The Outer Limits

Season 1 Episode 19

I, Robot

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jul 23, 1995 on Showtime
out of 10
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Episode Summary


Adam, a powerful robot, kills his creator when the scientist attempts to convert him into a military killing machine by destroying his more human qualities.

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  • A robot goes through a hearing to determine whether or not he is a person.

    Dr. Charles Link is the creator of Adam, a synthetic human, or put simply, a robot. While Dr. Link is working on Adam while he is in sleep mode, Adam suddenly awakes and causes Dr. Link's death. Later, when he is discovered and taken into police custody, he has no memory of what he did. It is pretty inevitable that Adam will be dismantled. Mina, Dr. Link's daughter, hires Thurman Cutler, a civil rights attorney to represent Adam. He plans to prove that Adam is a person and able to stand trial for murder. Cutler is played by Leonard Nimoy, who played a role in the original black and white Outer Limits episode. Cutler wants to "discredit the legal system" with this case, but I think he learns much in defending Adam. Later, he discovers that Dr. Link was getting funding from the military, who wished to use Dr. Link's technology for military purposes. This episode makes me wonder whether or not a robot could have a soul. Definitely one of my favorite episodes.moreless
Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

Thurman Cutler

Guest Star

John Novak

John Novak

Voice of Adam

Guest Star

Barbara Tyson

Barbara Tyson

Carrie Emerson

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • "I, Robot" was also the name of a 2004 movie which dealt with a robot killing his creator. It was based on a collection of short stories written by Isaac Asimov in the 1940s and published in book form in 1950.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Cutler: Do you always seek out legal counsel in the city park?
      Mina: Only when I'm told the best civil rights attorney there is plays chess here every Sunday.
      Cutler: You left out one word: retired. The law's a game I don't care to play anymore. Chess is the only battlefield left where strategy still means something. In chess, there's you, your opponent and the level playing field and once one of your men is knocked off the board, he cannot come back in the game, he's just out. He can't maneuver the rules, he can't buy his way back in, he's just out.
      Mina: Unless you sacrifice another man for him.

    • Cutler: I've got Emerson right where I want her. And tomorrow, Judge Clancy is gonna find out that his choices are extremely limited. I'm about to push Constitutional protection to the point of absurdity.
      Adam: I was not aware that this hearing was intended to be a lesson in the absurd.
      Cutler: I can't expect you to see the beauty in this, but I'm gonna force that judge to put a talking mannequin, albeit a highly sophisticated one, on trial for murder.
      Adam: Is that how you really see me, Mr. Cutler? As a talking mannequin?
      Cutler: Your design and your construction are nothing short of genius, but even you must understand that you're basically a take-off on the thoughts and feelings that Dr. Link programmed into you. A man suffers, a man bleeds...a man has a soul.
      Adam: I could snap your neck as if it were a toothpick. In that sense you're right. I'm not like most men. But like most men, I choose not to.
      Cutler: Let me go.
      Adam: Why? Because I have respect for life. All life. Even that of a jaded attorney who wants to put a talking mannequin on trial to discredit the legal system. You don't know me, Mr. Cutler. You don't know anything about me. The thought that Dr. Link, my creator, my friend, is dead saddens me to no end. And the thought I may have killed him, even if by accident, is abhorrent to me. Do you understand? I do suffer! But, unlike most men, my face doesn't show my feelings. Now, please, leave me alone.

    • Control Voice: (Closing Narration) Empathy, sacrifice, love. These qualities are not confined to walls of flesh and blood but are found within the deepest, best parts of man's soul... no matter where that soul resides.

    • Control Voice: (Opening Narration) It is said that God made man in his image, but man fell from grace. Still, man has retained from his humble beginnings the innate desire to create. But how will man's creations fare? Will they attain a measure of the divine? Or will they, too, fall from grace?

  • NOTES (3)