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"The Outer Limits" The Grell (1999)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Racism of the Future

8/10
Author: Hitchcoc from United States
22 July 2014

The Grell are a subjugated people who are made to serve their more "enlightened" masters. They have the best of humanity, kindness and compassion, and yet are treated as if they were filthy insects. They raise the children, give of their own being to save others, and receive nothing in return. In this episode, a family of earth people are trapped and must find a way to their place of rescue. Unfortunately (or not), they are hunted by the Grell who have formed a resistance. The poor servant must choose between his loyalty to his family and joining the rebels. He gets an agreement from the family as he uses his devices to save the father in exchange for his freedom. Of course, the earth people will promise anything and then not deliver on their promises. How can you make a pact with something so inhuman? The bodily fluids used to save the man have some interesting side effects and that's when the themes of the story come out to play. Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation stars as a bigoted mother who has no scruples whatsoever. This is a very interesting episode.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

8/10
Author: jeberkin from United States
8 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think the best episodes of The Outer Limits (both the original and remade series) are the ones that tell a simple story about the human soul. It may be a seeming contradiction, but such stories may have to include "aliens". One such episode is "The Grell". Jesha is the character mentioned in the title, and he is a slave of an Earthling family. The patriarch (Ted Shackelford, from "Knot's Landing") is mean to him, and his wife is patronizing, but Jesha has a good relationship with their son and little daughter. There is one scene where Jesha goes out to look for the girl, who has run away from her parents. He encounters the dangerous Shak-El, who accuses him of being a traitor, and tries to lure him away from the humans. Yet Jesha stays loyal to his masters. Why? The answers are complicated. Partly it is because he has no other family. Perhaps he is scared. In a telling scene, when her husband is wounded, the wife orders Jesha to look in the instructions to see how much medicine to give him. He can't, he says, because he can't read. Any African-American who knows the history of slavery can tell you that white people strongly discouraged slaves to learn how to read, for fears that education would make them want to revolt. The character Jesha was so well-done that I was eager to find out the name of the person who portrayed him. I was pleased to learn (and herein lies another irony) that the role was played by Maurice Dean Wint, the black actor who was the crew leader in the OL remake of the classic "Nightmare". As good as he was in that episode, he was even more impressive in this one. I won't spoil the ending for you. There is more intrigue, and even some scenes that are not for the faint-of-heart. It is interesting, though, that the concept of "alien" here, meaning non-human, could well describe the state that slaves were relegated to in the Southern United States for hundreds of years. Is there any redemption here? Tune in to find out. An 8 out of 10.

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Well, Gary Ewing and Deanna Troi, If Nothing Else

Author: richard.fuller1
4 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In a distant galaxy, a high official (Ted Shackleford) and his family (Marina Sirtis as his wife) crash-land with their two servants, aliens called Grell on a planet. Is it Earth or the aliens' world? I think it was the aliens planet, but never mind.

We never leave the woods.

One of the alien slaves is killed trying to escape. The other, Jasha, is torn between serving his masters and joining his native people.

Jasha feels he has no family other than his masters.

Decently done and it is fun seeing Marina Sirtis as a discriminating, bigoted woman.

Shackleford is okay, but a bit comical looking in alien makeup.

Actually not too heavy on everybody has rights, or maybe that plot has been played out, but a good story nonetheless.

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