The Sandkings

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This article is about the TV episode. For other uses, see Sandkings.
"The Sandkings"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 1
Directed by Stuart Gillard
Written by Melinda M. Snodgrass (Based on the work by George R. R. Martin)
Production code 1
Original air date 26 March 1995
Guest actors

Beau Bridges as Dr. Simon Kress
Helen Shaver as Cathy Kress
Dylan Bridges as Josh Kress
Kim Coates as Dave Stockley
Lloyd Bridges as Colonel Kress
Patricia Harras as Debbie

Episode chronology
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List of The Outer Limits episodes

"The Sandkings" is the first episode of the revived 1960s science-fiction television series The Outer Limits, based on the short story Sandkings by George R. R. Martin, first published in Omni Magazine August 1979. Twice the normal length of other episodes in the series at 92:38 minutes, "The Sandkings" functions as a film and stars well-known actors Beau Bridges, Lloyd Bridges, Kim Coates and Helen Shaver. The episode premiered on 26 March 1995 on Showtime and its inclusion of three generations of the Bridges family (Beau's son Dylan also starred), was used to promote the new series.

The episode was highly acclaimed, garnering five Gemini Award nominations. One of these was in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series for Beau Bridges' leading role as Simon Kress, which also garnered nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series and the CableACE Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series.

Introduction[edit]

A scientist steals specimens of Martian life from his subterranean workplace laboratory to illegally continue research on an aborted, classified government project at home.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

Dr. Simon Kress' (Beau Bridges) research for the government on Martian life is aborted because one of his specimens escaped his lab and almost made it to the surface. However, Kress doesn't agree with the abandonment of the project and decides to continue his experiments in his barn. He steals some sand containing Martian eggs from his lab and creates a makeshift incubator to hatch more of the Martian lifeforms.

The sandkings evolve into two distinct groups, a white group and a red group, and settle on opposite sides of their glass enclosure. Kress comes to believe that he is a god to his sandkings when the white group builds a sand structure that resemble his face. He smashes the sand structure of the red group who didn't do the same, one of them getting loose and stinging him. He kills his former supervisor by tossing him into the enclosure, where the sandkings then devour him. Later, he finds himself in the basement with the red sandkings, who have made a nest with the face of his former supervisor he fed to them. He breaks a gas pipe to cause an explosion in an attempt to kill all of the sandkings. In the ending of the episode, a colony of sandkings is shown surviving in the wilderness.

Closing narration[edit]

Aftermath[edit]

The Sandkings thrived after their escape from Kress' home laboratory. Fragments from the episode are included in the final episode of season one, "The Voice of Reason". There, clips from "The Sandkings" are used to support an argument that the Earth is undergoing a number of different alien invasions. Later in the episode, two alien conspirators acknowledge, in private conversation, that the Sandkings could become a serious problem in about thirty years, assuming that they could survive in a methane-based atmosphere, which the aliens intended to gradually transform from the Earth's human-friendly one.

In the sixth season episode "Final Appeal", we discover that the Sandkings plague has been eradicated, which took "the better part of a decade" to complete.

Differences from the original story[edit]

  • The action of the original story Sandkings by George R. R. Martin takes place in the distant future on a far planet colonized by humans.
  • The original story does not specify the planet of Sandkings' origin.
  • Simon Kress is possessed by neither scientific interest nor desire to receive the Nobel Prize, but simple aggression, which turns the initially harmless Sandkings into aggressive creatures.

Awards nominations[edit]

  • In 1995 for the role of Simon Kress actor Beau Bridges was nominated for the prize Emmy Award in the category "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series".
  • In 1996 The Outer Limits TV-series was nominated to the prize Gemini Awards, including Beau Bridges received a nomination in the category "Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series", and episode "SandKings" was nominated in the category "Best TV Movie or Mini-Series" and "Best Sound in a Dramatic Program or Series". Also, for this episode there was nominated Joseph L. Scanlan as "Best Direction in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series" and Peter Outerbridge as Best Performance by an "Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series".[1]
  • Beau Bridges was nominated for the CableACE Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]