The Galaxy Being is the first episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on September 16, 1963 during the first season.
"There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits."
Allan Maxwell is an engineer who has dedicated himself to researching microwave background noise using a device powered from his radio station. He inadvertently gets an extraterrestrial from Andromeda on his three-dimensional television screen. Using his computer, Allan is able to translate the extraterrestrial's thought patterns into English. Both are conducting illicit experiments; Maxwell should not be using the radio station's power, and the extraterrestrial is not allowed to use equipment for exploration. Also, "Reason we are not allowed to contact you, you are danger to other galaxies." Allan and the extraterrestrial have further enlightening, philosophical conversations, in which no epistemological basis is given for the Andromedan's opinion that Maxwell's own "brain waves" will "go on" subsequent to the death of his carbon-based body. Maxwell then hears the theological opinion that "Infinity is God. God, infinity, all the same" after the being explains "electromagnetic forces underlying all ... electromagnetic force intelligent", in response to Maxwell's query regarding whether the alien believes in God as an intelligent force.
In the evening, Allan reluctantly leaves the radio station to be feted at a banquet, while leaving the channel to the extraterrestrial open. DJ Eddie Phillips, who is substituting for Allan's brother Gene "Buddy" Maxwell, after being told not to, turns up the power to full, causing the extraterrestrial to be transmitted to Earth as a three-dimensional electromagnetic being. The 'Galaxy Being', as it is dubbed, wreaks inadvertent havoc, killing Eddie and injuring several other people by burning them with natural radiation. The extraterrestrial encounters Allan in person, who convinces it to turn down the heat, and then guides it back to the transmitter shed. They are soon cornered by local authorities, who accidentally shoot Allan's wife, Carol. The Galaxy Being then uses beneficial radiation to heal the wound.
When the Galaxy Being emerges, the authorities attempt to kill it; but it protects itself by destroying the bullets in flight, again with radiation. As a warning demonstration (and perhaps to prevent other aliens from coming), the Galaxy Being destroys the transmitter tower. The mob is told, "There are powers in this universe beyond anything you know. … There is much you have to learn. … Go to your homes. Go and give thought to the mysteries of the universe. I will leave you now, in peace." At this, the crowd disperses.
The Galaxy Being then chooses not to return home inasmuch as it has violated a law forbidding contact with Earth. So, after first reassuring Allan that "There is no death for me," answering his concerns that it would disintegrate, the Galaxy Being reduces its microwave intensity which causes it to fade away. Its last words as it vanishes are "End of transmission".
"The planet Earth is a speck of dust, remote and alone in the void. There are powers in the universe inscrutable and profound. Fear cannot save us. Rage cannot help us. We must see the stranger in a new light - the light of understanding. And to achieve this, we must begin to understand ourselves, and each other."
"We now return control of your television set to you, until next week, at the same time when the Control Voice will take you to... The Outer Limits."
- Cliff Robertson – as Allan Maxwell
- Jacqueline Scott – as Carol Maxwell
- Lee Philips – as Gene "Buddy" Maxwell
- William O. Douglas Jr. and Charles McQuarry – as The Galaxy Being
- Leslie Stevens – as The Voice of The Galaxy Being
- Burt Metcalfe – as Eddie Phillips
- Allyson Ames – as Loreen
- James Frawley – as State Trooper
- Bill Catching – as National Guard Major
- Allan Pinson – as Policeman
- Roy Sickner – as Collins, the Caretaker
Cinematographer - John M. Nickolaus