The Outer Limits (1995–2002)
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Worlds Apart 

An astronaut who was missing for 20 years contacts Earth from an alien planet. However, mere minutes have passed for him, and the wormhole that brought him there is unstable. What are the risks of a rescue operation?




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Episode cast overview:
Nancy McDonald
Colonel Raymond
Michael MacRae ...
Greg Tilman
Lt. Christopher Lindy
Karen Dunn
Commander Guy LeClerc
Professor George Ernst
Jan Bailey Mattia ...


An astronaut crash lands on an alien planet thanks to an unstable wormhole, but is miraculously able to contact Earth. Unfortunately, what was minutes, maybe hours, for him was 20 years for Earth, and his former girlfriend has moved on from his disappearance and is now head of the space agency. As he endures attacks by an alien monster, the space agency discusses the merits and risks of a rescue operation. Written by movieguy3

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

22 March 1996 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The card reader swiped at the dinner table near the beginning of the episode is the same card reader used in "Straight and Narrow" (S02E08) for controlling the "Tether". See more »


Robert Ito's character "Colonel Raymond" wears a Senior Airman rank insignia on his jacket sleeves. A Senior Airman is an E4 enlisted rank. A colonel's insignia would be worn on the collar, NOT the sleeve. See more »


[last lines]
The Control Voice: The distances between us so vast and so close are so easily bridged not by what we make but by what we feel.
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Someone to Watch Over Me
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Jean Louisa Kelly
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User Reviews

The Implications of Exploration
6 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

This is about the results of risk in a space program. It begins with a man splashing down in what appears to be a large body of water. He is apparently an astronaut who believes that he is back on earth. Unfortunately, he has somehow made his way through some kind of worm hole and is no longer on course. As a matter of fact, a twenty year gap has occurred. He has gone ahead in time. HIs signals are picked up by the agency that sent him in the first place. It was assumed he was dead. He talks to the woman he loved on earth and who is now married these many years. The issues are several. First, he is being attacked by a jellyfish-like creature and must survive. Secondly, the people with whom he is communicating have no idea how to deal with him. Thirdly, there is a politician breathing down everyone's necks, threatening to pull the plug on the project for incompetence. Finally, and most important, is the effort to retrieve him. This is a complex series of challenges, which also includes the strained marriage of the female project head and her husband, a bio-chemist. This is a pretty intelligent presentation with realistic results.

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