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Recap / The Outer Limits (1963) S 1 E 7 "O.B.I.T."

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The disguised Lomax speechifies after O.B.I.T. reveals his true appearance.

The Control Voice: In this room, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, security personnel at the Defense Department's Cypress Hills Research Center keep constant watch on its scientists through O.B.I.T., a mysterious electronic device whose very existence was carefully kept from the public at large. And so it would have remained but for the facts you are about to witness…

An ultra-tech surveillance machine creates an atmosphere of paranoia at a research installation.

The Control Voice: Agents of the Justice Department are rounding up the machines now. But these machines, these inventions of another planet, have been cunningly conceived to prey on our most mortal weakness. In the last analysis, dear friends, whether O.B.I.T. lives up to its name or not will depend on you.



  • Alien Invasion: In this case, they plan to soften us up psychologically before they arrive in force.
  • All There in the Script: It's never mentioned in the episode, but the planet Lomax and his fellow aliens come from is named Helos.
  • And Starring: Harry Townes is credited as "Guest Star" and not as part of the usual actor credits.
  • Being Watched: Everyone at Cypress Hills is being watched, and they know it, and it definitely affects their behavior. As Colonel Grover confesses on the witness stand:
    Colonel Grover: [O.B.I.T. is] the most hideous creation ever conceived. No one can laugh or joke. It watches. Saps the very spirit. The worst thing of all is, I watch it. I can't not look. It's like a drug, a horrible drug. You can't resist it. It's an addiction.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The omnipresence of O.B.I.T. leads to an atmosphere of pervasive paranoia at Cypress Hills.
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  • Cyclops: The aliens' true appearance.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The aliens go barefoot when not in their human disguises.
  • Flaw Exploitation: The aliens are aware of humans' tendency to spy on each other and invade each others' privacy, and they plan to use it as the instrument of our downfall.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Lampshaded by the closing narration.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lomax's own O.B.I.T. machine proves to be his undoing.
  • Motive Rant: Lomax delivers a particularly epic example, with side orders of Evil Gloating and "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Lomax: The machines are everywhere! Oh you'll find them all, you're a zealous people. And you'll make a great show of smashing a few of them. But for every one you destroy, hundreds of others will be built. And they will demoralize you, break your spirits, create such rifts and tensions in your society that no one will be able to repair them! Oh, you're a savage, despairing planet, and when we come here to live, you friendless, demoralized flotsam will fall without even a single shot being fired. Senator, enjoy the few years left you; there is no answer. You're all of the same dark persuasion! You demand – insist – on knowing every private thought and hunger of everyone: Your families, your neighbors, everyone — but yourselves.


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