The Outer Limits: Season 1, Episode 2

The Hundred Days of the Dragon (23 Sep. 1963)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 284 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

The election draws near and William Lyons Selby seems destined to win. Elsewhere, the communist nation of dictator Li Kwan has achieved a remarkable breakthrough: a serum that renders human... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
William Lyons Selby
Phillip Pine ...
Ted Pearson
Mark Roberts ...
Bob Conner
...
Dr. Sui-Lin
Richard Loo ...
Li-Chin Sung
Joan Camden ...
Ann Pearson
...
Frank Summers
Clarence Lung ...
Maj. Ho Chi-Wong
Henry Scott ...
FBI Agent Marshall
...
Wen Li
James Yagi ...
Li Kwan
Nancy Rennick ...
Carol Selby Conner
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Storyline

The election draws near and William Lyons Selby seems destined to win. Elsewhere, the communist nation of dictator Li Kwan has achieved a remarkable breakthrough: a serum that renders human flesh plastic. A simple injection and a process of molding allows an agent to quietly murder Selby and take his place! America has elected a spy to the highest office in that nation. Selby's daughter and his aide suspect all is not right, but have no idea what the real problem is. One thing seems certain: if they can't find out soon, the problem of "who's who" is sure to widen, and America will fall to an insidious enemy without firing a shot... Written by CommanderBalok

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23 September 1963 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

It is interesting and somewhat prophetic that the second show "Hundred Days of the Dragon" which depicted a President of the United States covertly assassinated by a Chinese agent was aired on TV on September 23, 1963. On November 22, 1963, just 60 days later, 35th president John F. Kennedy was overtly assassinated also, even though under different circumstances. See more »

Goofs

Although it is established early on that the main character played by Sidney Blackmer is supposed to be missing part of a finger, you can see clearly throughout the episode that he has no such characteristic. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A disturbing story with critical plot defects
4 October 2014 | by (Concord, Ca) – See all my reviews

I again started watching "The Outer Limits" several nights ago after a fifty-one year hiatus. I first saw it when I was a kid. I liked "The Hundred Days of the Dragon". Unfortunately there are a couple of flaws in the plot which damage the credibility of the episode. However, one of its strengths is the way it depicted the lack of security surrounding a presidential candidate, at a time when such candidates were more vulnerable than they are today.

The sight of the real Selby being ambushed, shot to death, and replaced by a look-alike spy in his hotel room was disturbing.

Also disquieting is the thought that, with all the advances in technology since this episode was first aired, a serum may indeed exist that gives someone the ability to precisely resemble someone else. Some of our leading politicians and business leaders may have already been replaced by spies without our knowledge. That would be one explanation for the steady erosion of citizen's rights in the U.S. and the dumbing-down of U.S. citizens. Face-transplant surgery is another viable substitution method, as was demonstrated in the movie "Face-Off", with John Travolta and Nicholas Cage.

The Selby impersonator is given the key to Selby's hotel room by his assistant, who has been watching Selby's room from across the hall. This is a serious plot defect. How did he obtain the key? Surely the hotel management and staff would've been in a state of alert due to Selby and his entourage staying there. They wouldn't be expected to just give the key, or a copy of it, to the assistant. The assistant might've used a subterfuge, or he might've taken it by force, but it would've been helpful for us to know how it was obtained.

If the key to the real Selby's room wasn't in the assistant's possession, it would be difficult to imagine how the imposter could've gained entry to his room without risking immediate exposure and arrest. The plot to replace Selby could've been foiled right there and then.

Flaw no. 2: After the first failed attempt to assassinate Vice President Pearson and replace him with a duplicate, the President Selby imposter acted as though Pearson wasn't aware of the plan to replace him. In a Presidential blunder to rival the Bay of Pigs for sheer stupidity, he had called Pearson to ask him to go somewhere and perform some duty, knowing that his replacement would be there waiting for him. Pearson had confronted the imposter and had seen his face during the bungled assassination attempt, so of course his suspicions were aroused; the Selby imposter would likely have been alerted. Especially considering how brilliantly the fake Selby and his true countrymen's scientists had previously carried out their leader's sinister plan, it's implausible that the fake President Selby would be so naive as to think Pearson would willingly walk into a trap without taking precautions. The result of the spy's naivete? Pearson stopped his replacement, captured him and exposed the Presidential imposter, putting an end to Li-Chin Sung's plan to conquer the United States.

Regarding the lack of security, prior to Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, when this episode was first aired, presidential candidates weren't entitled to secret service protection. The real candidate Selby or his Campaign Manager might have hired at least one bodyguard for him, but Selby would likely have refused such protection as he preferred to have direct contact with people. He wasn't an aloof candidate.


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