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White light fever

Introduction

Harlan Hawkes' (William Hickey) heart fails again and he sees himself moving down a tunnel of light. His personal physician, Dr. McEnerney (Bruce Davison), rushes to the scene and resuscitates him just in time. A mysterious blue energy appears near Hawkes' body and moves into the electrical systems of the room. Although Hawkes is still alive, his heart is badly damaged, and the artificial heart being developed by McEnerney will not be ready in time. Hawkes threatens to pull funding from the artificial heart project unless he is moved to the front of the queue for the next available donor heart. This puts Dr. McEnerney in a difficult moral situation. Losing funding for the artificial heart project could mean the loss of a system that could save thousands of lives. To keep the funding he must give priority to a ruthless, cold elderly man who has already had a full life. The situation is even more difficult because the future sister-in-law of his friend, Dr. Anne Crain, is only eighteen and needs a heart transplant. She will not survive beyond a couple of weeks. The blue energy released during Hawkes' last resuscitation begins to try to kill Hawkes. McEnerney realizes that keeping Hawkes alive beyond his time has serious consequences and refuses Hawkes' request to be given priority. Both of the prospective heart recipients—Hawkes and the young girl—die. Hawkes sees the girl inside the tunnel of light, and realizes that their future paths are very different. The girl comments that it is so warm and that she expected it not to be. It is implied that she goes to Heaven while he descends into the depths of Hell.

Opening Narration

The one certainty of the human experience is death. But what might happen when our effort to prolong the inevitable starts to turn that battle around? Will someone, or something, step in to ensure the final outcome?

Notes

One of the most generally unpopular episodes of the revival series and very different in tone to most other episodes of either series. This is not science fiction, but pure fantasy and horror with an extremely atypical morality when compared to the humanist philosophy of the show as a whole.

Cast

Bruce Davison ... Dr. 'Mac' McEnerney Sonja Smits ... Dr. Anne Crain William Hickey ... Harlan Hawkes Jerry Wasserman ... Dr. Silcase Michelle Beaudoin ... Jessie Wells Dean Barrett ... Stephen Benjamin Ratner ... Electrician Yvonne Campeau ... Nurse Thomas Christine Lippa ... Nurse Hendricks Jason Griffith ... Medical Technician (as Jason Anthony Griffith)

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