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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 4 E 16 Final Exam

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The Control Voice: They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. But what of the man who possesses too much knowledge?

A disgruntled student builds a cold fusion bomb and threatens to destroy the city unless the government brings him five people on his list and executes them.

The Control Voice: If knowledge is power and power corrupts... how will humankind ever survive?

Final Tropes:

  • Aliens Steal Cable: Discussed. Seth Todtman asks Dr. James Martin if he has ever wondered why Earth has never received any alien transmissions such as "I Love Lucy with two headed green guys playing both Lucy and Ricky." Seth believes it is because every advanced species eventually reaches the stage where it discovers how to build a cold fusion device, as he has done, and ends up destroying itself.
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  • Axes at School: Taken Up to Eleven; the antagonist brings a nuclear bomb to school.
  • Dead Man's Switch: Seth Todtman has his 50 megaton cold fusion device rigged up so that it will detonate if his heart stops. The military uses a laser to burn out and disarm the bomb's components.
  • Here We Go Again!: The episode ends with a disgruntled student at another school named Tom taking a test. He eventually gets a realization, then packs up his things and leaves the room despite the professor's protests. The paper has the question, "Demonstrate why cold fusion is impossible." This heavily implies that he plans to build a cold fusion bomb like Seth did.
  • Hostage Situation: An engineering grad student named Seth Todtman, who has invented a cold fusion device with a yield of 50 megatons, takes a group of students and Dean Irwin hostage in a lecture theatre. He threatens to detonate the bomb and destroy the city, killing five million people, if the five people on his list are not killed in front of him within three hours.
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  • Meaningful Name: Seth Todtman has a cold fusion bomb with a dead man's switch. "Toter Mann" is German for "dead man."
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