The refuge 2.jpg
The refuge.jpg

"The Refuge" is an episode of The Outer Limits television series. It first aired on 5 April 1996, during the second season.


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


Raymond Dalton stumbles through a forest in a vicious snow blizzard before finally collapsing. He wakes in a warm and comfortable log cabin with a group of people, only to be told that the entire world is blanketed by an enormous storm, and he has found the only safe place.

Opening narration

“A safe place, warm and quiet. A place to rest and recover. When all is said and done, isn't that what we all want? A safe place in someone's home... or someone's heart.”


Raymond is told by Valle that an organism was discovered by a deep sea drilling rig that "polymerized" the world's water supply causing it to have a much higher freezing temperature. (This is similar to the ice-9 substance from Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle.) This created a sort of reverse greenhouse effect that lowered the world's temperature to uninhabitable levels.

Valle brought the people here to the cabin for various reasons. Raymond begins taking a liking to Gina and is shocked by the behavior of the others in the cabin, varying from religious fanaticism to violent jealousy to adultery. He is further astonished by how all the people in the cabin randomly switch personalities en masse from time to time. He gradually notices that Valle is unaffected by the changes and odd behaviors and realizes that he is in control. He confronts him and asks how he does it and Valle's only response is "Let's just say that I can and leave it at that." He kidnaps Gina (who at this point has switched personalities and become the religious fanatic) and leaves the cabin hoping to find another safe place. He talks to her and gradually she begins to remember who she is when there is a "reset" and Raymond finds himself talking to Valle in the cabin again. Valle demonstrates his power by giving Gina the adulterous personality. Just as he is about to assault Valle, he is stopped by a sheet of blue energy that seems to hurt him.

He awakes on a gurney and is wheeled past several human-sized cylinders each containing one of the occupants of the cabin in cryonic suspension. Raymond learns he was placed in stasis due to a brain tumor and revived when a treatment was available. He researches the others in the tubes and finds that their minds are artificially stimulated to prevent mental atrophy. The process creates a sort of "group dream" that Valle can control, as he is the only one who realizes that it is a dream. Raymond requests to be returned to stasis and then threatens to sue the company for mental trauma if he is not. He returns and Valle quickly sets the others on him, turning them into humanoid monsters. Raymond snaps them back into themselves by telling them who and where they are. They turn on Valle and he begins to panic and appears to have a heart attack. In the real world, alarms go off and techs are stunned to learn that his cerebral cortex has shattered. Back in the dream world, Gina, Raymond and the others walk outside, the snow has stopped and the sun is out. Gina was a doctor trying to stop the spread of Osaka virus and was frozen to halt its spread in her body. She tries to convince Raymond that he is missing his life and his reply is, "Out there is the dream. In here with you is the reality." The final scene shows Raymond and Gina in their cryonic-induced state.

Closing narration

“A poet once wrote, "In dreams begins responsibility." So too, perhaps, with love. Without dreams, without the hope of a better life, a brighter future, it is difficult for love to flourish. And without love... there are no dreams.”

Guest appearance(s)

Jessica Steen as Gina Beaumont, James Wilder as Raymond Dalton, M. Emmet Walsh as Sanford Valle, David McNally as Thomas, Debbie Podowski as Justine


Since the world of The Refuge is a shared hallucination created by Valle, it may be that the idea of the frozen world and its cause was actually taken from the novel Cat's Cradle since Valle may have read it prior to his cryogenic suspension.


James Wilder ... Raymond Dalton Jessica Steen ... Gina Beaumont David McNally ... Thomas Vallé Debbie Podowski ... Justine Vallé Lisa Melilli ... Debi Richardson Paul Jarrett ... Dr. Franklin Dreiden Lorretta Bailey ... Sister Angelique M. Emmet Walsh ... Sanford Vallé Malcolm Stewart ... Joel Haas Barry W. Levy ... David Cohen Warren Takeuchi ... Male Med Tech Lorraine Landry ... Female Med Tech

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