The fifth episode of the original 1960’s sci-fi series, The Outer Limits is an interesting instalment of the ground-breaking show. But it is not remarkable. The reason that we are reviewing this today or that anyone would single this show out from most others is its dubious connection with James Cameron’s The Terminator (1984).
Infamously, both this and more over an earlier episode, Solider, have both been said to be the inspiration for the Terminator franchise and that in fact, James Cameron and his co-writer, Gale-Ann Hurd, had plagiarised the material in order to create the narrative of their own hit movie.
Soldier is much closer to The Terminator than Demon With A Glass Hand could be, following a man who has only been alive for ten days, trying to reconstruct a glass hand, where the fingers are processors containing information about his purpose and the whereabouts of mankind, a millennia in the future.
Humanity has disappeared, gone into hiding from an alien invasion force and they are hell-bent on discovering their whereabouts, following the man, Robert Culp, into the present (1964), to kill and stop him from reconstructing the hand. It turns out that his is fact a cyborg, hence The Terminator connection, and he contains the human race which has been reduced to electrical impulses. He must take care of them until it is safe to resurface 1000 years in the future.
Overall, it is a perfectly good episode, serviceable and forward thinking, especially with the idea of storing consciousness inside computers, though here it is more of an analogue system but still; As with many Outer Limits shows, I am just not as engrossed as I want to be. The story seems to plod along with generally unlikable characters. I do not care much for Culp’s “Demon” here nor think too much about his enemy.
If it was not for the Terminator connection, I would not have made and effort to see this episode, neither would I go out of my way to recommend it to anyone else.