THE OUTER LIMITS: THE FORM OF THINGS UNKNOWN, d. Gerd Oswald (1964)
‘My Mr. Hobart tinkers with time, just as time tinkers with Mr. Hobart’
This episode was the last of the first series, and was originally planned as the pilot for a new anthology show called ‘The Unknown’. It is as weird as hell, comprising an strange, disjointed plot, sinister performances, some arty and experimental camera work and an overwrought atmosphere that wouldn’t seem out of place in one of Tennessee Williams’ more hysterical psychodramas.
The story involves the poisoning of a gigolo by two women, and his subsequent resurrection by a once dead scientist who is now stuck in the realm of the living due to the intervention of his time machine, which comprises a 'million mad clocks' and a thousand taut pieces of wire. The scientist wants to go back to whatever lies beyond the grave, and the two women want the gigolo dead again. All three will get what they want, but not until fifty minutes of tense and unsettling television has played out.
The most impenetrable episode yet, the show is made of shadows and madness and is actually quite scary in its own way, not least in the fact that it makes the viewer wonder if what they are seeing is really there, or whether they themselves are having some sort of breakdown.