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Production and Decay of Strange Particles


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This has to be the most confusing of all Outer Limits episodes. It also doesn't help that a lot of scientific gobbledygook is thrown around much like the isotope is in this episode. With those short comings however this is still a fairly decent episode, and worthy of a second viewing. The thought of life from another dimension always piques my interest, and this time is no exception. Plus, even though he "dies" (I guess you could call it that) rather quickly, it's still always nice to see Leonard Nimoy outside of Trek. Another familiar face is George MacReady from "The Invisibles"; however he's much less of a blessing here than he was in that episode. Dr. Marshall's cowardice is quite pathetic, and MacReady's portrayal of his self-loathing is painfully over-dramaticized ("No Use!").

 

What is unfortunate about this episode of Outer Limits is that, unlike others, there is really no emotional connection developed between the audience and the characters. Put simply, it's a pure "science gone wrong" story, and that is all. Science gone wrong tales are fine, and this one is entertaining, but at the end everything is wrapped up nice and neat, and nothing is left for the audience to ponder once the control voice signs off. No profound and prevelant message to consider is ever put forth here, unlike such episodes as "The Sixth Finger", "The Guests", and "The Man Who Was Never Born". This is not to deride or detract from "Production and Decay of Strange Particles", as I said before it is an entertaining entry in the series, but it lacks the eloquence and forethought displayed so brilliantly by writers like Stefano in the past.

 

What more can be said about "Production and Decay of Strange Particles"? It's easily a nice distraction from the world, especially if all one is looking for is entertainment. Like most sci-fi "B" movies from the 1950s it is easily watchable, and might even be considered by some Outer Limits fans to be a sort of cult classic. MacReady's performance dramatically improves in the second-half of the story, and the story itself is saved by the charged particle "beings"; completely fascinating and utterly unique, they serve as the unwavering axiom of the totally alien lifeform set forth by the series creators. This episode, although mediocre in Outer Limits standards, is nevertheless light years beyond anything currently shown on television today. They simply do not make television shows as good as the classic Outer Limits anymore.

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