So, here you will find the once-current reviews of series such as The Outer Limits, The Prisoner, Star Trek, etc., and you'll be surprised by which programs got bashed! Here's a snippet from the critical responses to The Outer Limits:
Australia's The Age was torn. "Some episodes zoom to cosmic heights while others should have been destroyed in the laboratory."
A young mother wrote TV Guide and protested, "Why is the network programming a horror like this in the early evening hours?"
The fiercest criticism was from American politicians who saw the series as downright dangerous. Concerned over juvenile delinquency, they blamed television. Scenes from Outer Limits were screened in Washington DC as part of an investigation into "brutal television violence." Producer Joseph Stefano struck back. "I would rather have my five-year old son see my TV monsters than watch a TV show where a bunch of black-jacketed thugs beat up people." Stefano did withdraw a story idea where cats were possessed by hostile alien beings, realizing it could be upsetting to children. Outer Limits later went on to become a classic. Historian John Baxter said in 1970, "Outer Limits gave television some of its finest moments and for consistency of imagination, it had few equals. The result is something of which both science fiction and television should be proud."
It's a good reality check to read some of these old reviews. It makes me wonder how history will judge my reviews of new genre series, such as FlashForward or The Vampire Diaries? Was I too hard on them? Too easy? And finally, does a critical consensus even matter?