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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 5 E 6 Joyride

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The Control Voice: The burden of solitude is a mighty one... be it a lone voice echoing in the dark... or the cry of humanity in a desolate universe.

An old, former astronaut hijacks a space flight in an attempt to return to a site that had ruined his life in the past.

The Control Voice: Our lives are defined by our choices: paths taken, worlds explored. But once we commit, we can never go back and choose again... or can we?
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Joytropes:

  • Agent Scully: The National Scope journalist Martin Reese is a full-time cynic who continually makes snide remarks about Colonel Theodore Harris' claim to have encountered aliens in 1963. Having had enough, Harris accuses Reese of being afraid of life, which clearly touches a nerve.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Discussed when Lil Vaughn refers to the theory that aliens seeded Earth with their DNA millions of years earlier and humanity evolved as a result.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The NASA astronaut Colonel Theodore Harris saw a strange violet light while onboard the Aspire 7 on September 16, 1963. The light enveloped the capsule and he aborted the mission. His steadfast claim that he had encountered aliens while in space was not taken seriously and the NASA psychological assessment determined that it had merely been a hallucination. Harris was completely discredited. The continual accusations that he was mentally unstable led him to check himself into a psychiatric institution for a brief period. On one occasion, he even hacked into a computer at The Pentagon in order to access his file but the charges were dropped. Harris is furious when he learns that his old friend and fellow astronaut Wayne caught a glimpse of similar lights during an orbit of Earth but kept it to himself for the sake of his career. In the words of his wife Madelaine, he was a "one man trainwreck." Although she left him because she could no longer handle the stress, they never stopped loving each other. On a second trip to space aboard the Daedalus XL-141 in 2001, Harris once again encountered the aliens. As their intention had been to observe but not interfere, they send him back in time to 1963 and alter history so that his mission was successful. He has the opportunity to live his life over again and avoid making the same mistakes.
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  • Energy Beings: The NASA astronaut Colonel Theodore Harris encounters energy beings who have the appearance of violet lights on both of his trips to space, in 1963 and 2001.
  • Mental Time Travel: The aliens send Colonel Theodore Harris back in time to September 16, 1963 with all of his memories of the intervening 38 years intact.
  • Mythology Gag: The Mercury astronaut Theodore Harris encountered aliens while aboard the Aspire 7 on September 16, 1963. Cliff Robertson played the older version of Harris. In The Outer Limits (1963) pilot "The Galaxy Being" which aired on September 16, 1963, an engineer named Alan Maxwell, who was also played by Robertson, accidentally makes contact with an alien from the Andromeda galaxy.
  • Peggy Sue: The aliens return the former NASA astronaut Theodore Harris to September 16, 1963, giving him the opportunity to relive the last 38 years of his life and avoid becoming a discredited laughing stock due to his claims of an encounter with aliens during his first trip into space.
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  • Significant Reference Date: Colonel Theodore Harris' first trip into space took place on September 16, 1963. This was the date that The Outer Limits (1963) pilot "The Galaxy Being" was originally broadcast. Cliff Robertson played the protagonist in both episodes.
  • Space Plane: The space plane Daedalus XL-141 is launched in 2001. The first commercial spaceflight, it is funded by the billionaire Carlton Powers, the owner of Powers Industries. There are six passengers: Powers himself, the former NASA astronaut Colonel Theodore Harris, the cosmetics giant Lil Vaughn, the National Scope journalist Martin Reese and newlyweds Barbara and Ty Chafey, who won a contest. Commander Sullivan is the only crew member.
  • Time-Travel Episode: Time travel is featured in a minor capacity.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: This episode takes place in 2001, then two years in the future, when the first commercial spaceflight is launched.
  • Zero-G Spot: Barbara and Ty Chafey, newlyweds on a space-tourism shuttle, have sex in a storage cubicle.
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