Judgment Day (The Outer Limits)
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|The Outer Limits episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Brad Turner|
|Written by||A L Katz, Scott Nimerfro|
|Original air date||21 January 2000|
"Judgment Day" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 21 January 2000, during the sixth season.
In a television show, killers are hunted and killed by family of their victims. Judgment Day was produced by Jack Parson and hosted by Stan Draper and Heather Cattrell, the show has turned the Justice system on its ear by becoming judge, jury and executioner, allowing a murder victim's family to carry out the death sentence on live television.
|“||In the face of violent crime, the thin line between justice and vengeance can grow ever thinner, but what happens when society becomes as violent as the criminals it seeks to contain?||”|
Judgement Day is a television show on the Justice Channel hosted by Heather Cattrell and Stan Draper wherein the family member of a murder victim are allowed to get revenge. Dropped off at a location of his choosing, the convict is given a twenty-minute head start by the judge overseeing their trial. A camera is implanted in his left eye that allows the audience to view his whereabouts and what he sees. Furthermore, a chip capable of producing a lethal electrical shock is implanted in the convict's upper spinal column, which can be triggered by the taser of the hunter, or even by the executives who can use it on convicts who leave the containment area of the hunt, try to take a hostage, or attempt to hide somewhere. If the person being hunted is able to survive for 24 hours they are instead given life imprisonment without possibility of parole rather than the death penalty. It is also shown that there is a number to call if the convict is sighted so that the family member of the murder victim can be tipped off at their location.
In this particular episode, Allison Channing hunts down Declan McMahon, who was convicted of killing her sister who was a former police officer that was crippled in the line of duty. Declan, however, is a petty criminal and claims to be innocent.
The show begins with the opening of "Judgement Day". When asked by Heather why he chose to participate in "Judgement Day," he responds simply that he "has no choice". Judge Peale tells Declan that he will be given a 20 minute head start before Allison begins her hunt on him. When Declan is escorted from the courtroom, he tries to tell Allison that he did not kill her sister, which only provokes her.
The viewer is introduced to Jack Parson, the producer of the show who enthusiastically tells the staff how this will be their big break. Parson is also with a man from the network referred to as "Ev", who opposes the show out of concern for the danger involved in releasing convicts. Ev even tried to convince the network to reject the show but was outvoted, a fact which Jack Parson brings up with relish.
The perspective switches to Declan, who is dropped off in the town's industrial park near where his brother works. Declan is intending to find evidence of his having been framed. His brother Dooley tells him that he has evidence but they need to meet in a safe place. Declan then tries to find Allison and explain his innocence by offering to show her the evidence that would exonerate him.
Allison seems ready to attack Declan with the taser but hesitates, eventually Declan retreats as it seems she will kill him. He starts heading to meet with Dooley. During this time, the perspective jumps between himself, Allison, the producer, and the show itself. The evidence Dooley found was the old security tape, which had been tampered with, removing signs of another person entering the building where the murder took place. This also makes Declan wonder if the network itself framed him, since the police would have been more focused on finding the real killer if they had such information available. He takes drastic actions, removing his eye with the implanted surveillance camera with a grapefruit spoon; he hands the eye to his brother who heads out in a different direction, hoping to buy Declan some time.
Declan eventually searches out and confronts Allison in her home, showing her the footage and arguing that it proves that at least something underhanded was going on. She contacts the network to try to get a clearer idea of what was going on while Declan gets a call from his brother and goes to meet with him. Allison hears from Jack that Ev was the likely perpetrator for the frame up as Ev seemed quite eager to use the "zapper" to take out Declan. However it is soon discovered that Jack was the one who manipulated the surveillance footage as the actual perpetrator was under the age of 18 and thus was ineligible for the death penalty. Declan confronts Jack with a newly installed camera eye and manages to record Jack's confession as well as his attack on Allison and Declan himself. When a crew member states that what just happened on TV will get "Judgment Day" cancelled, "Ev" states that they can get one more episode in before the show is cancelled.
The episode ends with Jack as the show's new convict. Wearing an eyepatch, Declan tells Heather that he still considers the show a moral outrage. When asked by Heather why he's participating, he says simply that he "doesn't have a choice". Declan corners Jack near the dumpster as "Ev" is pleased with the final episode being aired. The episode fades to black as Declan uses the taser gun to finally get revenge on Jack for framing him.
|“||To those who would corrupt the search for truth, be warned; the sword of justice cuts both ways.||”|
- Chris Elliott as Jack Parson
- Ian Tracey as Declan McMahon
- Nicole Oliver as Heather Cattrell
- Kevin McNulty as Everett "Ev" Costello
- Vincent Gale as Dooley McMahon
- Molly Ringwald as Allison Channing
- Peter Kelamis as Stan Draper
- Judith Maxie as Judge Peale
- Louis Chirillo as Cheech
- Jennifer Sterling as Detective Meacham
- Colin Foo as Mr. Chow
- Tony Alcantar as Director