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Demon with a Glass Hand is the 37th episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It aired on October 17, 1964, during the second season.

Introduction

Opening narration

"Through all the legends of ancient peoples—Assyrian, Babylonian, Sumerian*, Semetic—runs the saga of the Eternal Man, the one who never dies, called by various names in various times, but historically known as Gilgamesh, the one who has never tasted death... the hero who strides through the centuries..."

*'Sumerian' is mispronounced as 'SumeriCan' in the broadcast version of the opening narration.

Plot

Trent (Robert Culp) is a man with no memory of his life before the previous ten days. His left hand has been replaced by an advanced computer shaped like his missing hand and protected by some transparent material. Three fingers are missing; the computer tells him they must be reattached before it can tell Trent what is going on. Trent is being hunted by a handful of humanoid aliens called the Kyben; they have the missing appendages. The action takes place in a large rundown office building which the Kyben have sealed off from the world. In this deadly game of hide-and-seek, Trent enlists the help of Consuelo Biros (Arlene Martel), a woman who works in the building.

For reasons unknown to him, Trent was sent into the past via a "time mirror", located in the building. A captured Kyben tells Trent that both of them are from a thousand years in the future. In that future, Earth has been conquered by the Kyben, but all the surviving humans except Trent have mysteriously vanished. The aliens are being obliterated by a "radioactive plague" that is killing all intelligent life on the planet, apparently unleashed by the humans in a last-ditch effort to repel the invasion. In a desperate attempt to find a cure for the plague and to extract whatever knowledge is stored in the hand/computer, the Kyben have followed him back in time with the missing fingers.

Eventually, Trent defeats all of his Kyben hunters by ripping off the medallion-shaped devices they wear to anchor them in the past. Trent successfully destroys the mirror and recovers the missing fingers, one by one. When the computer is whole, he learns the terrible truth: he is not a man, but a robot. The human survivors have been digitally encoded onto a gold-copper alloy wire wrapped around the solenoid in his thorax. Immune to disease, he must protect his precious cargo for 1,200 years, after the Kyben invasion, by which time the plague will have dissipated. Then he will resurrect the human race.

Trent had thought he was a man, as he and Consuelo had begun to develop feelings for each other. With the truth revealed, she leaves him, pity mixed with horror in her eyes. Trent is left to face 1,200 years of lonely vigil.

Closing narration

"Like the Eternal Man of Babylonian legend, like Gilgamesh, one thousand plus two hundred years stretches before Trent. Without love. Without friendship. Alone; neither man nor machine, Waiting. Waiting for the day he will be called to free the humans who gave him mobility. Movement, but not life."

Cast

Crew

Cinematographer - Kenneth Peach

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