The New Breed (The Outer Limits)

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"The New Breed"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 15
Directed by Mario Azzopardi
Written by Grant Rosenberg
Production code 15
Original air date 23 June 1995
Guest appearance(s)

Richard Thomas as Dr. Stephen Ledbetter
Peter Outerbridge as Dr. Andy Groenig
Tammy Isbell as Judy
L. Harvey Gold as Dr. Merritt
Veena Sood as Dr. Katzman

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Quality of Mercy"
Next →
"The Voyage Home"
List of The Outer Limits episodes

"The New Breed" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 23 June 1995, during the first season.


Dr. Stephen Ledbetter makes a technological and medical breakthrough when he creates a type of tiny machine, known as nanobots, capable of curing any disease or imperfections in the human body.

Opening narration[edit]


Stephen's best friend Dr. Andy Groenig tells him that he wants to marry Stephen's sister, Judy. Overjoyed at the news, Stephen shows Andy the nanobots and explains what a remarkable breakthrough they are.

Andy later discovers that he has pelvic cancer, and has approximately one year to live if the hip and leg are not removed. In desperation he sneaks into Stephen's lab and injects himself with the nanobots. They quickly eliminate his cancer.

Andy tells Stephen about the success of his machines. Stephen becomes concerned about what impact the nanobots may have on Andy's health—and about the possibility that he may go to prison for using an untested drug on another person. Stephen wants to deactivate the nanobots, but Andy tells him not to worry because Andy injected himself and Stephen is not responsible. Andy convinces him to leave the nanobots alone.

The nanobots not only cure Andy's cancer, they improve his health in other ways, including: removing a scar, improving his eyesight, and making him more energetic and sexually active with his fiancée. In Stephen's lab, Andy puts his hand over a bunsen burner causing a severe burn, but the nanobots repair the damaged skin in seconds.

Stephen embarks on a series of tests to find out exactly what the nanobots are capable of. Andy is submerged in water and unable to breathe, but the nanobots keep him alive. Things begin to go wrong when Andy wakes up the following day to find that the nanobots have responded to the tests by giving him gills, allowing him to breathe underwater in the future. After telling Stephen of this, they both agree that the nanobots must be deactivated immediately. Stephen is unsuccessful—he takes measure after measure to stop them, but he is never able to eradicate all of them.

The nanobots continue making "improvements" to Andy, including giving him eyes in the back of his head, bones above his stomach, keen hearing, and jellyfish-like stinging tentacles on his skin.

Stephen is ultimately unable to deactivate the nanobots, and Andy wants to die to keep his fiancée from seeing the monster he has become. Stephen kills Andy with electrocution and burns his laboratory, destroying any remaining nanobots and his research. The episode ends with Andy's grieving fiancée having cut her finger on a shattered photograph of him. The wound heals immediately, implying that the nanobots have spread to her as well.

Closing narration[edit]

Outdoor Filming Locations[edit]

The outdoor scenes were filmed at Capilano University, in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

  • The external of Stephen's office at The University is the Cedar building.
  • The scene in which Andy first tells Stephen that he has injected himself takes place in the Library courtyard, outside of the Cedar building.
  • The path on which Andy and his fiancée are jogging runs between the Library and Maple buildings.

External links[edit]