The Outer Limits

Dominic Frontiere

" While it is primarily aimed at the fan of the series or collector of Dominic Frontiere it does have enough varied and interesting material to appeal to the general film score collector. "

Written by Thomas Kiefner - Review of the deluxe edition

With the now famous opening statement of announcer Vic Perrin "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission..." the Outer Limits began. In a short run on television of only two years (1963-1965), with 49 episodes, the Leslie Stevens show developed quite a following. Even today it can be classified in the cult status with followers being the most likely purchasers of this (3) CD set. While some of the special effects can be smiled at today, the acting cannot. Robert Culp, Robert Duval, Martin Landau, Leonard Nimoy, and Geraldine Brooks are just a few who participated. Stephen King called it "the best program of its type to run on network TV."

A word of caution: This set has nothing to do with the revived version of 154 shows that ran from (1995-2002), nor does it have anything to do with final 17 episodes, composed by Harry "One Step Beyond" Lubin, including a new theme. This CD set consists of 10 episodes composed and conducted by Dominic Frontiere except for 3 cues in the Don't Open Till Doomsday episode and the show Tourist Attraction composed by Robert Van Eps, orchestrator and teacher of Frontiere. Some of the material was released in 1993 on GNPD 8032 but it only includes music from 3 episodes along with 16 sound effects tracks from various episodes. The new release includes 10 episodes along with all the variations of the opening and closing voice versions (Vic Perrin) as well as the short and long versions of the main title.

While Dominic created a noteworthy motif for The Outer Limits, one of the more recognizable television themes, he'll always be remembered for the Clint Eastwood Hang 'Em High film, at least by this reviewer. The 1968 film was my first experience with Dominic and I remember both the film and the yellow cover of the United Artist LP well. While I remember seeing all of the episodes of The Outer Limits in the 60's I don't recall much of the music except for the Vic Perrin lead-in followed by that memorable soundbyte.

With 180 minutes of music on the 3 CD's, including most of the original material (13 of the 32 episodes received original scores), this is a full evening worth of listening. Architects of Fear has a first class heart felt love theme. Featured in the track "Scarecrows" and "Requiem for a Scarecrow" this theme could easily fit into any of 100 different films with a romantic encounter. The Hundred Days of the Dragon, included in the GNP release, is a Oriental flavor work featuring harp and bass clarinet (remind you of Herrmann?). Both of these episodes took advantage of the 44 piece orchestra, which was used on one occasion in August of 1963.

Nightmare, also included in the GNP release, features a chamber orchestra and a home-made oscillator nicknamed "Onafets" (Stefano a writer for the show spelled backwards) to give it a sci-fi sound effect without the use of a theremin. Tourist Attraction, written by Robert Van Eps, features some very generic traditional type Hispanic music as well as some downright scary tracks with the bass clarinet again.

This reviewer would love to have the library of videos and books that Randall Larson, writer of the CD booklet, has at his disposal. There is enough information made available about the series, composer, and cues without going completely overboard and offering a book along with the CD set. All in all this is a very nice package! While it is primarily aimed at the fan of the series or collector of Dominic Frontiere it does have enough varied and interesting material to appeal to the general film score collector. At $ 34.95 it is a nice bargain at less than $ 12.00 a CD. Recommended.


CD 1: 55.26
Episode 'The Architects of Fear'
1. The Control Voice [Long Version] (1.08)
2. The Outer Limits Main Title [Version #1] (0.24)
3. Teaser: Nuclear War / "To be Turned Into That" (0.51)
4. The Lottery / Alan Leighton / The Point of no Return / Baby Talk (4.39)
5. Scarecrows (Alan and Yvette Love Theme) (2.42)
6. Alan's Departure / The Telegram / Maturity Cloths (2.02)
7. Double Vision/Madness / Aborted Phone Call / Sadness (3.36)
8. The Spaceship / Alien on the Loose / Alan Returns to the Lab / The Truth Revealed (2.54)
9. Requiem for a Scarecrow (2.30)

Episode 'Controlled Experiment'
10. Spaceship / The City #1 / The Pawn Shop / The Customer / Coffee and Cigarettes / Act Out (3.10)
11. The City #2 / The Hotel / Time Loops / The Shooting / "Put it Back the Way it Was!" (6.01)
12. Marriage Proposal #1 / Marriage Proposal #2 / A Happy Ending (2.32)

