White Light Fever
|"White Light Fever"|
|The Outer Limits episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Tibor Takács|
|Written by||David Kemper|
|Original air date||21 April 1995|
|List of The Outer Limits episodes|
"White Light Fever" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It was first broadcast on 21 April 1995 during the first season.
The ruthless billionaire, Harlan Hawkes, is one hundred and two years old — and terrified of dying. For the last eight years he has funded a research project to develop an artificial replacement for his own failing heart.
|“||The one certainty of the human experience is death. But what might happen when our effort to prolong the inevitable starts to turn that battle around? Will someone, or something, step in to ensure the final outcome?||”|
Harlan Hawkes' (William Hickey) heart fails again and he sees himself moving down a tunnel of light. His personal physician, Dr. McEnerney (Bruce Davison), rushes to the scene and resuscitates him just in time. A mysterious blue energy appears near Hawkes' body and moves into the electrical systems of the room. Although Hawkes is still alive, his heart is badly damaged — and the artificial heart being developed by McEnerney will not be ready in time. Hawkes threatens to pull funding from the artificial heart project unless he is moved to the front of the queue for the next available donor heart.
This puts Dr. McEnerney in a difficult moral situation. Losing funding for the artificial heart project could mean the loss of a system that could save thousands of lives. To keep the funding he must give priority to a ruthless, cold elderly man who has already had a full life. The situation is even more difficult because the future sister-in-law of his friend, Dr. Anne Crain (Sonja Smits), is only eighteen and needs a heart transplant. She will not survive beyond a couple of weeks.
The blue energy release during Hawkes' last resuscitation begins to try to kill Hawkes. McEnerney realises that keeping Hawkes alive beyond his time has serious consequences and refuses Hawkes' request to be given priority.
Both of the prospective heart recipients; Hawkes and the young girl die. Hawkes sees the girl inside the tunnel of light, and realises that their future paths are very different. The girl comments that it is so warm and that she had expected it to be the other way around. She goes to Heaven while he descends into the cold depths of Hell.
|“||For one man, the battle against death is over. But for the rest of us, the war rages on. At what point does the cost of survival... become too high a price for us to pay?||”|