Outer Limits – To Tell the Truth (04/24/98)

Dr. Larry Chambers and Miss Amanda Harper — because who would believe a woman scientist? — are watching a storm and solar flares wreaking havoc on the colony.  The green-screen is just terrible, it does not appear real at all, totally unbelievable!  The fusion plant explodes, and there is massive destruction.  Chambers freezes the picture — it is a simulation.  Oh, in that case it is the best simulation ever, totally believable!  Unfortunately, his simulation has determined that this destruction will occur in mere days — although, since this is not earth, who knows how long that is?

Amanda’s father Ian is a councilman — because who would believe a woman councilman, or even a councilwoman?  He is skeptical of Chambers’ prediction of doom because he cried wolf once before.  Five years earlier, as the colony was 40% complete, he insisted that it be relocated because a nearby volcano was going to blow.

With timing better than a Swiss watch, Chambers’ neighbor Fenton stops by to remind Chambers that his wife fled the planet with their kids after his first prediction.  The angry, beady-eyed man doesn’t mention why they never came back to him, though.  I don’t think Chambers is to blame on that point.  After this perfectly pooped choad [1] of exposition, he unceremoniously exits.  Ian says that is the kind of reception his new theory will receive.

Later, Amanda admits her father might have a point — the doomsday scenario only occurred in 2 of 46 simulations.  Yeah, but the last time was after Chambers added new data to the model.  And here’s an idea — if the future of the freakin’ planet is at stake, maybe keep running simulations.  I’m willing to authorize some OT for this.

As further evidence, he shows her an alien (i.e. indigenous) skeleton he looted from a reservation.  They were shape-shifters.  Somehow he also looted a rock wall with petroglyphs that seem to confirm his theory.  As they are talking, Chief Bennett walks in.  Dude, you have a door!  I see it right there in the shot!

Chambers goes to see head councilman Murdoch, and if there was ever a trustworthy character named Murdoch on TV, I missed it. [2]  Chambers suggests they evacuate the planet or take some core samples to maybe, ya know, check out this potential world-wide Armageddon.  Murdoch thinks he subconsciously wants to sabotage the colony because his wife died of cancer there, far from the facilities on earth that could have helped her.

Chambers goes back home.  He finds Fenton there lounging in his living room.  Ian walks in and runs Fenton out.  Seconds later, Amanda walks in.  Seriously, does this guy not get the whole door concept?  It’s right there and says “Chambers Quarters”!   BTW, a much better episode could have been filmed in “Quarters Chambers”.  He tries unsuccessfully to convince the colony of the danger.

The next day, Ian, Fenton, Bennett and Murdoch open his door and walk right in.  So he has figured out the door, but not mastered the lock yet.  Fenton saw an alien leaving Chambers home.  Murdoch concludes Chambers must be a shape-shifting alien, overlooking the fact that every f***ing bi-ped in this colony seems to waltz in and out of Chambers front door whether he is there or not.  He forces Chambers to take a DNA test which reveals him to be an alien.  He is hauled off to jail.

Ian and Amanda break Chambers out of jail after determining that the first DNA test was rigged.  Blah blah, there are twists and turns but it was hard for me to get invested.

Other Stuff:

  • [1] Apparently I’ve had the meaning of this word wrong all my life.  I kind of like my definition better, though.
  • [2] OK, I just thought of The A-Team.

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