes a brief appearance walking out of the bank would be curvy.  It was Planet of the Marilyns.  After Marilyn died, these well-rounded actresses gradually disappeared from the television landscape.  I can think of a number of actresses, including Sue Ane Langdon and Emmaline Henry, who survived the transition by quickly slimming down from Monroe size to Jackie Kennedy size.  The Outer Limits captured the last burning embers of television's Marilyn era.

Here are just a few of The Outer Limits Babes of the Week.

Salome Jens in "Corpus Earthling" (November 18, 1963)


Barbara Luna in "It Crawled Out of the Woodwork" (December 9, 1963)

Grace Lee Whitney in "Controlled Experiment" (January 13, 1964)


Joanna Frank in "ZZZZZ" (January 27, 1964)


Dee Hartford"The Invisibles" (February 3, 1964)

Janet De Gore in "Second Chance" (March 2, 1964)


Constance Towers in "The Duplicate Man" (December 19, 1964)

Elizabeth Perry in "The Brain of Colonel Barham" (January 2, 1965)

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