Created by Leslie Stevens, The Outer Limits was a moody American science fiction television show from the mid-1960s, one of the many series ostensibly influenced by The Twilight Zone (though ultimately influential in its own right). Like classic television "playhouse" dramas, episodes are unrelated and have no direct "sequels" or consistent characters. However, subtle recurring entities, such as the fictional United Space Agency (a mix of experimental scientists, psychiatrists, and G-men), did provide a thread of similarity, as did the notable alien creatures seen in most episodes. Equally, the show's visual and auditory style lends artful consistency. Short-lived, the show originally ran from 1963 to 1965 on the American broadcast network ABC; writers included creator Stevens and Joseph Stefano (screenwriter for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho), the series' first-season producer and energetic guiding force. Firebrand Harlan Ellison wrote two episodes (Soldier and the award-winning Demon with a Glass Hand) for the show's more cautious second season; Ellison later argued that both episodes were the inspiration for the Terminator film series.
The Outer Limits was revived in 1995 by the pay-tv channel Showtime and later sold to syndication. It ran for seven seasons until 2002. In every season there is a clip show attempting to connect the plots of half of the episodes that season. A scene of soft-core sex is frequently featured per episode as well. In fact, the show released a DVD anthology called Sex & Science Fiction. Female top nudity is occasionally featured. Settings are mostly modern on earth, sometimes into the future. Space travel and time travel are sometimes themes as well.