The oft-mentioned John Scoleri is a Matheson expert of long standing, who has championed my book on his own and other websites, but when he invited me to contribute to We Are Controlling Transmission, where he and Peter Enfantino hold forth daily on an episode of The Outer Limits, I was both honored and apprehensive. Honored because the level of scholarship they, their guest contributors, and various commentators have displayed on WACT and its predecessor, A Thriller a Day, is awe-inspiring. Apprehensive because, if the truth be known, I am neither an expert on, nor necessarily even a big fan of, The Outer Limits, a fact that I immediately confessed to John.
The usual format is for the boys to review each episode and then have one of their guests write a “Spotlight” to complement the post, generally displaying the contributor’s passionate enthusiasm for said episode. I said that if they needed a hand, I’d be willing to tackle the two episodes based on published stories by Jerry Sohl, “The Invisible Enemy” and “Counterweight,” partly because adaptations are my stock in trade (residing at the nexus as I do), and partly because I interviewed Jerry back in 1999. Since they were not only from the show’s widely reviled second season, but also regarded as low points of said season, I presume there was very little competition for those.
As you will see from my post, I wasn’t in a position to muster up the kind of spirited defense that many of my fellow contributors have made of “lesser” episodes, but I hope that my more literary approach will be of interest to at least some readers. If nothing else, it will be interesting to catch what happens when the erudite WACT commentariat is unleashed on them…and me. Judging by the comments on John and Peter’s original post, it should be a lively exchange, to say the least.