The Outer Limits - Original

Season 2 Episode 13

The Duplicate Man

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Dec 19, 1964 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
25 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A man wants to capture a dangerous alien creature. Doing it himself would be too dangerous, so he has his clone do it.

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  • Henderson James has two problems: one, the creature in his basement is outlawed; two, it has escaped. The unusual steps he takes to kill it reveal the fault lines in his marriage and his friendships.moreless

    From the first thirty seconds, you might realize that you have stumbled across a hidden gem. The attention to detail demonstrated in this episode, from the biological details of the museum creatures, to the futuristic police cars and houses, all reinforce this initial gut feeling (only the main alien comes across as lackluster). The plot hurtles along like a truck without brakes headed down a hill, picking up intrigue and tension through every unexpected twist and turn. You're not sure how the story will end until the very last minute -- it is a masterwork of plotting. Even the characters are finely-crafted, often catching you unawares with their depth. In short, this episode is mandatory viewing for OL fans.moreless
  • Intriguing episode

    The strength of this episode is twofold: the fine performance of Constance Towers as the wife of the clone and the writing. There's a lot to think about with this episode and the concept of cloning would become a big issue decades later. I agree with the other poster who said that the megasoid did not seem scary enough. I also found it laughable that the phones they are using are rotary-dial phones. At one point the year 1986 is mentioned, as a reference to something in the clearly, the writers should've known that if phones have video capabilities in the future, they would probably be button-operated and that dials would be obsolete. Aside from this use of a 1960s telephone, the rest of the story seemed very credible...and hauntingly prophetic.moreless
Ron Randell

Ron Randell

Henderson James

Guest Star

Constance Towers

Constance Towers

Laura James

Guest Star

Sean McClory

Sean McClory

Karl Emmett

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Control Voice: (opening narration) Since the first day that Man stared up at the stars and saw other worlds there has been no more haunting question than this: What will we find there? Will there be other creatures? and Will they be like us? Or when that ancient dream comes true, will it turn into a nightmare? Will we find on some distant frozen planet an alien life of unimaginable horror?

    • Miss Thorsen: There have been several cases where it was not the duplicate who was destroyed.

    • Control Voice: (closing narration) In all the universe can there be creatures more strange than the species called Man? He creates and destroys. He fumbles and makes mistakes. But the thing which distinguishes him is his ability to learn from his mistakes.

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode is based on the short story "Goodnight, Mr. James" by Clifford D. Simak. The story was first published in Galaxy (March, 1951)