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Recap / The Outer Limits (1963) S 1 E 14 "The Zanti Misfits"

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A gang of Zanti fugitives poses for their wanted poster.

The Control Voice: Throughout history, compassionate minds have pondered the dark and disturbing question: what is society to do with those members who are a threat to society, those malcontents and misfits whose behavior undermines and destroys the foundations of civilization? Different ages have found different answers. Misfits have been burned, branded and banished. Today, on this planet Earth, the criminal is incarcerated in inhumane institutions, or he is executed. Other planets use other methods. This is the story of how the perfectionist rulers of the planet Zanti attempted to solve the problem of the Zanti misfits.

Coerced by the planet Zanti, Earth becomes a penal colony for its criminals. However, the situation goes awry when a bank robber and his girlfriend enter the area designated for that purpose.

The Control Voice: Throughout history, various societies have tried various methods of exterminating those members who have proven their inability or unwillingness to live sanely amongst their fellow men. The Zantis tried merely one more method; neither better, nor worse than all of the others, neither more human, nor less human than all others, perhaps merely... non-human.


The Zanti Mistropes:

  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: The Zanti are incapable of executing any of their own species, so they duped Humanity into taking care of their undesirables for them.
  • Batman Gambit: The entire plan of the Government of the Planet Zanti hinged on their observation that Humanity was a race of "practiced executioners" who could not tolerate co-existing with such alien creatures, and that we could therefore take care of their "misfit" issues for them.
    • Furthermore, their threats of retaliation against interference was only to ensure that our very Human fears would be what motivates the characters, despite the fact that the Zanti Government never intended to act upon any of them.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Which is why the Zantis chose us to kill their criminals.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Zantis are ant-like creatures with human-like faces.
  • Outlaw Couple: Ben Garth and Lisa Lawrence, although Ben fits the "outlaw" part much better than Lisa does.
  • Stop Motion: Used to animate the ant-like aliens.


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