The Mice

The Outer Limits (1963)

The Mice, directed by Alan Crosland, Jr.

Scientists need a volunteer for a matter transmitter experiment. They don't seem too keen to try it themselves so look for an expendable subject in prison and get one in an ex-boxer serving a life sentence. You can be sure he will be checking the doors and windows at the lab. After a while he is no longer a volunteer, but government property like one of the lab mice.

Turns out the experiment is an exchange of test subjects with aliens from a distant star who provided the technology. Like the previous episode -- The Zanti Misfits -- this is an alien deception plot. What are they really after?

In many ways the alien visitor is impressively disgusting, like one of those microscopic crustaceans enlarged to our size. The human legs spoil the effect, but that's the budget.

Several things I don't understand:

We have a lot of running around in this story and I think the plot could have been tightened up.

Some good points:

Henry Silva returns from Tourist Attraction. He's the only actor I recognize apart from Dabney Coleman in a small part.

This episode has a lot of new music, a very eerie SF sound.

Photographed by Conrad Hall.

The Blu-ray commentary track has Reba Wissner on the score and the musical instruments created for the series.

She says this episode was cited in congressional hearings as an example of excess horror and violence on television, specifically the scene where the alien attacks and drowns one of the scientists.