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"Essence of Life"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 18
Written by Scott Peters
Directed by Brad Turner
Original airdate 23 July 1999
Guest stars

Daniel Baldwin,
Jessica Steen,
Joel Grey,
Daphne Zuniga

Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"The Inheritors" "Stranded"
List of The Outer Limits episodes

"Essence of Life" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 23 July 1999, during the fifth season.



An old woman is given a tube containing a mysterious liquid by an equally mysterious man. When the man leaves she inhales the fumes from the liquid as she seems to have done many times before and is once again reunited with her dead husband.

Opening narration

Man creates laws to maintain the order of his world, but what happens when the laws of man defies the laws of nature?


While the world is struggling to rebuild itself from a plague eleven years earlier such conduct like "looking back" or open displays of emotion are prohibited by the international "Code of Conduct".

The Code is enforced by government agents like Dan Kagan and his partner Stephanie Sawyer, who are tracing "social terrorists" like Dr. Nathan Seward. Seward traffics in Essence of Life — a substance made of the dearly departed's DNA that allows the living a brief but poignant reunion.

In trying to catch Dr. Seward, Dan decides to visit his late wife, Juliette, who died two years ago, and to talk with her...

Closing narration

The power of human emotion can neither be controlled by laws we create, nor confined by the will we impose.


External links

Season 5 of The Outer Limits (1995-2002)

Alien RadioDonorSmall FriendsThe GrellThe Other SideJoyrideThe Human OperatorsBlank SlateWhat Will The Neighbors ThinkThe ShroudRipperTribunalSummitDescentThe HavenDeja VuThe InheritorsEssence of LifeStrandedFathers and SonsStar CrossedBetter Luck Next Time

List of The Outer Limits episodes: Original Series (1963-1965)The New Series (1995-2002)



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