The Duplicate Man is the 13th episode of the second season of the original The Outer Limits television show. It aired on December 19, 1964.
Since the first day that Man stared up at the stars and saw other worlds, there has been no more haunting question than this: What will we find there? Will there be other creatures, and will they be like us? Or when that ancient dream comes true, will it turn into a nightmare? Will we find, on some distant, frozen planet, an alien life of unimaginable horror?
It is the year 2025; fourteen years previously wealthy research academic Henderson James had Captain Karl Emmet smuggle a Megasoid to Earth. It is illegal to possess a Megasoid as they are highly dangerous, always thinking about killing, unless in a reproductive cycle, which this one now is. When the Megasoid escapes to hide amongst the stuffed exhibits at a nearby space zoo, James, lacking the courage to track it down and kill it himself, has a clone of himself illegally made for the purpose by clone bootlegger Basil Jerichau. Strict guidelines govern the production of these "duplicates", which must be destroyed before vestigial memory renders them indistinguishable from the originals.
The clone botches its mission at the zoo and the Megasoid gets away after informing James that he is a duplicate. A trace of memory leads the duplicate James to the home of Captain Emmet. Emmet panics and tries to phone the police; the duplicate James knocks him cold; and, accumulating more of the real Henderson James memories as he goes, he finds his way to "his" own home. The wounded Megasoid returns to James home and hides in the bushes. Duplicate James meets the real James wife, Laura, who sees in him a more youthful version of her husband before he became obsessed with studying the Megasoid. The real James has gone to bribe Emmet into killing the duplicate James once he has completed his mission. Returning home, he leaves Emmett in the grounds to await duplicate James arrival. Unfortunately, Emmett is attacked and killed by the Megasoid. Entering his home, James meets his duplicate; seeing a more compassionate version of himself gives him the courage to kill the alien, as he believes Laura would be happier with the duplicate James.
Henderson James and his duplicate hunt for the Megasoid. James shoots the alien after it has torn his duplicate apart. He discovers that his clone was dying all the time, from a timed release poison in his blood stream, a precaution provided by the clone bootlegger. A less cynical Henderson James is now reconciled with his wife.
In all the Universe, can there be creatures more strange than the species called Man? He creates and destroys; he fumbles and makes mistakes. But the thing which distinguishes him is the ability to learn from his mistakes.
Cinematographer - Kenneth Peach