Outer Limits – Bodies of Evidence (06/20/97)

Captain William Clark is being court-martialed for abandoning ship.  The brass don’t believe his wild Outer Limits style story.  They think he stayed in space too long and went crazy.  And, oh yeah, as an aside, he is accused of killing his crew.

We flashback 3 weeks to the UNAS Meridian space station because they couldn’t allow this to be an American mission.  C’mon, I expect American producers to hate America, but this was made in Canada!

One of their experiments is to cure Space Psychosis which prohibits long stays in space.  Clark has already been in space 18 months and has nothing to go back to.  The psychosis seems to set in early on crewman Gordon, though.  As he is inspecting an air duct, he sees his son.  The “kid” runs into the airlock and Gordon follows him.  There is a tight shot of a gloved hand hitting a button that says SEAL AIRLOCK.  The hatch slams shut.  The hand hits the DEPRESSURIZE AIRLOCK button.  Gordon is blown out into space while the “kid” — whatever it is — is apparently immune to the laws of physics. The outer hatch closes again and the “kid” gives a gap-toothed smile at the dead Gordon.[1]

Crewman Somerset believes he sees his wife in the lab.  She shows her boobs and hands him a bottle of wine which he chugs.  He then sees it is actually acid.  There is another tight shot of a hand pressing an alarm button.  Captain Clark finds him dead, foaming at the mouth.

After the laptop fad has passed, we will use chest-tops.

Crewmember Laura is not as fortunate as she is visited by Gerard Depardieu[2] (who, at least, has bigger boobs).  Well, it is some disgusting, greasy-haired Frenchie.  He pulls a knife on her. She fires a pistol which causes an explosion thus illustrating why women pistols should not be allowed on spaceships.

William Clark grabs Dr. Helene Dufour and they abandon ship.  At Clark’s trial, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence.  The lab explosion could have been caused by a pistol like the one Clark carried; and Laura also carried.  The Black Box plays a recording of Gordon talking to Billy in the airlock, as in Billy Clark.  But Gordon’s son’s name was also Billy.  They also have a clip of Somerset calling his visitor Captain; but that  was before he saw who it actually was.

Against the advice of his attorney who happens to be his ex-wife, Clark takes the stand. He has a flashdance flashback to Jennifer Beals appearing on the Meridian as his wife. Unlike the others, he questions her being there immediately and shoots her.

The court rules that the crew went crazy from a gas-leak and each committed suicide.  They relieve Clark of his command and send him to the asylum.  Blah, blah, blah.  Dufour reveals to Clark that she is actually the alien who has morphed into Dufour’s hot, hot body.  There is just absolutely no reason for her to do this.  Sure, he tries to warn everyone, but they have already ruled him insane.  Even for the story, there is just no reason for her to tell him.

Why do movies insist on making screens translucent in the future? You can see the judges right through it.

That’s not the real problem though — there is just a lethargy to the episode.  The murders are expedited 1-2-3 pretty efficiently. This gets us to the trial pretty early.  I would have preferred a little more time aboard the Meridian.  It seems like a lot of money was spent on sets, design, and weightless effects, but they are mostly gone after less than 10 minutes. I guess they made up the budget on the back end.  The trial scene seems to have been filmed in someone’s dark workshed.  Apart from one entirely impractical translucent video screen, it is just wooden chairs and a table.  Maybe it would have worked better to have more flashbacks in the beautiful well-lit space-station interspersed throughout the dark trial.

Outer Limits is never going to fall below a certain level, but this one tested me.


  • [1] Not to nitpick, but whose hand was hitting the airlock button?  The alien was imitating the kid.  Gordon was not wearing gloves and would not have blasted himself out the airlock anyway.  If this was a deliberate ruse to make Clark look guilty, for shame, Outer Limits, for shame.
  • [2] There is a later suggestion he is a Russian.  Don’t know, don’t care.

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