Controlled Experiment

"Controlled Experiment" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 13 January, 1964, during the first season.


A love triangle appears to end in murder, but a strange pair of men appear to have the ability to replay time itself.

Opening Narration

Who hasn't seen the dark corners of great cities, whose small and shabby creatures wander without purpose in the secret corners of the night? Without purpose? There are those whose purpose reaches far beyond our wildest dreams.


The Martians maintain inconspicuous monitors on Earth, and one, Diemos, is contacted by Phobos One, a researcher who wants to investigate the concept of "Murder". Using a machine that can speed up time, slow it down, reverse it, or stop it altogether, they review the same murder scene over and over again. Phobos One, however, is unable to resist the opportunity to tamper with time.

Closing Narration

Who knows? Perhaps the alteration of one small event may someday bring about the end of the world. But that someday is a long way off, and until then there is a good life to be lived in the here and now.


  • This episode was shot as a pilot for a proposed series starring Carroll O'Connor and Barry Morse as two Martians sent to Earth to examine human life and experiences. CBS instead opted for the series My Favorite Martian with Ray Walston and Bill Bixby.
  • The episode makes considerable use of repeated footage. As the alien observers view events several times over the same footage is played forward and backward. This meant that less original footage than usual needed to be shot for the episode, thus reducing its budget.


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