The Outer Limits (1995–2002)
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The Origin of Species 

Dr. Eric Nodel has his body altered to communicate with aliens who have seeded Earth with their genetic material. He is joined on an alien spaceship by son Paul, girlfriend Hope, and six students who are individually absorbed into the ship.


Brad Turner


Jonathan Glassner (excerpts), Jonathan Glassner (story) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview:
Ryan Reynolds ... Paul Nodel
Kathleen Duborg ... Hope
William deVry ... Ben
Tara Spencer-Nairn ... Heather
Kirby Morrow ... Kirby
Clare Lapinskie Clare Lapinskie ... Claire
Terri Lynn Ibisoglu Terri Lynn Ibisoglu ... Sarah
Silvio Pollio ... Anthony
Ron Rifkin ... Dr. Martin Nodel


It a continuation of the story that began on The Outer Limits: Double Helix (1997), Dr. Martin Nodel, his son Paul, several of his brightest students and Paul's girlfriend Hope are now on a spaceship traveling to the planet that seeded the Earth with their DNA millions of years ago. When Dr. Nodel and Paul try to interface with the ship's data banks however they vanish, leaving the others frightened and confused. They decide to explore the ship but some of them also begin to vanish. Hope begins to develop the same triangular blister on the palm of her hand as happened to Dr. Nodel. All is revealed when they arrive at the home world. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

27 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Atlantis Films See more »
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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The title refers to Charles Darwin's book "On the Origin of Species" published in 1859 that was the first scientific dissertation on evolutionary biology and natural selection. See more »


Dr. Nodel's first name is given as Eric. However, it was previously stated to be Martin in The Outer Limits: Double Helix. See more »


Features The Outer Limits: Double Helix (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Hope for the Future
11 June 2014 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This is a sequel to a previous episode about a group of carefully selected young people on a mission to the home planet of a race that has contacted Earth. During their time on their space ship they are tested over and over. The ship looks like an expanded lightning bolt and has numerous cells. Two characters die, one from a disease caused by his experimentation and another, a young man. The older woman on board, named, strangely, Hope, seems the one willing to face off with the testosterone laden young man who tries to assume control. Most of the episode has to do with a willingness to make contact with the alien culture and confront what is out there. They are at times isolated and apparently being educated in their future roles in maintaining their species. The problem is trust because most of them are scared to death. I'm afraid the conclusion is pure schmaltz. I will leave it up to you to decide what you think.

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