“It is said that if you move a single pebble on the beach, you set up a different pattern, and everything in the world is changed. It can also be said that love can change the future, if it is deep enough, true enough, and selfless enough—it can prevent a war, prohibit a plague, keep the whole world whole.” The Outer Limits: The Man Who Was Never Born
Astronaut Joseph Reardon passes through a time warp and finds himself two hundred years in the future (2148). It’s a future where a mutant humanity is on the verge of extinction. The earth is a barren waste.
He encounters a lonely anthropologist and archivist named Andro who shows him the collected works of humanity. It’s a vast library of books which stretches beyond vision.
Reardon is told that one man, Bertram Cabot, Jr, will bring about the nightmarish world he sees. Reardon’s decision is to attempt to find the time warp and reenter the past in order to prevent the calamity. Andro accompanies Reardon on the trek, but for some unknown reason the astronaut dies when the time barrier is crossed and fades away leaving the mutant anthropologist to change the future.
Andro lands on earth of the past. With his mental abilities he is able to cast a hypnotic spell to hide his true form.
As fate would have it, he meets Noelle, the future mother of the man who would bring about the destruction of the world. He falls in love with the beautiful young woman destined to be married the coming weekend to Bertram Cabot, Sr.
In elegant conversation in a mystic woods Noelle and Andro converse about the future. Without the hypnotic spell she sees the man who she truly loves. He is not a mutant from the future, but he is the man that she was destined to love.
As Cabot and the others chase them with guns blazing, Andro and Noelle reach Reardon’s starship and blast off leaving a bewildered Cabot wondering if Andro had saved humanity from his future son. He stares up in the sky holding Noelle’s wedding veil in his left hand and a rifle in his right.
As the time barrier is breached, Andro suffers the same fate as Reardon. He fades away as Noelle embraces the future they made without love. Andro became the man who was never born because he changed the past. Loneliness like Andro’s would be her fate.
This simple story has all the vicissitudes of cruel fate. Love is achieved and lost, be it in the present, past or future.
Perhaps some individuals are meant to be solitary souls wandering the spectrum of time searching for that elusive cosmic element known as love. Wuthering Heights with its tragic lovers of Heathcliff and Catherine still roams the moors on this planet traversing the cosmos.
We should add Noelle and Andro to this list as they search for each other in time and space somewhere out there in the outer limits. Loneliness among the billion stars is a journey, a solitary one.
How is your journey? “Here, in the bright, clustered loneliness of the billion, billion stars, loneliness can be an exciting, voluntary thing, unlike the loneliness Man suffers on Earth.” What will be your fate in the uncharted tomorrows?
G. D. Williams © 2012
The Outer Limits: The Man Who Was Never Born October 28, 1963
Can be watched on HULU or purchased on Amazon.