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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 3 E 17 Feasibility Study

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The Control Voice: In a world where change is the rule, we rely on the unyielding constants in life for comfort and security... that the sun will rise, that the earth will turn. But what if we could no longer be certain of anything? To what then would we cling?

A neighborhood is abducted by aliens who inform them that if they can survive the alien's environment, the rest of humanity will be abducted and enslaved.


The Control Voice: For centuries philosophers and theologians have debated what it means to be human. Perhaps the answer has eluded us because it is so simple. To be human is to choose.

Tropability Study:

  • Adaptational Villainy: A surprising case here, as it's an adaptation of an episode from the 1960's version of the show. The basic plot of both is the same: A group of aliens teleport an entire Earth neighborhood to their planet — they need slaves, and want to see if humans are a good fit for the job. The original episode features the Luminoids, who are looking for a race to enslave because they suffer a genetic condition that turns them into immobile stone as they get older; they explain that they don't use their extremely advanced machinery for simple, everyday chores because it seems like an unworthy application for such amazing technology. In the remake, the potential enslavers are the Triunes; the genetic condition, and with it any possibility of sympathy, is removed, as the aliens are simply lazy and don't want to bother with working.
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  • Bearer of Bad News: Teenaged Sean Terzer is the first one to see an alien and spread the word, really letting the rest of the neighborhood realize what kind of story their in.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Sara's biker boyfriend, although her father is fairly civil and matter-of-fact when saying why he thinks they shouldn't date.
  • Good Shepherd: Father Puglia, one of the first to agree to perform a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: An entire Earth neighborhood is transported to a world ruled by powerful but lazy aliens who want a race of servants; if the people from the neighborhood prove able to survive on their world, all of humanity will be enslaved. When a teenage girl inadvertently contracts a fatal disease from another alien race, her father, and eventually everyone who was taken, decide to deliberately infect themselves to trick the kidnappers into thinking that humanity is a bad fit for their experiment.
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  • A House Divided: Mr. Terzer is attacked by a neighbor for hearing a working generator, and general strife is spreading until the climax.
  • Innocent Aliens: Adrielo belongs to race with a pre-industrial society, several hundred years less technologically advanced than that of late 20th Century Earth. The Triune, who were in search of slaves, abducted a small group of them to determine whether they could survive the petrification disease which had killed every other species that they had brought to their planet. However, Adrielo's race was as susceptible to it as the others and the abductees soon died out.
  • Mass Teleportation: A four block suburban area is transported to the Triune's planet to study the feasibility of enslaving the entire human race.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Sara is infected while trying to help a dying alien she finds, although this is ultimately portrayed as the best conclusion out of several bad ones.
  • Papa Wolf: Joshua cares deeply for his daughters safety and is willing to die with her.
  • The Quisling: Teased but averted when one neighborhood resident, a science fiction author, does suggest submitting to the aliens out of hopes of finding Happiness in Slavery, but doesn't go through with it.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The neighborhood security guard, who is quick to respond when things go bad, tries to keep people form turn gin on each other, and is one of the first to agree that they must resist the aliens after hearing the truth about them.
  • The Remake: Of the original 1960s episode of the same name.
  • Rousing Speech: Joshua gives one about defeating the aliens by getting sick.
  • Slave Race: The Triune plan to turn humanity into slaves en masse but the plan goes awry. They made a similar failed attempt with Adrielo's race.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Joshua, who proves to be the voice of reason for the neighborhood.
  • Taken for Granite: An alien disease causes anyone infected to gradually petrify.
  • Tuckerization: The character Father Puglia is a reference to Frank Puglia, who played the equivalent character Father Fontana in the original version, The Outer Limits (1963) episode "A Feasibility Study".
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: Much like the original, this episode hangs a lampshade on this trope. When the Triune explain their plan for humanity to Joshua Hayward, he exasperatingly asks what use they could possibly have for slaves when they have the technology to move a giant chunk of a distant planet thousands of lightyears to their present location. One Triune responds that they consider using this technology for menial labor to be demeaning.

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