"The Hunt" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It was first broadcast on 23 January 1998, during the fourth season.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Opening narration
- 3 Plot
- 4 Closing narration
- 5 Cast
In the near future, the hunting of animals has been banned by environmentalists, and black market hunting of obsolete androids takes its place.
“Humankind has proven to be unique among lifeforms, distinguished not only by its lofty intelligence, morality and self-awareness, but also by a baser side...it is the only creature that kills for sport.”
Bowhunters George Nichols, his son Eric, older brother Clute, and their guide Pete, engage in a ritual hunt of a group of obsolete androids. The prey - mining android Kel, a doctor, and two others - attempt to escape from the hunters during the beginning of the hunt. Clute, eager to provide his brother and nephew with an exciting hunt, secretly plants information allowing the androids to remove their inhibitor chips so that they may fight back instead of merely running away. However, the doctor is
killed, leading to the kidnapping of Eric and Pete. The androids (two at that point, including Kel) release Eric, as he had refused to hunt with the other hunters. Pete, however, is revealed to be another android and is kept captive, though he almost seems to prefer going with his fellow androids than staying with the hunters. In the meantime, George accidentally kills his own son, having mistaken the boy for one of the androids. Clute then pursues the androids, killing another one of them. Enraged, Kel (who had up until then refused to have his inhibitor removed) kills Clute. Eventually, Kel and Pete make it to the limits of the forest, meeting a ranger. The ranger explains to the androids that, since they survived an illegal hunt, they are allowed to live freely among humans, something Kel had frequently dreamed of. However, Kel is disgusted and weary from his experience, so he refuses this freedom and reveals how he killed Clute. As a result, Kel is reprogrammed and turned into a guide for another android hunt.
“As machines grow more human, we must be wary that we do not become...less so.”
This episode is everything that fans of the Outer Limits would expect. It has something to say about stereotypes, colonialism, slavery, toxic masculinity, empathy, technology and authoritarianism, and even mixes in a dash of good old fashioned sibiling rivalry. It puts effort into characterization and this pays off in the viewer's own empathy towards those who die (or "die").
Doug Savant ... Kel Ron White ... George Nichols Sarah Strange ... Tara David McNally ... Pete Don Thompson ... Doc Tobias Mehler ... Eric Nichols Bob Gunton ... Clute Nichols Robert Moloney ... Veeter D. Harlan Cutshall ... Guard Russell Ferrier ... Game Warden