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Recap / The Outer Limits (1963) S 2 E 13 "The Duplicate Man"

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Henderson James and his clone confront each other...
...but which one will confront the Megasoid?

The Control Voice: Since the first day that Man stared up at the stars and saw other worlds, there has been no more haunting question than this: What will we find there? Will there be other creatures, and will they be like us? Or when that ancient dream comes true, will it turn into a nightmare? Will we find, on some distant, frozen planet, an alien life of unimaginable horror?

In the year 2025, space anthropologist Henderson James (Ron Randell) has himself illegally cloned to kill the Megasoid, a bloodthirsty alien.

The Control Voice: In all the universe, can there be creatures more strange than the species called Man? He creates and destroys; he fumbles and makes mistakes. But the thing which distinguishes him is his ability to learn from his mistakes.

The Duplicate Tropes:

  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: The Megasoid reproduces asexually and hundreds of offspring can result.
  • Cloning Blues: A major plot point. James has himself "duplicated" so the clone can hunt the Megasoid. While the clone accumulates the real James' memories, James' wife Laura discovers that she prefers the clone because her husband has become a cynical Jerkass and the innocent clone reminds her of his more likable younger self.
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  • Cool Car: James' sporty roadster, a 1963 Buick Riviera that was heavily modified by customizer George Barris.
  • Dirty Coward: The whole reason James has himself cloned is that he's afraid to go after the Megasoid. However, he gets over this due to Character Development.
  • The Film of the Book: The episode is based on "Goodnight, Mr. James", a short story by Clifford Simak.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The Federal Duplication Bureau.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: An interesting example. This episode is about cloning, but the word "clone" is to never used because it hadn't been created yet.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: "Goodnight, Mr. James" ends with both versions of the protagonist dying, although neither is killed by the alien.note  Here, the duplicate dies heroically fighting the Megasoid before the poison can finish him, but the example he sets allows the real James to become a better person.
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  • Video Phone: The characters use video phones with rotary dials.
  • Zeerust: Made in 1964, this episode is set in 2025, a future in which humanity has been exploring outer space (and bringing aliens to Earth to exhibit in a zoo) at least since The '80s.


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