The Outer Limits Wiki

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"The Vessel" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show directed by Jimmy Kaufman, starring Jere Burns, Bruce Gray, and Tom Butler while featuring Jay Brazeau, Zachary Ansley, Marie Stillin, and Chilton Crane. The episode's executive producer is Michael Sloan, co-executive producer Brent Karl Clackson. It first aired during the seventh season.


  • 1 Synopsis
  • 2 Opening narration
  • 3 Plot
  • 4 Closing narration


The lone survivor of a space shuttle disaster discovers he is indestructible and has become spiritually linked to an alien living within himself.

Opening narration

“It is said that those who survive a brush with death see the world anew, but what if that second chance became a second life?”


Jake Worthy is a cynical writer sent along as the civilian member of a space expedition. Upon re-entry into Earth, the shuttle malfunctions, and crashes. Jake is the only survivor, suddenly incapable of being harmed physically, as well as being endowed with flashes of brilliant insight.

An alien who was part of an expedition of interdimensional beings suffered a space disaster in Earth orbit. To save itself, it used its electromagnetic nature to transmit itself to a nearby space shuttle. Apparently at random, it picked the closest human available and entered his mind.

Unfortunately the alien energy being and its human host are not compatible and in a matter of days one or the other must perish. This all takes place whilst the human host is held in military custody in what amounts to a prison.

Ultimately, the human chooses to die to allow the alien, who will do more good in the world, to fully take over his body and continue his existence albeit in human form.

Closing narration

“Few of us have the opportunity to truly begin again, to redress the flaws that tarnish our souls, but only when we remake ourselves can we remake the world.”


Whether due to late script changes or editing, this episode features some of the most abrupt cuts and accelerated story telling of any episode. Left unexplained for example, and it is a large lacuna, is how the alien took over the human host's body - and was released from military custody.


Zachary Ansley ... Alien Brian Arnold ... Newscaster Jay Brazeau ... Dr. George Bader Jere Burns ... Jake Worthy Tom Butler ... General Morehouse Erica Carroll ... Nurse Chilton Crane ... Catharine McCarty Anthony De Longis ... Commander McCarty Deni DeLory ... Alexis Worthy Bruce Gray ... James Harding Joe Maffei ... Landlord Bill Meilen ... Old Drunk Thomas Potter ... Tattooed Thug Marie Stillin ... Allison