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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 3 E 11 New Lease

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The Control Voice: The quest to conquer death is as old as man himself. We conjure dark angels, whose untimely arrival we hope to avert with guile and perseverance. But in the end it is inevitably the grave, not hope, which prevails.

Two scientists develop a means of reviving the dead, but each subject eventually dies again. When one of them is killed in a mugging and revived, he has to decide how to spend his borrowed time.


The Control Voice: If we measure how much we value life, solely by our dread of dying, then it may well be that we have no sense of its value... at all.

New Tropes:

  • Back from the Dead: A pair of scientists make a device which can apparently resurrect the dead. Unfortunately, the first test subject died within 24 hours of being resurrected. When one of the scientists dies, and is resurrected with this machine, he believes he has the same 24 hour lifespan. So he goes vigilante on the murderer. Of course, it turns out the device resurrected him for real.
  • Came Back Wrong: This is the main driver in this episode. Dr. James Houghton invents a regeneration device. When he uses it on a patient, the patient comes back but dies horribly shortly afterwards. When he is shot, he uses the device on himself, and believing he will die soon, murders the robber. He finds out the device worked properly on him — because unlike the test subjects, his body was never frozen — and he will now go to prison for the rest of his life.
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  • Karmic Twist Ending: Dr. James Houghton has been killed by a robber during a theft and before dying urges his colleagues to bring him back to life to shower his neglected family with love knowing the procedure can only bring him back to life for a single day. He reclaims the affection of his wife and but then decides to get revenge on the man who kills him. After being given life imprisonment he realizes the procedure was more successful than previous attempts meaning he'll spend the remaining decades of his life in jail.
  • Resurrection Sickness: Oscar Reynolds, whose body was denoted to medical science, is resurrected by Doctors James Houghton and Charles McCamber using a Scanning Molecular Reorganizer (SMR) module. His body was frozen after death to prevent tissue damage. Very soon after being resurrected, Reynolds' body begins to deteriorate, a very painful process, and he dies for a second time within less than 24 hours. After Anthony Szigetti kills Houghton while robbing him, McCamber brings him back to life. Houghton, whose bodily functions begin to fail in the same manner, plans to use the time that he has left to make up for neglecting his wife Page and daughter Katrine but he cannot resist the temptation to have his revenge. He shoots Szigetti dead in full view of three witnesses. Soon after he does so, McCamber tells him that his condition is stabilizing and his resurrection is permanent. He has determined that Reynolds died due to the fact that his body had been frozen after his first death. The next morning, Houghton is arrested for Szigetti's murder and is told by Detective Broder that it is likely that he will receive a life sentence if he is convicted.

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