Soldier (The Outer Limits)

Infobox Television episode
Title = Soldier
Series = The Outer Limits

Caption =
Season = 2
Episode = 1
Airdate = September 19, 1964
Production = 34
Writer = Harlan Ellison
Director = Gerd Oswald
Photographer = Kenneth Peach
Guests = Lloyd Nolan
Michael Ansara
Tim O'Connor
Episode list = List of "The Outer Limits" episodes
Prev = The Forms of Things Unknown
Next = Cold Hands, Warm Heart

"Soldier" is an episode of the original "The Outer Limits" television show. It opened the second season of shows on 19 September, 1964.

For the second season, Ben Brady took over as producer from Joseph Stefano. This is the first of two episodes written by Hugo and Nebula award-winning science fiction author Harlan Ellison, and is adapted from his 1957 short story "Soldier From Tomorrow."


A soldier from Earth's future is sent back in time where he is captured by the government.

Opening narration

:"Night comes too soon on the battlefield. For some men it comes permanently; their eyes never open to the light of day. But for this man, fighting this war, there is never total darkness. The spidery beams of light in the sky are the descendants of the modern laser beam — heat rays that sear through tungsten steel and flesh as though they were cheesecloth. And this soldier must go against those weapons. His name is Qarlo, and he is a footsoldier, the ultimate infantryman. Trained from birth by the State, he has never known love, or closeness, or warmth. He is geared for only one purpose: to kill the Enemy. And the Enemy waits for him…"

Exceptional additional narration

:"Time is fluid. The waters of forever close — and passage may not be completed. The present and the future are for a moment united. And the Enemy, half-today, half-tomorrow, is locked between…"


A thousand years in the future, two foot soldiers clash on a battlefield. A random energy weapon strikes both soldiers and they are hurled into a time vortex. While one soldier is trapped in the matrix of time, the other, Qarlo Clobregnny, materializes on a city street in the year 1964.

Qarlo is soon captured and interrogated by Paul Kagan, a philologist, and his origin is discovered. As progress is made in "taming" Qarlo, the time eddy holding the enemy soldier slowly weakens.

Eventually Qarlo comes to live with the Kagan family. But the enemy soldier is free and finally materializes in 1964, and tracks Qarlo to the Kagan home. In a final hand-to-hand battle Qarlo sacrifices his life to kill the enemy and save the Kagan family.

Closing narration

:"From the darkest of all pits, the soul of Man, come the darkest questions: Did the soldier finally come to care for those he protected? Or was it just his instinct to kill? Questions from the dark pit. But no answers. For answers lie in the future. Is it a future in which men are machines, born to kill, or is there time for us? Time. All the time in the world… but is that enough?"

Copyright issues

It is sometimes erroneously thought that author Harlan Ellison took James Cameron to court for plagiarism with regard to the film "The Terminator" over this episode. According to E! Online, "Terminator" production company Hemdale and distributor Orion Pictures "gave veteran fantasy writer Harlan Ellison an 'acknowledgement to the works of' credit on "The Terminator" and a cash settlement lest he sue for plagiarism of two episodes he wrote for "The Outer Limits" in the 1960s and a Hugo Award winning sci-fi story (1977)". [cite web |url= |title=James Cameron Profile | |accessdate=2007-08-09] The additional "Outer Limits" episode is "Demon With A Glass Hand."

Aside from the influence on "The Terminator", there is also quite a parallel to the Marvel Comics character Cable: both are soldiers who are displaced in time with little working memory of their origins and previous life, who must prevent a tragedy of epic proportions from befalling mankind.


* Lloyd Nolan – as Kagan
* Michael Ansara – as Qarlo Clobregnny
* Tim O'Connor – as Paul Tanner
* Catherine McLeod – as Abby Kagan
* Jill Hill – as Toni Kagan
* Alan Jaffe – as The Enemy
* Ralph Hart – as Loren Kagan
* Marlowe Jensen – as Sgt. Berry
* Ted Stanhope – as Doctor
* Jamie Forster – as News Vendor
* Mavis Neal Palmer – as Woman


External links

* [ Detailed episode guide] by 'Monsieur Vincent'

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