You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby

Some people prefer the Stones, others the Beatles. Some prefer the
Yanks, others the Mets. Some prefer Letterman, others Leno. Some prefer rice, others potato. And some
prefer The Twilight Zone, others The Outer Limits.

For me, The Twilight Zone remains the sina qua non of the sci-fi/social commentary genre yet from time to time I watch The Outer Limits to clear my head of excess metaphor and allegory. Outer Limits was not as well written or acted or directed, although the title sequence (“Do
not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If
we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to
make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We can reduce the focus
to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. We will control the
horizontal. We will control the vertical.”
), is just as good.

Also TOL had many more great black and white monsters in its
repretory than TZ. For those who don’t recall, or weren’t even born,
here is a sampling of the best low-tech extraterrestials on TV. And
don’t forget The Outer Limits credo:

“It is said that if you move a single pebble on the
beach, you set up a different pattern, and everything in the world is
changed. It can also be said that love can change the future, if it is
deep enough, true enough, and selfless enough. It can prevent a war,
prohibit a plague, keep the whole world… whole.”
Daily Heller, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.