Tempests (The Outer Limits)

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The Outer Limits episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 9
Directed byMario Azzopardi
Written byHart Hanson
Production code53
Original air date7 March 1997
Guest appearance(s)

Eric McCormack as John Virgil
Burt Young as Captain Parker
Charlene Fernetz as Corinne Virgil
Marie Stillin as Governor Mudry
Kenneth Welsh as Dr. Vasquez
Lee Taylor as Colonel Lynne

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Heart's Desire"
Next →
List of The Outer Limits episodes

"Tempests" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 7 March 1997, during the third season.


A spaceship crashes while on a mission of mercy. One of the crew begins to hallucinate — unable to tell what is real, and what is fantasy.

Opening narration[edit]


Commander Virgil is desperately attempting to deliver a serum to his home colony, which is being devastated by a virus, Ellycia C. His wife and young son are there. After his ship crashes into a gas giant, he finds himself shifting between two realities: an ideal one, and one in crisis.

In the "bad" reality, the crash site turns out to be the interior of a living being; while conducting repairs, Virgil is bitten by a spider-like creature and its venom causes him to hallucinate. In the "good" reality, the crew were rescued and delivered the serum; Virgil is living happily with his family but is in treatment for Ellycia C., which is causing him to hallucinate. In each reality, he perceives the other reality as a hallucination, and he is warned he could die if he does not struggle against the other, "false" reality.

Virgil reasons that his family are already safe if the "good" reality is true, but they still need the serum if the "bad" reality is true; so he embraces the "bad" reality to ensure their survival. He heads for the colony in an escape pod and makes contact with his wife, believing he is on track to save both the crew and the colony. However, both realities are false; Virgil and the entire crew are unconscious and being fed on by the alien spiders.

Closing narration[edit]

External links[edit]