RALEIGH —I was born 10 days ago. A full-grown man born 10 days ago. I woke on a street of this city. I don’t know who I am or where I’ve been. But I know where I’m going. To the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to watch “The Outer Limits: Demon with the Glass Hand” on First Friday, December 7 at 7pm. Free.
Days ago Trent awoke with no memory of his past. Since then, sinister men have pursued him constantly. He manages to stay one step ahead of them by following the advice of ... his hand! Made of glass and capable of speech, Trent’s hand can answer many of his questions. But it cannot tell him who he is or why his enemies seek him until he finds his hand’s three missing fingers. The trouble is they’re in the grasp of his enemies. Will he recover his missing metacarpals? And when he finally talks to his completed hand, what will it tell him?
The bemused Trent is deftly played by Robert Culp, who starred with Bill Cosby as a pair of jet-setting secret agents in the iconic 1960s television series “I Spy.” This was the first U.S. prime-time network drama to feature an African-American actor in a starring role and the relationship between the two meshed perfectly on screen. Both were nominated for acting Emmys in all three of its seasons, with Cosby coming out the victor each time (hey, hey, hey). Culp also starred as Bob in the classic flower-power-era film “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” (1969) alongside Natalie Wood, Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon. You may also have seen him play a secret agent in charge of protecting “The Greatest American Hero,” or even Ray Romano’s father-in-law in “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
Consuelo Biros, a woman Trent enlists to help him on his digit quest, is played by Arlene Martel, an actress well-known to “Star Trek” fans as Spock’s Vulcan bride T’Pring in the episode “Amok Time” (1967). She also appeared in multiple popular television shows of the 1960s and ‘70s ranging from “I Dream of Jeannie” and “My Favorite Martian” to “The Rockford Files” and “Battlestar Galactica” to a recurring role as Tiger on “Hogan’s Heroes.”
This episode, from Season 2 of the “Outer Limits” television series (1965), was written by prolific sci-fi/fantasy writer and former North Carolina nitroglycerine truck driver Harlan Ellison, and garnered him the first of his four Writer’s Guild award for best screenplay. He won another Writer’s Guild award (as well as a Hugo Award) for penning the original “Star Trek” episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” (1966). Ellison was also editor and anthologist for two ground-breaking science fiction anthologies, Dangerous Visions and Again, Dangerous Visions.
The Museum and the new Nature Research Center stay open from 5 to 9 pm on the First Friday of every month, inviting visitors to witness a (classic) sci-fi or horror movie, wander through eye-catching exhibits, or enjoy food and beverages at the Daily Planet Café. “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition ” is now open and First Friday visitors can see it at a discounted rate ($3 off adult tickets). Additionally, the Museum Stores offer after-hours shopping and an opening reception (6:30-8:30pm) for quilter Charlotte Ziebarth, whose show “Visions of Trees Dance in My Head” runs December 7–January 7 in the Nature Art Gallery. All exhibited art is for sale.