Quarantine (The Twilight Zone)

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"Quarantine"
The Twilight Zone (1985 series) episode
Quarantine TZ.jpg
Scene from Quarantine
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 17b
Directed by Martha Coolidge
Written by Alan Brennert
Production code 49
Original air date February 7, 1986
Guest actors

Scott Wilson : Matthew Forman
Tess Harper : Sarah
Larry Riley : Joshua
D.W. Brown : John
Jeanne Mori : Irene

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Welcome to Winfield"
Next →
"Gramma"
List of The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episodes

"Quarantine" is the second segment of the seventeenth episode from the first season (1985–86) of the television series The Twilight Zone.

Plot[edit]

A man awakens from an apparently long sleep. His caretaker, a young woman, wants him to confirm that he was put in cryogenic sleep in June 2023. Then she reveals he's been asleep for 324 years, it is the year 2347. The woman, Sarah, brings the man, Matthew, outside to see a small farm town. He is confused as to why he wasn't brought to a city, but she claims there are no more cities, freeways or factories. Sarah takes him into what she calls the surgery area, where surgery is performed without need of anesthetic or instruments. She and two others use psychic abilities to take out the cause of the incurable disease that required him to be put into the cryogenic sleep. Matthew is overwhelmed when he sees Sarah reach into his body and pull out the cancerous tissue painlessly. Although they are no longer technologically advanced, humans have made progress in 300 years. Theirs is a world in which technology is replaced by advances in human awareness and spiritual growth, where the organic replaces the mechanical, where they live in balance and harmony with all life on the planet in what Sarah refers to as a 'biological gestalt".

Matthew begins learning more and more about the agrarian post-apocalypse community where Sarah lives. Every need there is met through genetic engineering, psionics, and super-science in harmony with Nature. However, Matthew becomes confused as to why they brought him out, because he has no way of serving their completely agrarian society. They explain to him that a meteor, sufficient to alter dramatically the entire ecosystem of Earth, is about to crash into the Indian subcontinent. His work with a satellite defense system from the past can help destroy the meteor. He becomes angry, however, when they say that if it hadn't been for this problem, they wouldn't have brought him out and cured him. They show Matthew what happened after he was put in sleep: A nuclear exchange wiped out eighty percent of the human population, amongst other incredible damage. The survivors, now amounting to only 200,000, have sworn to never let machines have the trust of the world again, as it had been before.

Matthew becomes despondent, believing that since he doesn't share the gifts of the others in the village, he will never belong to their community. Sarah tries to comfort him, saying that they can perform surgery on his brain and give him the same abilities they have. However, there are more pressing matters to attend to: the meteor. Matthew operates an old, salvaged personal computer the commune found in an attempt to interface with the old satellite laser network in orbit. When the meteor makes a course correction upon reaching orbit, Matthew discovers that it isn't a meteor coming, but a United States spacecraft. Sarah explains that the community is threatened by the instigators of the war, who are returning to Earth. They left the Earth during the catastrophic war they started to save their own lives and perpetuate their power. The survivors cannot defend themselves, as violence and murder is not in their nature. She claims that they didn't want to trick him, but they knew he wouldn't want to destroy the spaceship, despite the fact the ship has weapons and would likely start the whole destructive war over again. Because of the "time dilation effect", time slowed down for the ones in the ship; only five or ten years have passed for them. Matthew doesn't believe Sarah, and he attempts to stop the weapon. Sarah thwarts his efforts by removing a piece of equipment from the computer. The ship is destroyed, and Matthew discovers that there were indeed weapons aboard. However, he still feels like an outsider and does not know what value he has to the community, especially since they tricked him into destroying the ship. Sarah claims he is still one of them now. Later on, Irene, one of the survivors, comes to Matthew and shows him how to begin his psychic journey and be able to travel through time and space with his mind like them...

Closing narration[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]