Friday, July 31, 2009

AstroGnostic: Imprisoned by the Luminoids

The planet Luminos: A minor planet, sultry and simmering. Incapacitated. Earth scientists have concluded that there could be no life on Luminos, that it is too close to its own sun, and that its inhabitants would be victimized by their own blighting atmosphere. But there is life on Luminos — life that should resemble ours, but doesn't.

Desperate life, suffering a great and terrible need. The Luminoids have begun to search the universe in an effort to gratify that need. They seek a planet on which life is healthy, vibrant, strong, and mobile. They need such people to do their work, to labor and slave for them, to manufacture their splendored dreams. The Luminoids need slaves, and they have chosen the planet off which their slaves will be abducted...

You really have to wonder about The Outer Limits sometimes. The show was very cheaply produced and the crude effects don't hold up to modern standards, but underneath it all are some pretty startling concepts and plot devices. We recently looked at "The Invisibles," which dealt with the control of secret societies over the highest levels of government, but there's plenty more where that came from, believe me.

Though not one of my favorite episodes, "A Feasibility Study" presents us with a 300-proof blast of Gnostic theology. A deformed race from a dying planet called the "Luminoids" (!) kidnaps entire neighborhoods from Earth to work as slaves. It's only when people unwittingly travel to the edge of their new reality that the illusion is shattered. And yeah, I think at least one of the witers of Dark City saw this episode once or twice..

We're going to be looking further into the Gnostic subtext of the original Star Trek shortly, but The Outer Limits predates it. In fact, many of the concepts that came to define sci-fi on TV and in film got a test-run during this series, as well as some of the more outre ideas we see in the Synchrosphere, UFOlogy, Fortean research, and even in some of the more radical precincts of theoretical physics.

As with the original Star Trek, the sci-fi conceit of The Outer Limits allowed the writers to explore concepts that would never be allowed on more conventional drama series. And it's remarkable even today to see how seriously it was all taken and presented. Again, the production values might dull the edge for younger viewers, but The Outer Limits packs a highly-weird and nightmarish punch that we wouldn't really see on TV again until The X-Files. Chris Carter has never been shy about singling the show out as a primary influence on his own work.

And though I've never heard him discuss it, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that The Outer Limits had an immense influence on the work of David Lynch. After all, The Outer Limits' combination of old-fashioned American values and surreal, nightmarish horror is a pretty good description of Lynch's own work, isn't it?

Non-US readers- if the vid doesn't load, track it down through other means. In fact, get a hold of the entire first season, if you can.


  1. Both "The Inivisbles" and "A Feasibility Study" were written by Joseph Stefano, writer of the original "Psycho" screenplay.

  2. FYI, Joseph Stefano died relatively recently, in 2006, and I wrote an obituary about him, due to his interesting links to cryptozoology (Snowbeast, Swamp Thing) themes.

    Clearly, Stefano had an intriguingly creative mind.

  3. I've been downloading the outer limits a bunch too. And this was before the Bruce Rux interview on Binnal of America.

    I may write up a review (report) on an episode that has a sort of check list of UFO abduction details. Curious, those events had not entered the public conciousness (or even reported) and there is a tidy set of details that match in an uncanny way that is hard to dismiss as coincidence.

    More sooon...

  4. Chris,
    Another great gnostic show is Doctor Who. I'm telling ya, it is filled with great gnostic/astrognostic subtexts. I am actually quite surprised that most synchromystics do not blog about Doctor Who. The next special they're having is about life on mars called 'Doctor Who: Waters of Mars.'
    Here's a trailer if interested:

  5. Chris -
    A bit off topic but: I noticed that through this whole Michael Jackson Death Drama ( when will it end ) as far as I can tell, you've made no references to it in any of your blog entries, all of which I effort to read. I was just wondering if you were purposely avoiding the subject of his passing. It seems that there are TONS of fascinating syncs there, and much, much material concerning him his music and his personal life that your regular readers would find fascinating, if viewed through the right prism.
    This is not a request for you to write something about him. And I can understand that it might be something you'd just not want to bother with. Just curious about your feeling on it.
    Thanks as always.

  6. aye...good call.

    Princess Diana
    Dirty Diana
    his relationship with Diana Ross
    Diana CBS show 1981
    The Wiz
    having a 'moon crater' named after him.
    Leave me alone...Michael frozen in time for 50 years.
    "I'm not like other guys"
    Dangerous cover featuring Crowley...looks like a tracing board.
    The fact that 'scientology' arranged his marriage to Presley.

    that type of thing?

    that being said...the whole sorry assed case...looks like yet another 'group mind' pantomime showpiece.

  7. I think the MJ syncs have been pretty well covered by other bloggers. The whole thing is just too depressing and sordid for my taste. And contrived, I might add. When the puppet strings are so clearly visible it's not as much fun for me.

  8. With Stefano's involvement in the Outer Limits, among other things, Psycho seems worth examining in greater depth. I posted a few months ago about some synchromystic strangeness revolving around Hitchcock's film, so it seems safe to assume that a more careful watching would unearth some more interesting bits.


  9. Hitchcock did a film titled NUMBER 17

  10. Thrace,
    If your in need of some MJ HIGH WEIRDNESS!!! Check this guys video series out. It's A couple of press conferences from peoples camera phones. Who would have known MJ had tinfoil hat.


  11. Beeret -
    I'm on it. And thanks for the insight Chris.