The new breed 2
The new breed 1

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


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


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

Man has long worked to stave off the diseases that can ravage us. But what can happen when the cure grows more fearsome than the disease?


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

Later that day Andy 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.

When Andy tells Stephen about the success of his nanobots, Stephen becomes concerned about the impact they may have on Andy's health—and about the possibility that he may go to prison for using an untested drug on another person. Andy tells Stephen not to worry because he injected himself without Stephen's knowledge. Stephen still wants to deactivate the nanobots, but Andy refuses.

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 he 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, extra keen hearing, and jellyfish-like stinging tentacles on his skin.

Stephen is ultimately unable to deactivate or remove 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

Over millions of years man has become the very paragon of animals, but we must take care not to alter what nature has taken so long to forge—or risk being burned by the very fires of creation.


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.


Richard Thomas - Dr. Stephen Ledbetter

Peter Outerbridge - Dr. Andy Groenig

Tammy Isbell - Judy Hudson

L. Harvey Gold - Dr. Merritt

Veena Sood - Dr. Katzman

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