The Outer Limits (1995–2002)
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Small Friends 

A prisoner who fixes other prisoners' electronic devices, builds a few small mechanical friends who perform mechanical tasks for him. The other prisoners learn of their existence and want them to help in a prison break.

Director:

Neill Fearnley

Writers:

Tom Szollosi, Scott Peters (story editor) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Ralph Waite ... Gene Morton
Richard Yearwood ... Lawrence
Ingrid Torrance Ingrid Torrance ... Becky
Andrew Johnston ... Warden Taylor
Roddy Piper ... Marlon
Joel Palmer ... Phillip
Marc Baur Marc Baur ... Board Member
Dean Wray ... Tito
Tim Progosh ... Walter Black
Bill Croft ... Gabriel
Gerry Rousseau ... Jimmy
Michasha Armstrong ... Policeman
Benz Antoine ... Fence Guard
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Storyline

A prisoner who fixes other prisoners' electronic devices, builds a few small mechanical friends who perform mechanical tasks for him. The other prisoners learn of their existence and want them to help in a prison break.

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Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Release Date:

5 February 1999 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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User Reviews

 
The Upside of Nanotechnology
22 July 2014 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

Ralph Waite, late of The Waltons is a brilliant scientist who is in prison for taking a man's life. His guilt keeps him from even trying when he is offered the possibility of parole. The prison, recognizing his abilities, allows him to conduct experiments and research, returning each night to his cell. He has been delving into nanotechnology, creating robotic "bugs" that can leave their matchbox home and perform various functions. Unfortunately, he runs afoul of a psychotic inmate played by Roddy Piper. He realizes that the little guys can easily compromise the locks on the cell doors. Threatening Waite's family, he extorts him to participate in a jailbreak. There are some holes in the story. Waite can instruct these things to do all manner of repair work but probably could have done something to prevent them from harming his loved ones. Waite does a good job as a really kind man. We never know what the details of his crime were, but his research is a way of paying back, though he knows he falls short. Piper is creepy as the scary inmate. He did some film work over the years and I thing he was a good actor. Maybe all those phony body slams and head butts helped him embrace the Stanislavski method. What's really interesting about this episode are the implications of this technology which scientists continue to refine with each passing day.


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