Outer Limits – The Light Brigade (S2E18)

ollightbrigade03The spacecraft Light Brigade has just made a jump into enemy space where, according to the captain, they are going to unleash the “most powerful weapon ever built by man, a sub-atomic warhead.”  Sub-Atomic doesn’t really sound like the “ultimate weapon” as it is, by definition, sub.

To be fair, the label seems to have acquired a different meaning in the future.  It is a bomb which breaks down the forces holding together individual atoms.  It just seems like they could have used this opportunity to come up with a cool, new. less confusing name.

Six hundred humans on nine ships are taking this doomsday device to the enemy’s homeworld.  Just as the captain is about to read the crew the poem the ship was named for, they are attacked.  And what a coincidence, the poem is about the valor of 600 soldiers.

ollightbrigade04By their radiation badges they can see that they’ve taken a lethal dose of radiation during the attack.  This just continues the unlucky streak of Major Skokes as he had been captured by the aliens in the excellent Quality of Mercy.  It is strange that the previous episode is barely referenced and there are no clips from it.

On the other hand, Skokes did escape with the help of one of his Light Brigade crewmates, and he got a swell new mechanical Terminatoresque hand; ironic, as he is played by T-1000 Robert Patrick.

A small band of doomed survivors makes their way through radiated chambers and a long series of access tubes to get to the the bridge to activate the bomb.

There are a couple of twists and turns, and it is a pretty good episode.  Robert Patrick and Graham Greene are both excellent in their portrayals.  Sadly, Wil Wheaton just doesn’t pull off his character.  I was never a Wesley Crusher hater, but he was just miscast here, or maybe just has too much TNG baggage for another space opera. Michael Dorn managed to make the leap and make a good performance in an earlier Outer Limits episode, but he had the benefit of having a completely different face than in TNG.


  • Canadian DVD title:  La Brigade Stellaire
  • Naturally, the US can’t be identified as heroes, so the mission is run by the United Nations.  Although the way it turns out sounds like a UN mission after all.

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