The Outer Limits (1995–2002)
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Stream of Consciousness 

When a virus starts killing people hooked up neurally to a worldwide information network, the only person who can stop it is a man unable to link into it due to a childhood injury.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Ryan Unger
Tyler Van Blankenstein ...
Young Ryan
Dr. Annaud
Dr. Kevington
Nurse #1
Dolly Scarr ...
Peta Brookstone ...
Jennifer Sterling ...


In a future world, nearly all humans have an embedded neural connection to a massive computer system known as the Stream. One exception to that is Ryan Unger who cannot be connected to the net because of a childhood accident that damaged his neurological system. By the standards of the time, Ryan is an imbecile relying on reading books for information while the majority simply having to think it. When a virus starts to kill some of them however, it's Ryan who concludes that it is coming from the Stream itself and all attempts to stop it will be unsuccessful. Only Ryan can save them - both now and in the future. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

7 February 1997 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The quote that Ryan paraphrases to Cheryl about the only crime worse than burning books was not reading them was spoken by writer Ray Bradbury. The actual quote is, "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.". See more »

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User Reviews

The Price of the Ultimate Computer Interface
30 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

A culture has evolved to embrace a technology where nearly every person on earth is hooked up to instant information. Books and other media have been eliminated or dismissed. What has resulted is a rather humorless culture where most people are about the same. One young man, one of the few that for some reason (a car accident, I guess) was left with the inability to hook up to the huge knowledge web. He is seen as retarded by his peers. Only the man who raised him really shows him kindness. We also find out along the way that only certain books could be scanned and the program had the others destroyed. The main character begins to investigate when a computer virus kills his guardian and begins to infest others (they seem to die of a kind of data overload). He realizes that the only hope for humanity is to shut down the program. This is hard because the program has gained an almost human status with all the pitfalls that this entails. He has a friendship with a young woman who is sympathetic to his feelings but who feels that the program is still the right way to make things better. This is quite interesting as we do miniaturization of computer produces (most recently, those glasses that contain a visual monitor). Will we someday implant a device that allows us to retrieve anything from the internet. It would probably be the end of Jeopardy.

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