Saturday, July 5, 2014
Veteran character actor Warren Oates would have celebrated his 86th birthday today, July 5, 2014, but unfortunately this brilliant acclaimed actor passed away 32 years ago at the far too-young age of 53. Best known probably for his work with director Sam Peckinpah, Oates also had a long and prolific career as a TV guest star from the time of his first TV anthology work in the mid-1950s. Often in Westerns but also in other popular TV genres, Oates was never less than completely committed to his art and always brought something unique to his roles.
One of Oates' most interesting credits was in a 1964 episode of the classic science fiction anthology The Outer Limits called "The Mutant", and it's an Oates that once seen cannot be forgotten. Either before or after you watch the episode, you will want to check out the section on this episode from the blog project from a few years ago titled "We Are Controlling Transmission" wherein media scholars and authors Peter Enfantino and John Scoleri analyzed every TOL episode. You can find their take on "The Mutant" here.
You might enjoy another analysis from "The Fashion of Dreaming" website which also cover The Outer Limits in some detail. There is another The Outer Limits blog available here, too. As you might surmise, this series was a huge influence on a lot of viewers over the years and it still remains relevant and entertaining.
I would recommend watching it on the "We Are Controlling Transmission" page, click here or you can go directly to Hulu, click here.
On the chance that you might not know anything about this episode before reading this post, I'll refrain from spoiling the surprise, though it doesn't take too long into the episode before the beans are spilled, or the eggs are broken, whatever the case may be.