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Recap / The Outer Limits (1963) S 1 E 25 "The Mutant"

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"Sometimes it's so easy to forget that part of me that's still human."

The Control Voice: At this very moment, our horizon is menaced by two explosive forces, both man-made. One is a deadly wonder; the other, wondrously alive. Both forces have compelled Man to reach out for worlds beyond his own, new worlds where he may find peace, and room to grow. This is the first of those new worlds. The United Nations of Earth have claimed it, and called it Annex One. It is almost identical to Earth, except that there is no night -— sunlight is constant. Early reports from the small expeditionary team stationed on Annex One indicated that the ancient planet appeared suitable for colonization by Earth's overflowing population. But the most recent reports have contained unspoken, oddly disturbing undercurrents, and the United Space Agency has decided to investigate. The man chosen: Dr. Evan Marshall, psychiatrist...
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A human colonist on Annex-1 is turned into a mutated being with grotesquely enlarged eyes who can read minds, go without sleep—and kill with his fatal touch.

The Control Voice: The forces of violence and the forces of nature compel man to reach out toward new horizons, where peace and sanity may flourish, where there is room to grow. But before we run, should we not first make certain that we have done all that can be done here to end madness, quiet the disturbers of peace and make room for those who need so little to grow in?

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"Reese, I'm not in the habit of troping people":

  • An Aesop: Sometimes, it's best to face your problems rather than running away from them.
  • Bald of Evil: Reese loses his hair as one result of the radioactive rain.
  • Batman Gambit: Our heroes figure that the only way to keep Reese from reading Evan's mind is with hypnosis. But what would be the trigger word to make him remember? How about Reese's own name? Chances are it won't be said until he returns to Earth. ...It fails somehow.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Reese's pained reaction to darkness gives the audience an idea of what his weakness is.
  • Eye Scream: Dr. Riner recalls that Reese "fell, screamed, tore at his eyes" when the radioactive rain hit him. After that, the rain's horrific effect on Reese's eyes makes him this episode's Monster of the Week.
  • Kick the Dog: When Reese discovers that Chandler tried to plant a note for help, he makes him eat it. It's a petty act, but it doesn't help that Reese takes sadistic pleasure in watching him eat it.
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  • Makes Sense In Context: Yes, Reese perishes because it's too dark.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Aside from rockets and space-age shelters, it doesn't look all too futuristic. But it's implied to be the future where people are already trying to plan for a new annex for the human population.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: Evan and Julie, the main characters, wind up as the only survivors of Annex-1.
  • Overpopulation Crisis: The Control Voice mentions "Earth's overflowing population."
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Evan and Julie might not have made it out alive if Reese hadn't died of light starvation.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: The psychological fallout from Reese's mutation drives him toward this.
    Julie: Reese, I'm not in the habit of lying to people.
    Reese: But I'm not really people any more, am I, Julie? Which is why I especially couldn't lie to you. Therefore it's hopeless for me to try to behave like a person — morally, that is.
  • Tragic Monster: Reese's mutant powers are driving him insane, and he knows it, but there seems to be nothing he or anyone else can do about it.
    Reese: l don't like being like this, Julie. Inhuman. But this thing rises in me and blots out all the decency I used to feel. It rises more often and blots out more and more.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Let's see, we have a mutant man who can read minds and kill a human being with a touch of their bare hands, and his main weakness is to be in a dark room or any dark space for that matter.

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