I remember watching an episode from "The Outer Limits" (the new series) in the late 1990s. It was about a spaceship from Earth, heading towards an alien planet. The spaceship carried a powerful weapon that was going to be used to destroy the alien homeworld. During the voyage, the aliens intercepted the ship, boarded it, and interrogated each of the crew members individually.

Near the end of the episode, a doorway appeared out of nowhere, which confused all of the crew members. Men in military uniforms walked through the doorway onto the ship, and told the crew members that it had all been a simulation - they wanted to test the crew members to see how they would react if the aliens really did hijack the ship. They were all still on Earth.

Then one of the crew members panicked and said that just prior to the doorway appearing, she had activated the weapon's self-destruct sequence. The general or commander who walked in said that was impossible because they put several layers of safeguards in place. The crew member said she was the engineer who put in all the safeguards, so she knew how to bypass all of them. The episode ended with the Earth exploding.

I found an episode called "The Light Brigade", which sounds very similar to the episode I described. Was that the episode, or was it a different episode?

  • 5
    What moron puts a real superweapon on a simulation... Too Dumb to live.
    – user16696
    Jul 9, 2014 at 1:02
  • 1
    @cde - She's a weapons specialist. She'd notice it was fake.
    – Valorum
    Oct 9, 2014 at 15:00
  • @Richard, take a modern day irl equivalent like a grenade, bomb, missile, or nuke. No weapons specialist, no matter how good, can tell if one works or not by sight alone, or by using the electronics. A nuke, dummied out by removing the fissionable material, a grenade by removing the primer or the powder, etc, is identical without the explosive working. You would have to take it apart to know. And IRL, even unknown or believed to be duds, ordinance is treated like its live, and disposed of in a similar fashion.
    – user16696
    Oct 9, 2014 at 22:20
  • @Richard plus, do you think the US military conducts nuclear weapons training using real nuclear weapons? No, because doing such a thing, would be too dumb to live.
    – user16696
    Oct 9, 2014 at 22:21
  • 1
    @Richard I'm fairly sure a nuclear physicist would not have the mechanical and manufacturing engineering skills to determine if a nuclear bomb has fissionable material inside, unless Xray vision is a superpower of nuclear physicists.
    – user16696
    Oct 9, 2014 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


You seem to be describing an Outer Limits episode (s04e20, 1998) called "The Nightmare".

Per IMDb:

"Capt. Roger Kimbro leads the starship Archipelago and it's crew on a mission to a distant planet. They are there to plant a device on the planet but before they can complete the mission, they're attacked. The planet was supposed to be uninhabited but they awaken in a chamber made by the Ebonites, aliens they once fought in a war. One by one, they are questioned and tortured. The package they were to deliver is a super weapon, a doomsday device to be exploded on an uninhabited planet to show their enemies what they now had. When one of them [O'Keefe] gets access to the device, she activates it but learns too late where she is."

truggling woman

If you're in the US, you can watch the full episode here.

  • I'm watching this ep right now, it's on Hulu =] Jul 9, 2014 at 4:39

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