The Outer Limits (1963)

Counterweight, directed by Paul Stanley.

Volunteer explorers sign up for a 261 day simulated space flight. Anyone who can't take the stress: just push the "panic button" and the whole test is scrubbed.

(Note: if the test is successful they are going on the actual mission for another 261 days. Same for the return, I suppose. That's dedication).

There is a strange presence on board: a traveling light accompanied by an eerie music cue. It visits sleepers and reads their minds. It plays tricks on them, driving the passengers mad.

That's not a bad concept but it is developed so slowly, with so much TV psycho-drama and talk-talk that this becomes one of the duller episodes.

What are these people even doing on the mission? Especially the crude construction tycoon: he expects to make billions on another planet.

These "moral little tale" stories are always disappointing.

The cast:

Directory Stanley returns from Second Chance and The Guests.


The Blu-ray commentary track is by Reba Wissner. As for previous episodes she identifies the Ondes Martenot as a keyboard instrument producing a sound much like the theremin.