Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Outer Limits: The Inheritors

Just uploaded screencaps for The Inheritors to the Steve Ihnat site. He works opposite Robert Duvall in this, and the two men will work again about 4 years later in another SF story, the movie Countdown.

The Outer Limits: The Inheritors

The Outer Limits is known for its aliens, or "bears" as the writers called them. "The Zanti Misfits" is a popular episode, as is "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" starring William Shatner, and "Demon With A Glass Hand," written by Harlan ELlison, starring Robert Culp.

The Inheritors has no such trappings. It's a simple suspense story - four men have been shot in the head with fragments made from the same meteor, and they now have genius level IQs and seem to be controlled by an exterior intelligence. Three of them are building a space ship, one of them, Steve Ihnat, is going about recruiting handicapped children.

For what purpose?

Robert Duvall delivers an excellent performance as Adam Ballard, desperate to try to find out what is happening, desperate to save the children from being experimented on, as he thinks is what's going to happen. He begs the mind-controlled men to fight, to resist....

Steve gives a very understated performance as the leader of the mind-controlled. He doesn't know why he's doing what he's doing, it "does matter," as he tells Ballard, but he can't fight it just as they can't fight him.

I won't give away the ending - though if you check the screencaps you'll see.

The casting is multi-racial. Ivan Dixon (of Hogan's Heroes fame) plays one of the new geniuses, and three of the children are also black. TV during the 60s was doing its part to integrate America (indeed, as radio had done before it).

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