Hundred Days of the Dragon is the second episode of the original Outer Limits series and the first episode to air that was not a pilot.
First of all I have to say that following the intro of the Galaxy Being (which introduced inter-dimensional travel and beings, interstellar civilizations and a whole lot of other mainstay SF concepts), Hundred Days was a very pedestrian let-down.
I also have to say that I didn't remember this episode at all and am seriously wondering if the fact that it was a monsterless, almost devoid of SF content story is the reason why it was so forgettable.
It is also very, very, very Manchurian Candidate in plot and structure and not really psychologically stressful like the movie was.
The story concerns an Asian empire that is seeking to take over the United States, utilizing a new technology that renders bones and cartilage and skin malleable. (As you can see from the image, one of the characters has a jello mold on his face: he's previously received an injection of the serum that makes stuff all runny - though how he manages to remain standing is a bit problematic - and shortly his face will have molded itself to the face of a soon to be elected Presidential candidate.)
Various good guys - including the Vice President - get wind that something is wrong and eventually unmask the plot. (Like that - unmask?)
I did find the SFX kind of cool: watching the Asian doctor run his fingers through a putty face, pushing the nose over, leaving deep finger channels in the cheeks was kind of creepy, but this effect, though a capable one, was not enough to sustain an entire episode.
That the Asian nation was a stand-in for Viet Nam/China/Korea, which in turn was an extension of cold-war blues, was pretty obvious; it was actually a bit disconcerting to see the "yellow peril" canards pushed so heavily in an early 60s TV show, but then "those guys" always were inscrutable and would much rather resort to deviousness and trickery than face the US on the battlefield - right?
I'd put The 100 Days of the Dragon down towards the top of the 'worst Outer Limits' episodes list. Watch it for completeness sake, but not to get any idea of what the show was capable of.
What did you think of this review?