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|The Outer Limits episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Joseph Scanlan|
|Written by||James Crocker|
|Original air date||26 May 1996|
"The Deprogrammers" is an episode of The Outer Limits television series. It first aired on 26 May 1996, during the second season.
In the near future, Earth is under alien occupation by a race of reptilian aliens, the Torkor. 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.
|“||At what point does a human being's free will cease to exist? And if we have forfeited our free will... are we still human?||”|
In the near future, where a race of unnamed scaly aliens have taken over Earth, Evan (Erich Anderson) is a slave in the mansion of the harsh-ruling Koltak (Vincent Hammond) 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 Professor 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 Jill (Nicole Oliver), 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 (Vincent Hammond). Davis had been a Jollem all along, but was spared from the reprogramming so that he can continue with his experiments. Megwon had used Evan as a pawn to kill his rival. Megwon says the resistance is small and at the moment will not be a threat to him.
In the final scene, Evan is being reprogrammed again along with Jill....though Jill seems to resist programming.
|“||For centuries philosophers have wrestled with the question, "Is man able to decide his destiny through his own actions or does fate have the final say?||”|