The Human Factor (2002 The Outer Limits)

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"The Human Factor"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 7
Episode 21
Directed by Steve Aspis
Robert Habros
Written by Grady Hall
A.E. van Vogt (story)
Original air date 11 January 2002
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Dark Child"
Next →
"Human Trials"
List of The Outer Limits episodes

"The Human Factor" is an episode of the television show The Outer Limits. It first aired January 11, 2002, in the show's seventh season.

Opening narration[edit]

We believe ourselves to be an essentially noble race. But would that same assessment be made from a truly objective view?

Introduction[edit]

This episode is a clip show. Clips appear from the following episodes: "Phobos Rising", "Hearts and Minds", "Manifest Destiny", "Something About Harry", "The Haven", "Final Exam", "Final Appeal", "The Vaccine", and "Replica".

Plot[edit]

Jupiter's moon Ganymede is now the only hope for the human race in 2084 as overpopulation and constant warring has left much of earth uninhabitable. Space Commander Ellis Ward (Robert Duncan McNeill) must convince android assistant Link (Zack Ward) that humanity is worthy of existence over a game of chess. As Link activates the station's self-destruct sequence, Ward's officers attempt to reach the manual override at the same time as trying to get over bitter distrust. Link tries to convince Ward that the world's governments do not care about peace but only want to extend power. In the end, after shutting down Link and the countdown, Ward is informed by the United States President that the US launched a preemptive strike against the Eastern Coalition, starting a nuclear war, which along with the underestimated retaliation killed almost all of the human race (including Ward's wife and daughter). The US President's spaceship, with the few remaining people, will arrive in several months. At this point Ward, having lost faith in life and his humanity, reactivates both Link and the self-destruct sequence and starts his last game of chess. Link asks about what had happened to which Ward replies: "It was... human error."

Closing narration[edit]

We have the capacity for great, good or evil. The path of our future is ours to decide.

External links[edit]