send around

Sarcophagus (The Outer Limits)

"Sarcophagus" is an episode of The Outer Limits (new series) television show. It was first aired on August 7, 1998, during the fourth season.


A relatively unsuccessful archaeological team discovers a burial mound in remote Alaska.

Opening narration

"Humans are driven to explore their history, to rediscover forgotten lives and times. For deep down we have always known that our past... is often prologue."


Natalie is a driven researcher, faithfully though apparently unappreciatedly supported by her husband who is the first to touch the odd, amberlike coccoon mass found in an anachronistic burial chamber. The contact has two effects, beginning the reawakening of the dormant mass, and imprinting Curtis with the last memories of a long suspended alien who was attacked by primitive men. Each further contact speeds the regeneration at the temporary expense of Curtis' energy.

Emmet is substantially more pragmatic and chooses the commercial rewards made possible by the longevity potential evidenced by the now reforming alien. Convincing the remaining two members of the team, he stages a coup which is eventually thwarted by the alien and a panic-induced cave in.

The severely wounded husband and wife, finally reconciled through their shared adversity are trapped and in dire straits until the alien coats them in his preservative, allowing them to be revived and made physically whole roughly a 1000 years in their future, in a world which their wisdom allowed to become a cooperative human-alien world.

Closing narration

"They say what you send around comes around. Perhaps, that is true, even if it sometimes takes... a thousand years."

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