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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 4 E 6 Relativity Theory

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The Control Voice: When we have conquered interstellar space, what will we gain? A new perspective on ourselves or only a wider scope for our arrogance?

A spaceship crew finds a planet rich in resources and inhabited by seemingly primitive aliens. A scientist wants to make peaceful contact with them, but the military members are in favor of wiping them out and taking over.

The Control Voice: Cultural relativity. It doesn't need to be a complicated theory. Indeed, it can be as simple, and as deadly, as a two-edged sword.
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Relativity Tropes:

  • Alien Autopsy: The xenobiologist Teresa Janovitch performs autopsies on two of the aliens killed by other members of the expedition to Tau Gamma Prime.
  • Alien Sky: Tau Gamma Prime has two moons.
  • Deadly Closing Credits: Happens on a very large scale. A survey team travels to Tau Gamma Prime in search of resources which are desperately needed on Earth, which has run out of practically all of its own natural resources. Although the planet is believed to be uninhabited, the survey team comes under attack from a group of seven foot tall reptilian aliens. The team's xenobiologist Teresa Janovitch favors negotiating with them as she does not want to repeat Earth's dark history with respect to the treatment of indigenous populations but the security chief Sgt. Adam Sears leads an attack on their encampment in a network of caves. He kills one of them who is holding a gold object which he assumes is a religious totem. However, Teresa's scans of the corpses of two of the aliens indicate that their cranial sutures are not fully closed, which if they were humans would mean that they were between 10 and 15 years old. In other words, Sears killed an alien Boy Scout troop on a camping trip. She then realizes that the gold object is not a religious totem but an emergency locator beacon. The survey ship is soon destroyed by a huge and extremely advanced alien ship but not before it manages to download their database and learn the location of Earth. The episode ends with a shot of the ship approaching Earth, preparing to launch an attack on the homeworld of the brutal species who would butcher children.
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  • Earth That Used to Be Better: Earth's natural resources are almost completely depleted. Earth-like planets are strip mined to meet its needs.
  • Ironic Echo: Sgt. Adam Sears repeatedly justifies killing the seemingly primitive aliens on Tau Gamma Prime by saying that it is humanity's right as the more advanced species, basing his arguments on the principle of survival of the fittest. It later becomes clear that the aliens were essentially Boy Scouts who belonged to a species who are considerably more advanced than humanity. One of their extremely powerful vessels destroys the survey ship (killing Sears and everyone else on board) and then sets its sights on Earth.
  • Oh, Crap!: A group of humans realized that the aliens they killed are just boy scouts on a camping trip. When the older aliens find out who these blood-thirsty beings are, they destroy the human spaceship and set a course for Earth.
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  • Only Sane Man: The whole problem is caused by Sears ignoring everything Janovitch tries to tell him.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: At first, it seemed like the aliens are primitive creatures, with Sears easily killing the whole group. Then it turns out that the aliens have even more advanced technology than humanity.
  • Trick-and-Follow Ploy: Humans kill small aliens who, it turns out, were merely alien children on a camping trip. When their parents investigate, the humans try (and fail) to destroy their navigational computer before the aliens find Earth's location. Cue a powerful, now hostile, alien ship appearing above the Earth.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Unintentional, but the aliens Sears killed turned out to be Boy Scouts on a camping trip.
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