The Deprogrammers

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"The Deprogrammers"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 16
Directed by Joseph Scanlan
Written by James Crocker
Production code 38
Original air date 26 May 1996
Guest appearance(s)

Erich Anderson as Evan,
Dean McKenzie as Newscaster,
Nicole Oliver as Jill Cooper,
Brent Spiner as Prof. Davis,
Vincent Hammond as Koltok/Megwan

Episode chronology
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List of The Outer Limits episodes

"The Deprogrammers" is an episode of The Outer Limits television series. It first aired on 26 May 1996, during the second season.


Earth is under alien occupation, and for two years the human race has been conditioned for slavery, unable to think for itself or disobey an order. One human, the slave of an important ruler, is captured by a small band of rebel humans who try to break the conditioning and restore his free will.

Opening narration[edit]


Evan is a slave in the mansion of a harsh-ruling alien, Koltak, who he refers to as "Milord". Like all other slaves ("Jollem"), he has been "programmed" to not feel anything, and to take everything his master says as fact without question.

Later, Evan is captured by a resistance movement led by Trent Davis (Brent Spiner), who call themselves the Vindicators, or the Deprogrammers. At first, he is completely vegetative towards them. Not even pain or having Trent cutting his wrist will make him flinch.

But during the course of days, little by little, the resistance manages to wake up the parts of his mind that have been silenced by the programming. He is slowly introduced to his past life, a successful military career, and to his wife, who is also working with the resistance movement.

The resistance aims to restore the meaning of what it means to be a human, by the means of military power. Finally, when Evan comes to realize that his master is actually responsible for killing all the children of the world, including his daughter, he becomes apparently sympathetic to the goals of the vindicators, despite occasional quirks in his thinking.

Evan returns to Koltak's mansion, bringing with him a vial that is camouflaged as a vial of Seragon oil, a substance Koltak is particularly fond of. He drops the vial into the bath the alien is taking, and combines it with another substance, making the bath become solid, trapping the alien there. Evan beats Koltak to death, and then returns to the place of the vindicators, carrying the head of the alien with him in a bag.

At the moment of joy and success, Trent Davis asks if "Milord" is pleased, after which another alien steps in, whom Davis recognizes as Megwon. Apparently Davis had been a slave all along; Megwon had used Evan as a pawn to kill his rival. The alien says the resistance is small and at the moment will not be a threat to him, and Evans is reprogrammed again … though his wife seems to resist programming.

Closing narration[edit]

External links[edit]