Her Pilgrim Soul
|"Her Pilgrim Soul"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
Scene from Her Pilgrim Soul
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Written by||Alan Brennert|
|Original air date||December 13, 1985|
Two scientists create a holographic projector. One day, the device starts generating images of a human fetus. The two watch as the fetus matures into a baby, a young girl, then a full grown woman, growing at a rate of ten years a day. They find out that Nola, as she calls herself, was once a young woman who lived in the early twentieth century. They debate over whether or not Nola is a real human soul somehow integrated into their hologram generator.
Kevin, the lead scientist, begins to fall in love with this impossible creation. He begins spending more time at the lab than at home, his home life deteriorating over the next few days. Nola talks with Kevin about her father and how he tried to keep her burgeoning intellectual desires from flourishing. They discuss the poetry of Yeats. During day five, an adult Nola describes her pregnancy and relives a miscarriage of losing a baby girl. The other scientist, Dan, later discovers the miscarriage was the cause of Nola's death, and that Robert, Nola's husband in real life, never forgave himself for her death; Robert died of a broken heart soon after.
As the holographic Nola ages and nears her farewell, she uses a voice modifier machine to call Kevin's wife, Carol. Posing as Kevin, Nola tells her to come pick him up. In the final conversation between Kevin and Nola, it is revealed that Kevin is a reincarnation of Robert, who carried his grief "for the rest of [his] life, and into the next." Now Nola has finally been able to give him closure by living the life he wanted to have with her. He brings out the Yeats book and reads a favorite passage of both. As they tearfully acknowledge the passage, Nola fades away as Kevin's wife enters the lab. They have an emotional reunion. Carol is then quite surprised and delighted as a child's toy ball, as real and substantive as anything, bounces out of the holographic chamber and lands in her hands.
|“||And bending down beside the glowing bars, murmur, a little sadly, how love fled and paced upon the mountains overhead and hid her face amid a crowd of stars. A variation on William Butler Yeats to all those who have loved and lost, and loved again, on Earth or...in the Twilight Zone.||”|
This story was made into a one-act stage musical by Alan Menken and paired with James Tiptree, Jr's "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" as a stage production titled Weird Romance: Two One Act Musicals of Speculative Fiction. The James Tiptree Jr. story "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" was made into an episode of the short-lived SCI FI Channel anthology series Welcome to Paradox.
There is an obvious error made in the first half of this episode. One scientist remarks that she is aging at the rate of ten months every hour, or 10 years a day. Based on the math, she should be aging at 20 years a day. In Weird Romance, the error is corrected, as Nola is described as aging only five months every hour.