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"The Message" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 16 July 1995, during the first season (of the new release of the show.)

"The Message"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 18
Directed byJoseph Scanlan
Written byBrad Wright
Production code18
Original air date16 July 1995
Guest appearance(s)

Marlee Matlin as Jennifer Winter,
Larry Drake as Robert Vitale

Episode chronology
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"Caught in the Act"
Next →
"I, Robot"
List of The Outer Limits episodes


A deaf woman is given a revolutionary implant to restore her hearing—but it does not help her hear normal sounds. Instead she suffers nightmares, head pain and begins scribbling page after page of ones and zeros.

Opening narrationEdit


Jennifer Winter (Marlee Matlin), deaf since birth, has had a revolutionary implant placed in her ear, to help her hear for the first time. The device doesn't help her to hear normal conversation and sounds, but she does hear something, and no one believes her.

While on a routine visit to the hospital to check on the implant, Jennifer befriends the janitor, Robert (Larry Drake) who empathizes with her.

Suddenly, Jennifer is plagued by nightmares and searing pain in her head, all at 3:10 in the morning or afternoon. Once the pain starts she begins furiously writing in binary code, but with ×'s as well.

Robert suggests that perhaps the binary coded 0s and 1s might be able to be translated. As a former astrophysicist who had a mental break which forced him to work as a janitor, Robert enters the code into his computer to try to translate it.

Meanwhile, Jennifer's husband Sam, concerned for his wife and their young baby, is convinced that Jennifer is going crazy. But as the sounds and dreams become more pronounced Jennifer and Robert are determined to break the code.

What they discover is an alien force, trying to communicate a cry for help through Jennifer's implant. The aliens are in a ship hurtling toward the sun and they need help from Earth to save their ship. The message sent was really instructions for a high energy laser designed to push the ship out of a terminal path. They build and activate it just in time to see the ship pushed away from the sun and towards safety.

Closing narrationEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit