Essence 1
Essence 2
Essence 3

"Essence of Life" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 23 July 1999, during the fifth season.


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Opening narration
  • 3 Plot
  • 4 Closing narration
  • 5 Cast


An old woman is given a tube containing a mysterious liquid by an equally mysterious man. When the man leaves she inhales the fumes from the liquid as she seems to have done many times before and is once again reunited with her dead husband.

Opening narration

“Man creates laws to maintain the order of his world, but what happens when the laws of man defy the laws of nature?”


It is circa the year 2010 or 2011. Technology is a few years behind the technology of our own world in most respects.

While the world is struggling to rebuild itself from a plague eleven years earlier, "looking back" and open displays of emotion are prohibited by the international "Code of Conduct".

The Code is enforced by government agents like Dan Kagan and his partner Stephanie Sawyer, who are tracing "social terrorists" like Dr. Nathan Seward. Seward traffics in Essence of Life — a substance made of the dearly departed's DNA that allows the living a brief but poignant reunion.

In trying to catch Dr. Seward, Dan decides to visit his late wife, Juliette, who died two years ago, and to talk with her...

Closing narration

“The power of human emotion can neither be controlled by laws we create, nor confined by the will we impose.”


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.