The Outer Limits: Season 3, Episode 13

Dead Man's Switch (4 Apr. 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Fantasy | Horror
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 120 users  
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An American soldier learns that he is one of five people around the world who are separately sealed underground for a year and are charged with preventing earth's self-destruction as the world awaits a possible invasion by aliens.



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Title: Dead Man's Switch (04 Apr 1997)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Ben Conklin (as James LeGros)
Katya Rubinov
General James Eiger
Merrilyn Gann ...
Gwen Wellington
Ellis Williams ...


Ben Conklin is a last-minute replacement for a long-term isolation assignment. He's advised by General James Eiger that, some time ago, long range probes identified an alien force heading directly for Earth. In the event they should lose any battle with the aliens, they have arranged for a self-destruct mechanism to destroy all life on the planet. The system will automatically fire, giving Conklin 30 seconds to hit the kill switch. Eiger tells him that if they succeed, they will dig him out in about a year's time; if they don't appear, he should assume the worst. Conklin learns that there are four others in different locations around the world who can also stop the doomsday device from firing. For most of the year, not much happens. Conklin becomes friendly with Katya Rubinov, but when his counterparts start to die, he considers letting the timer count down. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Release Date:

4 April 1997 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Per the title, a dead man's switch is a fail-safe lever or peddle that is automatically operated in case the human operator becomes incapacitated commonly used in locomotives, freight elevators, lawn mowers, chainsaws and snowblowers. See more »


Features The Outer Limits: Paradise (1996) See more »

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I think this is it?
25 July 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I think this is the episode where an alien ship is shown heading to Earth to a man who is to run a bunker with a switch which has to be hit to stop all nuclear,biological and chemical weapons deploying if the aliens are peaceful all he a some others have to do is push the switch until their bunkers are found. Time goes by and they all settle into a kind of boredom when some of the bunkers lose contact eventually leaving only 2 of them left, the main character then witnesses something bust into the other bunker and attack the person in it who is a woman I think? He then goes on for a while alone until receiving a message from the general who recruited him saying the aliens weren't peaceful but have been defeated by humanity at great cost who are now trying to find him and stop the countdown which in his sleep deprived and hungry state he has grown less and less able and willing to keep stopping on his own he is then showed deleriously pushing the the button with renewed conviction. It then shows the General was under the control of an alien on his back who sent the message to buy time before all humanitys weapons are released on them It finally shows in the window a devasted Washington D.C.

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