The Galaxy Being

The Outer Limits (1963)

The Galaxy Being, written and directed by Leslie Stevens.

A devoted radio engineer develops 3D television and tunes into microwave broadcasts from another galaxy. Inadvertently: it is also a matter transmitter. He has already cobbled together an automatic language translator. When an irresponsible DJ turns the power up too high, First Contact follows.

This is a fine pilot episode for the series. The alien effects are pretty simple superimposed negatives, but that nicely suggests a truly alien incompatible form of matter. The visitor looks like the surface of a star with sunspots.

As always, the sound and visual design of the program is superb. The music cues bring back so many memories, tying the whole series together.

The plot is a familiar one of obsessed scientist in tension with his wife and social obligations. See Altered States (1980) for another treatment. The clever bit this time is that the only like-minded friend our hero can find is a deathless "nitrogen-cycle" (?) being from Andromeda. Who is also a renegade, breaking the rules to contact other life.

The story pauses for a couple instances of TV drama-speak between husband and wife. We see the show is still rooted in the TV anthology genre of the 1950s, which itself had roots in radio serials of the decade before: often the same actors, same types of stories.

We have parallels to The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951): our fear of the alien, his healing powers, and his final lecture on the need for understanding.


The commentary track is by Outer Limits expert and author David J Schow. He gives much background on Leslie Stevens and the origins of the series.