Inconstant Moon (The Outer Limits)

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"Inconstant Moon"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 12
Directed by Joseph Scanlan
Written by Larry Niven
Production code 34
Original air date 12 April 1996
Guest actors

Michael Gross as Professor Stan Hurst,
Joanna Gleason as Leslie,
Scott Swanson as Silver Haired Man,
William de Vry as Bartender

Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Refuge"
Next →
"From Within"
List of The Outer Limits episodes

"Inconstant Moon" is an episode of the US television series The Outer Limits. It first aired on 12 April 1996, during the second season. Science fiction author Larry Niven adapted his own short story of the same name for television.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

It follows, roughly, the plot of the original story: A physics professor spots that the Moon is extremely bright. He realises that the Sun must have gone nova and the side of the Earth in daylight must be suffering extreme heat — and that he has only a few hours left to live. He speaks to another academic and decides that it would be better if people did not know what had happened.

He contacts a woman whom he had been in love with and invites her to go for a walk with him; a love story ensues where he and the woman marry on what they assume is their last night on Earth. He is forced to admit what is going on to the woman, who is initially extremely disconcerted and distrustful of his intentions, although he defers these misgivings by repeatedly professing his love.

When they go to her apartment to eat, he begins to suspect that the Earth is merely being hit by an extreme solar flare, and he begins to plan for an extended period of survival, despite his new wife's reluctance. He turns out to be correct, and the professor and his wife are one of the few left alive despite extreme flooding, although the story is ambiguous as to the scale of the disaster.

Closing narration[edit]

External links[edit]