26

I vaguely remember seeing on TV in the nineties an episode or movie from which I remember the following key points:

  • A village on an earth-like planet inhabited by humans is depicted, and those humans live their whole life over a course of a hundred days (or something on that order), aging rapidly each day
  • the villagers are under the influence of some "probe" that not only causes their lives to be compressed into a hundred days but also makes them fall asleep every night at a prescribed time
  • the visitors to this planet (also humans) take one or more of these villagers out of said village, out of the influence zone of the "probe", which they notice by the fact that they don't fall asleep at the prescribed time at night anymore (the first effect they notice, besides not aging rapidly anymore).

I believe it is later revealed that this has been set up as an unethical scientific experiment wherein the outside observer wanted to study the rise and fall of human civilizations by shortening the time it takes for a generations of humans to live.

  • Can you also vaguely remember what language you saw it in? And is the planet Earth or a different planet? Are the visitors aliens or humans, from the same planet or another, from Earth? – Mr Lister Dec 6 '16 at 11:52
  • German. But since in german TV everything is dubbed over, I'm fairly certain the original language would have been english. – Philipp Dec 6 '16 at 11:54
  • They may have stolen the plot from an early '70s short story (sadly I can't recall the title or the author) about a recon team on a planet which causes similar short lifespan. In the story at some point the current generation (original team long-dead but procreated like crazy) manage to escape in the original spaceship. – Carl Witthoft Dec 7 '16 at 16:35
64

Pretty sure this is the Stargate SG-1 episode "Brief Candle":

On a visit to Argos, SG-1 discover that a Goa'uld, Pelops, engineered the Argosian race to live for only 100 days. Colonel Jack O'Neill is inadvertently infected with the nanites that cause their rapid aging and grows older by the day, while the team try to stop the process before it is too late.

It includes the "walking outside of the range" moment you mention:

Stuck on Argos, O'Neill walks and talks with Kynthia, and they walk beyond Pelops' boundary of the village. Then at night, they don't fall asleep. O'Neill realizes that there must be a transmitter of some kind in the village that is responsible for the functioning of the Nanites

  • that's it. I would never have thought of Stargate. – Philipp Dec 6 '16 at 17:00
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    @Philipp The early episodes were very much like The Twilight Zone / The Outer Limits. Season one in particular is chock full of great stories like this :) As the show went on, this mostly gave way to generic action stories, though a certain amount and aspect of proper sci-fi exploration thankfuly remained up until the end. – Luaan Dec 6 '16 at 17:45
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    @Luaan The main thrust of it was up until Window of Opportunity, I think, at which point they kind of said "Yeah, we good.". – Williham Totland Dec 6 '16 at 18:09
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    @WillihamTotland I hope you are not discounting Window of Opportunity. Best. Episode. Ever. – Kodos Johnson Dec 6 '16 at 19:40
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    @Simba Not really. There are plenty of good episodes after that (many of which are SG:A), they are just farther between. – Williham Totland Dec 7 '16 at 9:41

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