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190415 April 15, 2019


The Outer Limits TV Intro

No Limits to The Outer Limits
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    If you remember, back in our days it was not uncommon for one TV network to take the general idea from a competing network when a show becomes a hit. Think of shows like Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare or Combat and The Gallant Men and other shows such as that. The Twilight Zone was no exception to this network competition.

    The Outer Limits was broadcast on ABC from 1963 to 1965 at 7:30 PM Eastern Time on Monday nights. The series is often compared to The Twilight Zone, but with a greater emphasis on science fiction stories (rather than stories of fantasy or the supernatural matters). The Outer Limits is an anthology of self-contained episodes, sometimes with a plot twist at the end. 

    In total, 49 episodes were produced. It was one of many series influenced by The Twilight Zone and Science Fiction Theatre, though it ultimately proved influential in its own right. The Outer Limits was usually a straight action-and-suspense show which often had the human spirit in confrontation with dark existential forces from within or without.

    Each show began with either a cold open or a preview clip, followed by a "Control Voice" narration that was mainly run over visuals of an oscilloscope, using an Orwellian theme of taking over your television. A similar but shorter monologue caps each episode: "We now return control of your television set to you. Until next week at the same time, when the control voice will take you to – The Outer Limits."

    I can not think of The Outer Limits television series without also thinking about a record which was released with the same name, and one who's title always bugged me back then. Although it was titled "Outer Limits" the main notes were actually the opening notes not of "The Outer Limits" but rather the eerie haunting soundtrack from "The Twilight Zone." 

The Outer Limits

    "Out of Limits" is a 1963 surf rock instrumental piece written by Michael Z. Gordon and performed by The Marketts.

    While on tour with a band called the Routers, Gordon wrote the Marketts’ first release on the Warner Bros. label and their biggest hit, an instrumental called “Outer Limits”. First pressings were issued as "Outer Limits", named and surf-styled after the television program of the same name. However, Rod Serling sued the Marketts for quoting the four note motif from his television show, The Twilight Zone, without his approval, which resulted in the change of the title to "Out of Limits". The record has been described as "an intriguing up-beat disc with a galloping rhythm".

    The song peaked at #3 in February 1964 on the Hot 100 for two weeks and on Cashbox for one week. It stayed on both the Hot 100 and Cashbox for 14 weeks. The song sold over a million copies globally, topped the charts on many U.S. radio stations, and earned Gordon a BMI award. It brought the studio group national prominence, and many radio, nightclub and personal appearances.

    The Ventures also had a very popular version of the song that was included on their 1964 album The Ventures In Space.

    Out of Limits” is a popular choice for television and film soundtracks; it can be heard in Pulp Fiction (1994).

    To me "Out of Limits" not only copied some of the notes from "The Twilight Zone" theme, but when I first heard it, it reminded me of the style of another group, The Tornados, a British group who recorded one of my favorite instrumentals of the era "Telstar."


    I remember Telstar as being one of my favorite songs on one of my journalism trips to the Alabama High School Press Association at the University of Alabama, when I was working on the original Lee's Traveller. It is funny how things like that stick in your mind when you can't remember what you had for breakfast the day before.

    Oh, and just for the record, the Telstar predated the British Invasion by the Beatles and was the first song to be selected as U.S. #1 by a British rock group. Up to that point, and since World War II, there had only been three British names that topped the U.S. chart: in May 1962 "Stranger on the Shore" by the soloist clarinetist Mr. Acker Bilk; the second was "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" by Laurie London (1958), whilst the first was "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart" by Vera Lynn (1952).

        Memphis, TN - I lost internet Saturday afternoon and will have to rely on my smartphone data until next Tuesday.

     I had hoped for some better interaction on last week’s Traveller but only heard back from Spencer Thompson, who I can always rely on for feedback.

South Parkway, Huntsville, AL
Thursday,  April 25, 2019
11:00 AM

       Attention to all fellow classmates from the classes of ’64, ‘65 and ’66.

    Due to a recent lease disagreement between Galen’s and their landlord, Galen’s unfortunately has had to vacate their current location on Andrew Jackson Way. They will hopefully find a new place in that same area very soon. However, our group will need to meet at another location, at least for this time.

    Everything else is still the same as far as date and time. Hope to see you all there!
Patsy Hughes Oldroyd ‘65

Judy Fedrowisch Kincaid
Please let us hear from you by phone, text, email or on Facebook. Thanks!


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Unchained Melody 

Spencer Thompson 

LHS ‘64

Thanks Tommy great newsletter I love history do enjoyed the history of Unchained Melody my favorite performance of that was when Elvis did it in Las Vegas.



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