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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 7 E 8 Think Like A Dinosaur

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The Control Voice: We believe that human advancement should be attained at almost any cost, but what if the ultimate payment is one's soul?

A race of dinosaur-like aliens called the Hanen allies with humanity and provides teleportation technology. When this process creates a duplicate of a woman, the Hanen order the human technician to "balance the equation" by killing her.

The Control Voice: As we pursue technological advancement, we should be careful not to abandon our humanity in the process.
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Trope Like a Dinosaur:

  • Adaptation Personality Change: Michael Burr is already rather morose when he meets Kamala Shastri as he is mourning the death of his wife Karen. In the short story by James Patrick Kelly, he is much more gregarious since there is no mention of him having experienced such a tragedy.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The air that the Hanen breathe contains three times as much carbon dioxide as the air on Earth.
  • Canon Foreigner: Will Carson, a major supporting character, does not appear in the short story by James Patrick Kelly.
  • Cloning Blues: Played straight with the clone of Kamala Shastri, who isn't looking forward to getting killed in order to "balance the equation".
  • Colonized Solar System: Earth has established a base, the Tuulen Transfer Station, on The Moon.
  • Earth That Used to Be Better: Earth is overpopulated and the rampant pollution in the atmosphere leads to thousands of deaths every year.
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  • Extinct in the Future: Most plants and trees on Earth are extinct and fresh air is a thing of the past due to the high level of pollution in the atmosphere.
  • Fantastic Slur: Michael Burr refers to the Hanen, a reptilian species who resemble velociraptors, as "dinos." He even does so in the presence of Sillion and Linna, the two Hanen assigned to the Tuulen Transfer Station, as they do not have emotions. For their part, the Hanen refer to humans as "weeps" and "babies" because of their emotions.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: Humanity has been granted access to interstellar teleportation technology, known as jump technology, by the Hanen.
  • Moral Dilemma: Michael Burr is the sole human aboard the Tuulen Transfer Station on The Moon. A much more advanced alien species called the Hanen has formed an alliance with humanity. Earth desperately needs their help due to the fact that it is experiencing severe pollution and overpopulation. One of the most significant pieces of Hanen technology on loan to humans allows for interstellar teleportation, otherwise known as "jumping." The jump process involves the creation of an exact duplicate of the person being teleported. The original version is disintegrated once it has been confirmed that the duplicate has arrived safely at the destination. The Hanen euphemistically refer to this as "balancing the equation." This is Michael's responsibility. The transfer of Kamala Shastri to Gend is interrupted when an unknown error is detected. However, the Hanen later receive confirmation that Kamala arrived safely on Gend and therefore the other Kamala must be eliminated in order to balance the equation. As this means killing her, Michael is extremely reluctant to do so. He initially attempts to trick Kamala into re-entering the jump chamber by telling her that the process must be completed but she realizes that there is more going on and he is forced to reveal the truth. Michael later plans to shoot Kamala but he cannot bring himself to do so. He instead decides to smuggle her out on a supply ship. However, he has a change of heart when his thoughts turn to his wife Karen, who died after being exposed to Earth's polluted atmosphere, and his daughter Molly. Regretfully, he jettisons Kamala out the station's airlock. When the "real" Kamala transfers back two years later, she thanks Michael for being so kind to her when they first met. However, he is clearly traumatized by his earlier actions and pretends not to recognize her.
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  • Overpopulation Crisis: It is mentioned that Earth is extremely overpopulated and that many humans are desperate to start new lives on other planets.
  • Polluted Wasteland: Earth is extremely polluted to the point that many people die from Environmental Sensitivity Syndrome (ESS) after being exposed to the atmosphere. Michael Burr's wife Karen was among its victims and he fears that his daughter Molly will suffer the same fate.
  • Race Lift: Kamala Shastri is Caucasian. In the 1995 short story of the same name by James Patrick Kelly on which it is based, Kamala is of Indian descent (as her name indicates) as her father was born in Thana, near Bombay.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Hanen are a reptilian species who do not have emotions and breathe air which is rich in carbon dioxide. Their lack of emotions means that their demeanor and thought processes seem as cold to humans as their blood.
  • Teleportation: Important to the plot.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Michael Burr throws Kamala Shastri out the airlock of the Tuulen Transfer Station on The Moon in order to balance the equation of the Hanen jump technology.
  • Token Human: Michael Burr is the only human permanently assigned to the Tuulen Transfer Station, which is run by the Hanen, on The Moon.
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