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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 5 E 16 Deja Vu

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The Control Voice: We exist in time, moving forever forward through the moments of our lives — moments which, once experienced, can never be relived... or can they?

After a wormhole experiment goes wrong, a scientist finds himself trapped in a shrinking time loop.

The Control Voice: We exist in time, moving forever forward through the moments of our lives — moments which, once experienced, can never be relived... or can they?

Deja Tropes:

  • And I Must Scream: This episode deals with a failed teleportation experiment that traps the main character in a shrinking time loop. While he manages to break free in the end, the antagonist isn't as lucky. He gets caught in another time loop that forces him to relive the last few seconds preceding a nuclear explosion at point blank range, most likely for all eternity.
  • Artistic License – Military: Colonel Glade has a Silver Star Ribbon in the bottom row, with a Bronze Star above it. A Silver Star should be in the top row with the Bronze Star close by. There is also a Good Conduct ribbon in a row above the Silver Star, which is not allowed. Awards for valor or gallantry are always at the top. Also despite being credited as "Lt. Colonel Lester Glade", he is actually wearing the rank insignia of a full Colonel.
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  • Book-Ends: Since this episode involves a "Groundhog Day" Loop, the Control Voice's opening and closing narrations are identical: "We exist in time. Moving forever forward through moments in our lives. Moments that which, once experienced, can never be relived. Or can they?"
  • Eco-Terrorist: Julie Alger sabotages the teleportation experiment as she believes that it is against nature.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: A time loop occurs due to a failed wormhole experiment. However, at each round the loop gets shorter and shorter, with less time to prevent the impending disaster. The protagonists succeed, with the General Ripper who sabotaged the experiment becoming trapped in a seconds-long version, just enough time for him to see that the triggering explosion is about to happen and cover his face. The Control Voice's opening and closing narration for this episode were identical.
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  • Karmic Death: A character suffers a Karmic Fate Worse than Death; the general who secretly tried to weaponize a teleportation experiment ends up trapped in an endless loop of the second before his death when the experiment goes awry.
  • Resurrection/Death Loop: The aforementioned Karmic Fate Worse than Death.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Dr. Mark Crest is able to remember previous iterations of the "Groundhog Day" Loop. Immediately before being struck by the expanding teleportation field, he grabbed a transformer cable and the electromagnetic field that it generated partially cancelled out the effects of the loop. In a later iteration, he brings his colleague Dr. Cleo Lazar into the loop by holding her as he grabs the cable.
  • Teleportation: The US government is running a teleportation experiment which is designed to transport three animals (a dog, a raccoon and a goat) several miles from a testing area to a research lab. It requires the energy produced by a tactical nuclear warhead in order to work. The technology was developed by Dr. Mark Crest, based on the work of his colleague (and former lover) Dr. Cleo Lazar.
  • Time Crash: A teleportation experiment goes wrong after an attempt to weaponize it by a corrupt military official, which results in a "Groundhog Day" Loop...a rare "Groundhog Day" Loop with a time limit. Each iteration grows shorter, and eventually there will be no hope of preventing the Time Crash from destroying the world. In the end, the disaster is averted, and the man responsible suffers a Karmic Fate Worse than Death, as he's caught forever in the moment of his own annihilation by the malfunctioning time machine.

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