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I'm trying to locate something I saw on television, most likely before 2000. It may have been a movie or an episode of a tv show. Any help you can offer would be appreciated.

The key points that I remember are as follows:

  • An exploration team arrive in a location densely populated with plants
  • They find small, neat piles of pale sand/dust in numerous locations.
  • Analysis reveals that the dust is dehydrated animal tissue.
  • One researcher (female) takes a flower clipping back to base and places it in a glass of water.
  • The clipping grows rapidly into a web of creeper vines and attacks.
  • A character is caught in the vines, constricted, and rapidly dehydrates, turning to dust.
  • The team also finds a house in the overgrown location. (It may have contained a greenhouse or biolab with information on the plants.)

Additional information:

  • There may have been teleportation technology involved in getting between the base and the overgrown location.
  • It may have been revealed that the entire planet is overgrown.
  • The base may have been underground, or it may have been a spaceship, or a submarine or ship. I only recall seeing internal shots of the base, and it was mainly made of metal.
  • I scanned the episode synopses for Stargate, but couldn't find anything promising. I may have overlooked it, though, so I'm not ruling Stargate out.

The most important point is that there are flowering, vine-like plants that can turn humans into dust in a matter of seconds.

EDIT 1/1/23: I just hope my brain isn't mashing together The Omega Glory (piles of white dust), Dr. Terror's House of Horror (white house overgrown by a murderous vine), and Zero Hour (bunker overrun by fast-growing plants). All of them feel familiar and match different aspects of what I pictured, but aren't quite right (also, I haven't found a source for "flower is placed in a glass of water and grows exponentially while character is away").

Corrected the date - it's unlikely that I saw it after 2000.

EDIT 15/1/23: I was almost convinced that the memory was fabrication, with various shows contributing:

  • Star Trek, "The Omega Glory" - instant (if offscreen) dehydration, leaving only powdered remains; security officer disintegrated (by a phaser) lying down - however, no plants, no entanglement
  • Stargate, "The Gamekeeper" - the entire garden location (way too familiar), the (mechanical) vine restraints - however, no disintegration
  • Dr. Terror's House of Horror - murderous vine, afraid of fire; nice house surrounded by green - however, again, no disintegration, and no militaresque base
  • Buffy - all the vamp dustings
  • Stargate Atlantis, "The Seed" - scarily accurate scenes including focus on the water glass next to the bed (no flower though), vines taking over the room, Ronon being restrained, etc. - however, Atlantis aired WAY outside the timeframe (2008)
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  • Welcome to SFF:SE. We recommend having a look at the tour, which contains helpful hints for using the site, including tips on story identification questions.
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 2:21
  • 2
    I swear I've seen this film and have been trying to find it for years. Is the exploration team armed? If it's the same movie, I remember a guy with a granade launcher blowing up one of the 'vines'. Had a 'Predator' vibe to it (GIs getting stalked in a jungle and picked off one by one).
    – Smeato
    Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 12:30
  • @Smeato A couple of them were armed, I believe, but I don't think they all were. It sounds like the same film. I didn't want to add too many fuzzy details that I could have misinterpreted or misremembered.
    – Sean McKay
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 15:34
  • Sounds a bit like Day of the Triffids...at least in terms of murderous plants. Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 22:37
  • After watching Stargate's "The Gamekeeper", I'm now starting to think this memory may be a mashup. I still don't know where the thirsty flower scene is from, but some of the shots and sets in The Gamekeeper are way too familiar.
    – Sean McKay
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 2:50

1 Answer 1

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The show is SeaQuest DSV, season 2, episode 7, "By Any Other Name".

'Aired November 1994.

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0696914/

The ship/sub responds to a mayday from an (underwater) agricultural outpost, a huge garden where they find little piles of dust everywhere, but no people. One crew member takes a flower back to their room and puts it in a glass of water. It grows rapidly into a monster plant and attacks - security responds and rescues the crewmate, but one of them is caught, dragged into the room, and desiccated instantly, being reduced to a little pile of dust. The plant then begins spreading through the ship.

Meanwhile, crew still inside the outpost are prevented from leaving by the plant, which has blocked the airlock. They are forced to retreat to the white house at the centre of the garden.

It is revealed that the plant was created by the outpost to survive hostile environments. It is defeated by:

sunlight.

Unrelated, but there's also a talking dolphin.

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  • This is a good answer. Thanks for posting it and marking it as accepted. You earned an upvote from me. Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 1:19

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