"The Voyage Home" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 30 June 1995, during the first season.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Opening narration
- 3 Plot
- 4 Closing narration
- 5 Cast
The Mars III manned expedition to Mars is in its 315th and final day on the surface when the crew discover a cave containing strange alien writing and a capsule. The capsule suddenly opens and the crew is knocked unconscious.
“The Book of Job tells us that, "He who discovereth deep things out of darkness, bringeth out to light the shadow of death" (Job 12:22). Will man's unquenching thirst for discovery, ultimately be his undoing?”
The crew, Pete Claridge, Ed Barkley and Alan Wells, wake and find they have been unconscious for an hour, and have only four hours left before they must lift off and begin the trip back to Earth.
Day 525, and the Mars III spacecraft is almost back to Earth. An explosion rocks the craft and it begins to veer off course. After correcting its course, the crew discover that half of their oxygen is gone, they have no communications with Earth and Ed, the engineer, had suffered a head injury.
They find a gelatinous substance attached to the wall of the control room. Upon examining it, they discover that it is living matter. It is unlike anything previously known and they speculate that it may have come from Mars, possibly even the capsule they found. Further failures occur on the ship, including life-support. Ed investigates and manages to patch the system back together.
Alan, one of the crew, begins to behave strangely and Pete suggests taking a blood sample to check. Ed arrives back and finds Alan alone (Pete is running some tests) trying to hide the fact that his arm is covered in the gelatinous substance they found on the wall earlier. Alan transforms into an alien creature and attacks Ed. Ed drives the creature into the airlock, with the intention of venting it into space. It transforms back into Alan just in time for Pete to arrive and see Ed open the airlock. Ed tries to explain what happened to a skeptical Pete.
Having seen the creature infect and take over Alan, Ed does not believe that Pete can be trusted. He goes to fix some other systems and finds Pete's dead body in a spacesuit, confirming that the man in the control room is not the real Pete Claridge.
The alien creature explains that the death of his crewmates was unavoidable — and an unintended cost of his lifecycle, but that particular phase has passed. A further serious failure occurs on the ship, and only Ed can fix it. The alien pleads with Ed to help him, and explains that it can bring many benefits to Earth — cure for cancers and environmental technologies. Still skeptical but hoping there may be a way out, Ed works with the creature to fix the problem.
Communication with Earth is restored and "Pete" talks to his family. Ed looks as though he is about to tell Earth about the alien creature when it mutes the communication and explains that if he does, they will not allow the ship to land, leaving him stranded, and with no life support he will not survive.
Just as the ship begins its descent, Ed fires the engines and sends the ship wildly off course, plunging too quickly into the atmosphere. He believes that the creature wants to get to Earth at all cost and begin reproducing by taking over the population. The alien creature, with all pretense dropped, changes into its natural form and tries to take over Ed. Ed opens the airlock, killing himself and the creature. The ship is completely destroyed as it breaks up and burns in the atmosphere.
“The true measure of a hero is when a man lays down his life with the knowledge that those he saves... will never know.”