After a long day of rearranging things in the house, working on my plants, setting up shelving in the living room, at 1 AM early Monday morning, May 11, I tuned in to a cable station called Decade TV for Route 66 with guest star Susan Oliver. She’s one of the main characters in the first Star Trek pilot The Cage, perhaps my favorite Trek episode of all – even the extended version which includes Captain Kirk and actor Malachi Throne – The Menagerie. Decade TV is going to launch something on May 25th but what is clear to me is that with three channels going into the 1960s television programs, it is a field day for those of us who want to study (and be entertained by) these terrific storylines and the wonderful black and white filming that had so much care and artistry.
On another cable station – THIS TV – was the usual Sunday night Outer Limits with, this one with Leonard Nimoy as Konig in a story – Production and Decay of Strange Particles. Going to Wikipedia and typing in Nimoy, Oliver and other stars of the day, it is staggering all the TV work that they did, and the possibility in the time when copyrights expire and new technologies make your computer a mini-Hollywood that clever adventurers will come up with new Star Trek episodes utilizing cast members performances in other shows. The possibilities are endless, from putting all their words into computers to come up with new scripts to digitally enhancing the images from back in the day for new dramas and science fiction exploration.
IMDB has a plot summary of the Outer Limits program with Nimoy which I just caught fragments of as I was intent on George Maharis and Martin Millner’s interactions with Susan Oliver on Route 66. She appeared in three different Route 66 episodes!
“Production and Decay of Strange Particles” is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 20 April 1964 (10 years before the Nov. 13, 1974 Amityville “horror”) during the first season.” And what’s with this Amityville kind of creepy episode, very dark and eerie… On November 13, 1974, police discovered six members of the DeFeo family — father, mother and four of their five children — shot and killed execution style at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. (Continued in the comments section)
Was this episode of Route 66 a precursor to the terror that would make the place famous (infamous) a decade later?
Now on METV the Perry Mason series has many actors who traversed the Star Trek universe. It is actually some kind of quasi extension of Star Trek to see so many of the character actors and actresses dipping in and out of Perry Mason, Route 66, Outer Limits
“Route 66” Welcome to Amity (TV Episode 1961) on IMDb: Tod and Buz, working as laborers in a factory in Amity, Ohio, meet a strange young woman at their boarding house. She is towing a headstone on a trail” from IMDB.
What this turned out to be was a ROUTE 66 marathon on “Decade” TV – a channel I had not heard of before, just stumbled on it on the portion of the information superhighway they limit us to on Fios. Flipping back and forth between Route 66 and Outer Limits (remember, Outer is Route spelled sideways!) the Route 66 to the Outer Limits…it made me wonder – as explained above – what creative individual might start putting Star Trek episodes in “extended versions” with Susan Oliver…in The Cage anything is possible, the illusion powers of the Talosians certainly the precursor to the computer programs of the The Matrix in 1999.
Around 2 AM (it’s now 4:13 AM…yeah, I’m crazy just typing away all day and all of the night) I went outside and the sirens were wailing a mile or so away…for a good ten minutes, very strange with the cool night air, a perfect night. I kind of sort of felt like a ghost, that I had passed on years ago and won’t let go, so I’m walking through this plane of existence saying “I’m here…I’m breathing…I’m still part of all this.” Watching the television reruns makes me wonder…and it makes me wonder…4:14 am.
Post script: Susan Oliver is featured in a documentary entitled The Green Girl and also appeared in a very offbeat 1960s sci-fi film The Monitors. You can find the full-length feature somewhere on YouTube
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.