The Borderland
Season 1, Episode 12
Air date December 16, 1963
Written by Leslie Stevens
Directed by Leslie Stevens
Episode guide
It Crawled Out of the Woodwork
Tourist Attraction

The Borderland is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It was the second episode to be produced, and first aired on 16 December 1963, during the first season.

Opening narration

"The mind of man has always longed to know what lies beyond the world we live in. Explorers have ventured into the deeps and the heights. Of these explorers some are scientists, some are mystics. Each is driven by a different purpose. The one thing they share in common is a wish to cross the Borderlands that lie beyond the Outer Limits."


An eccentric and elderly British millionaire named Dwight Hartley has engaged Mrs. Palmer, a famous psychic, to establish contact with his dead son, Dion. But scientists Ian and Eva Fraser, together with their assistant, Dr. Russell, expose her as a fraud during a seance. Mrs. Palmer is then thrown out of Hartley's home, her plan to con Hartley for financial gain being over. Hartley feels grateful to the scientists, and wishes to use his finances to fund their research into other dimensions at Arrex Electronics, where Ian Fraser is Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Fraser insists that he has developed a method that can pierce "The Borderland" - a dimensional plane between this world and another - which may be the afterlife. (During earlier tests, the scientist's left hand was reversed when he accidentally thrust it into the limbo world. He now, as a result, has two right hands.) However, he needs all the energy of a metropolitan power grid to do so. Hartley decides to arrange the situation, if Fraser will attempt to contact his dead son. Fraser agrees, and the experiment begins. But, at a crucial moment, Mrs. Palmer reappears at Hartley's office building, planning to expose the scientists as frauds, at the behest of Hartley's unscrupulous Managing Director, Benson Sawyer. Sawyer had secretly engaged Mrs. Palmer's services in an attempt to satisfy Hartley's interest in the occult, while feigning his own interest with the intent of assuming power within the Arrex empire.

Fraser sends inanimate objects, such as inert elements shaped into cubes, as well as flowers and white rats, into the other dimension. Just as Ian successfully enters into the fourth dimensional limbo world, the psychic's assistant, Mr. Price, disrupts the power supply, thus causing a critical loss of energy. As a result, the dimensional overlap begins to collapse. At the last second, Eva pulls Ian free of the magnetic field generating the inter-dimensional doorway, reversing the effects of his hand. Desperate to contact his dead son, Hartley enters the magnetic coil chamber and instantly disappears to a place unknown.

Closing narration

"There are worlds beyond and worlds within which the explorer must explore, but there is one power which seems to transcend space and time, life and death. It is a deeply human power which holds us safe and together when all other forces combine to tear us apart — we call it the power of love."


Influence in other media

  • The developers of the Half-Life video game series, which deals with creatures from parallel dimensions breaking through to ours, have listed "The Borderland" among their primary influences for the plot of the game.[1]


  1. Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
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