Episode 'Tourist Attraction' - Score by Robert Van Eps
13. The Republic of San Blaz (0.59)
14. Creature on TV / First Dive (1.39)
15. Drive to the Party (0.23)
16. Party Source Cue #1 (2.15)
17. Party Source Cue #2 (4.09)
18. The Old Gods (1.19)
19. Dive #2 / Capturing the Creature (3.49)
20. Photo Op (0.50)
21. The Creature Wakes (2.09)
22. To the Rescue / Nets (1.11)
23. Love Scene (2.04)
24. Finale: Act Out (0.24)
25. The Outer Limits End Credits [Long Version, Stereo] (1.01)

CD 2: 63.40
Episode 'Nightmare'
1. The Control Voice [Short Version] (0.46)
2. The Outer Limits Main Title [Version #2] (0.21)
3. Prologue (1.53)
4. Ebonite POW Camp (1.53)
5. Tortures of the Mind (3.11)
6. Turning On one Another (2.02)
7. The Verdict and Sentence (3.20)
8. The Truth Revealed and Epilogue (3.32)

Episode 'Don't Open Till Doomsday'
9. Wedding Party Source (2.46)
10. The Years Pass / Phone Call (2.01)
11. Dark Corridor (1.36)
12. Crazy Lady Source Cue (2.28)
13. Unopened Box / Scared (1.42)
14. Groom be Gone (0.55)
15. Bride be Gone / Box Creature (2.54)
16. Crazy Lady Room / Back to Room (1.44)
17. A Father's Search / Upstairs / Zapped into Box (3.46)
18. The Price of Freedom / Double Cross / The House is Destroyed (3.29)

Episode 'The Man Who Was Never Born'
19. Teaser / Enter Andro / The Library / Return to the Past (3.01)
20. Andro & Noelle Theme / "Moments, Men & Places" (6.16)
21. Andro Breaks Mirror / Andro Revealed (1.57)
22. Time Crossed Lovers / The Big Chase / Take Off (8.16)
23. "I Was Never Born!" / A Better World (2.16)
24. The Outer Limits End Credits [Version #2] (0.56)

CD 3: 62.31
Episode '100 Days of the Dragon'
1. The Outer Limits Main Title [Version #3] (0.24)
2. The Slumbering Giant (1.21)
3. Malleable Flesh / Transformation (4.57)
4. Assassination / I Didn’t Know You Had a Gun / Election / Voting and Swearing In (5.12)
5. Washington D.C. / Bad Guys Meet in Oval Office / Unmasked! (3.10)

Episode 'The Mice'
6. What Planet / Planet Chromo / 3 O'Clock / Chromoite Beams In / Attempted Escape (4.40)
7. Alien Pond Scum / Alien Overhears Plan / Kill Jong / Escape and Recaptured (4.01)
8. Chromoite Dinner / Transmat Attempt / Chromoite Breaks In / Act Out (2.13)
9. Jelly Morton / Chromoite Lurking / Chromoite Kills Guard / Battle With Chromoite / Big Finish (7.22)
10. Epilogue With a Jelly Doughnut (0.52)

Episode 'The Human Factor'
11. It's Here / Monster Appears (1.22)
12. Love Revealed / You Don't Need Me / Major Arrives and Talks / I'm the Doctor / Monster #2 / Getting the Gun (8.02)
13. Building Terror (1.23)
14. Phone Call / Look Into my Eyes / The Key / Escape / Struggle and Gunshot (5.17)
15. Love Theme Reprise (2.16)

Episode 'ZZZZZ'
16. Teaser (5.17)
17. Buzzing About (2.16)

Episode 'The Borderland'
18. The Big Finish (4.30)
19. Closing Narration Music (1.02)
20. Control Voice Sign Off (0.14)
21. The Outer Limits End Credits [Version #3] (0.48)
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 11 votes - average 3.82/5)

Released by

La-La Land Records LLLCD 1070 (limited release 2008)

Produced by

MV Gerhard, Matt Verboys, and Dominic Frontiere

Mastered by

James Nelson