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The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 18
Directed by John Brahm
Written by Meyer Dolinsky
Cinematography by Conrad Hall
Production code 21
Original air date January 27, 1964
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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List of The Outer Limits episodes

"ZZZZZ" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on January 27, 1964, during the first season.


A queen bee takes on human form, and plans to mate with a human male.

Opening narration[edit]

Human life strives ceaselessly to perfect itself, to gain ascendancy. But what of the lower forms of life? Is it not possible that they, too, are conducting experiments and are at this moment on the threshold of deadly success?


Ben Fields, married to Francesca Fields, is an entomologist seeking a lab assistant. Regina, a giant mutant queen bee in human form, who is searching for a human mate to evolve her species, takes the job. Regina is accepted into their household after fabricating a story of accused infidelity by her 'former' employer's spouse, whom she chose to keep anonymous to prevent anyone from knowing about the alleged affair. Suspicious of her background, while being treated with disrespect and contempt, Francesca discovers Regina has lied; as well as seeing her abruptly morphing into a giant bee while apparently drawing nectar from a flower in their garden. At one point, due to the metabolic changes while in human form, Regina experiences spasms of pain, and is examined and treated by the Fields' personal physician, who reveals to them his belief that Regina may not be who she appears to be. Later, with her knowledge of Regina's attempts to seduce her husband, Francesca confronts her, whereupon Regina unleashes her army of drones kept in Ben's laboratory, attacking and then stinging Francesca to death. Ben, grief-stricken, accuses Regina of murdering his wife; and, together with his enlightened understanding of her true identity and purpose, causes her to topple over his bedroom's second story balcony and fall to the ground below, where she miraculously recovers, transforms into the queen bee, and then flies off.

Closing narration[edit]

When the yearning to gain ascendancy takes the form of a soulless, loveless struggle, the contest must end in unlovely defeat. For without love, drones can never be men, and men can only be drones.


"ZZZZZ" was shot entirely on a massive interior set, including the two story mockup of Ben's house and the full garden constructed by Jack Poplin and his team on Soundstage#4 at KTTV. (source - The Outer Limits:The Official Companion (1986), page 197.)


External links[edit]