The Outer Limits

Season 7 Episode 2

Patient Zero

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Mar 23, 2001 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
31 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The time portal is disengaged, and Beckett steps out of the machine only to discover that his visit to the past has not changed the present. Many millions of people are still dying of a mysterious plague and his mission, to kill the carrier and stop the epidemic before it ever gets started, has failed. With the very survival of the human race at stake, Beckett agrees to travel back into the past again, this time one week earlier than before, to remove the person scientists now believe to be Patient Zero, a woman named Amy Barrett. But a twist of fate will alter Beckett's resolve. Instead of eliminating Amy to arrest the plague, he believes he knows a way to save the humanity of the future without harming Amy in the present. Can the fate of mankind hinge on a single act? Or are we helpless to change our destiny?moreless

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  • One of the many reasons why time travel shouldn't be misused.

    In the present day, a massive plague has devastated the planet. The few who have survived have been driven underground. Beckett, one of the survivors, is a soldier sent back through time to kill the origin of the epidemic: Amy Barrett. Beckett lost his wife and child to the plague, so if he succeeds, the plague will have never happened. But, through a chance happening, Beckett is hurt and Amy, not knowing his intentions, takes him back to her apartment to care for his injury. While getting to know each other, Beckett learns that Amy's husband was killed by a drunk driver, and she wanted to kill him, but didn't. As Beckett forms a bond with this girl, he decides not to kill her, but to find another way to stop the plague. The scenes between these two are great. This episode is one of the reasons why one can learn a lot from this show.moreless
  • Honorable man travels back in time to prevent future human catastrophe.

    In my opinion 'Patient Zero' is the best 'Outer Limits' episode ever produced by either incarnation (60s or 90s).. The mood is heavy and mysterious, the acting is great.. and most important in this kinda' genre.. the theme, self-sacrifice for the betterment of society, is timeless and touching... The closing narraration is great, and set with the backdrop of the lead character making the ultimate sacrifice to save mankind.. I didn't feel there were any weaknesses in this episode.. Even tho' you can see the Seattle Space Needle in the background,this episode was supposed to be set in New York, which made it even deeper for me, 'cuz the episode opens with a shot of the Twin Towers and this one aired just a couple monhs before 9/11 ~moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Amy: What about you, are you married?
      Beckett: I was married once.
      Amy: What happened?
      Beckett: She died.
      Amy: Oh. How'd she die.
      Beckett: She got sick. There wasn't any cure.
      Amy: I'm sorry, Beckett. You get so caught up in your own feelings you forget that other people go through these things.
      Beckett: Yeah.

    • Amy: You were gonna kill me, right?
      Beckett: Yes. Yes, I was.
      Amy: Why didn't you?
      Beckett: Why didn't you kill the drunk driver that killed your husband? Maybe because you thought his life was worth saving.

    • Control Voice: [Closing Narration] The answers to mankind's future problems can be found within, so long as there are those among us willing to make the sacrifice.

    • Control Voice: [Opening Narration] Can the fate of mankind hinge on a single act or are we helpless to change our destiny?

  • NOTES (0)


    • Character name:

      Dr. Samuel Beckett was the name of the main character of the well known tv series Quantum Leap. He was a time traveller that accidentally got stuck in time ever chaging the past to alter the present, much like the Beckett from this episode.