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"The Shroud" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on April 30, 1999, during the fifth season.


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


A married couple seeks help with conceiving a child. Behind the scenes, without their knowledge, a scientific team under the direction of a popular televangelist plans to use the woman to clone the human nature of Jesus Christ.

Opening narration

Man's empirical pursuit of science has often been at odd with his need for religious faith. But what happens when these two beliefs collide?


When Marie Wells (Samantha Mathis) and her husband Justin (Robert Wisden) can't have a child on their own, they turn to the fertility clinic at the Tilford Institute for help. There, Dr. Gail Cowlings (Sara Botsford) uses in-vitro fertilization to implant an embryo in Marie's uterus. What Marie doesn't know, but Justin does, is that the embryo was actually created from DNA lifted from the Shroud of Turin. The Reverend Doctor Thomas Tilford (David Ogden Stiers), a religious zealot who worships both God and science, is using Marie to engineer the Second Coming. When she learns the truth, she is angry with Justin and Tilford and worried that she is unworthy to be mother to Christ. She is reassured, however, when presented with a miracle - the toys she has bought for the unborn child rise up and begin to float around the room. Dr. Cowlings, however, sees the "miracle" as a sign that the DNA may not have come from Christ at all, but from an ancient man who had telekinetic abilities. Either way, Tilford is determined that his plan proceed and that the child be raised according to a blueprint of his devise. But a bug he has planted in the Wells' house reveals they are on to his scheme, he confines them to the institute, planning to take the child from them when it is born. But the baby, holy or not, has greater abilities than Tilford could imagine.

Closing narration

In Man's unending pursuit of salvation, the distractions of his science or

his religion may be the very thing keeping him from his creator.


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