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 H O M  E :: p:tl episode guide :: season one :: episode description

01. Pilot Episode ( aka "The Fifth Sepulcher")

Season: 1
First Air Date: 21 April 1996 (Showtime)
Alternate Title(s): Der fuenfte Schrein (German)
MGM/Showtime Photos: see Season One photos page
Real™ Videoclips: 1st P:TL theme music w/ clips and credits
  Derek's voiceover of "Since the beginning of time" opening in season one
Derek has a vision of a little girl and the last of five sepulchers he has been searching for since his father's death in Peru when Derek was fifteen years old. During the pilot, we are introduced the current, past and future members of the San Francisco Legacy House.
Derek de Lint

"Dr. Derek Rayne, Ph D"

Helen Shaver "Rachel Corrigan, MD"
Martin Cummins "Nick Boyle"
Robbi Chong "Alexandra (Alex) Moreau"
Patrick Fitzgerald "Father Philip Callaghan"   ***
Alexandra Purvis "Katherine (Kat) Corrigan"
Guest Actors  
Jordan Bayne "Julia Walker"
William Sadler "Shamus Bloom"
Daniel Pilon "Winston Rayne" (Derek's Father)
Chad Krowchuk "Connor Corrigan" (Rachel's son)
Miles Ferguson

"Derek Rayne" (Young)

William Morgan Sheppard "Grave Digger"
Sandrine Holt "Ellen"
John Novak "Patrick Corrigan" (Rachel's husband)
David Fredericks "Bartender"
Ingrid Torrance "Party Girl"
Executive Producer Richard Barton Lewis
Producer N. John Smith
Writer (Teleplay) Brad Wright
Writer (Story) Richard Barton Lewis
Director Stuart Gillard
Director of Photography Manfred Guthe (read interview) 
This description by: Clair aka "Clarianna" (1996)


Peru. This episode begins about twenty-seven +/- years in the past when Derek is fifteen. His father, Winston Rayne, has taken him to Peru on a quest for an ancient "box" called a sepulcher. This is not young Derek's idea of a father-son vacation. At night, in the pouring rain, they arrive at the entrance of what looks like an old mine. Derek was told to stay in the truck whilst his father is led in by a guide to the place inside where the "box" was discovered and partially unearthed. Outside in the truck, Derek, a psychic, Sees his father being mauled by a demon after opening the box...he rushes inside, but it's too late, even as he turns the key to close the box to contain the evil spirit. His father's dying words to his son were "the burden is yours now" as he took the Legacy ring off his finger and gave it to Derek. A hefty burden for a fifteen-year-old!

Angel Island, San Francisco. Twenty-seven years later, at a Luna Foundation party. (During the course of this we see a plaque with the words, "Faith has need of the whole truth" that Derek is fond of quoting.) Derek unvails and donates a Madonna & Child sculpture to the Luna Foundation in his father's name. As he looks at the sculpture, Derek "sees" a little girl in a red coat screaming. Late at night, after the party - Derek "sees" his father's death again and the little girl with another sepulcher. This warns Derek that something is up and he rises the Legacy members to help him with his work. In a hidden vault, Derek shows Nick and Julia four sepulchers, one which his father died trying to get. He explains that they contain four of the five fallen angels/evil spirits that the Druids confined into five separate sepulchers and now he has "seen" the fifth one and they must go get it.

Connemara, Ireland. Rachel Corrigan and her young daughter, Kat, are visiting the gravesites of Rachel's husband son, Patrick & Conner. It's the one-year-anniversary of their death. As Rachel talks to the groundskeeper, Kat "hears" what she thinks is her brother calling for her to come to her. She runs off and winds up in an antique shop sitting next to an old box - the fifth sepulcher.

San Francisco, California. In a Catholic church, Derek meets with young Father Phillip Callaghan, who just came in from playing soccer. Derek wants Philip to come back to the Legacy. He explains about the fifth sepulcher being found in Ireland. Philip is surprised the Druids hid it in "their own backyard." Apparently Philip is the only Legacy member who has previous knowledge of the sepulchers Derek has been searching out for twenty-three years.

Back at the Legacy house - Derek, Julia and Nick prepare to leave for Ireland. Derek insists that Alex stay there to do research on the four sepulchers they do have. He gives three of the keys to each of them for safe-keeping and keeps one for himself.

Connemara, Ireland. Back at the antique shop, its owner, Shamus Bloom, is looking for the key to the "box" because Rachel wants to buy it for Kat who says "it reminds her of Conner." He find the key later and shows up at Rachel's room at the inn to give it to Kat, but the lock is frozen. He takes the key and box back to his shop to fix it.

Derek, Julia and Nick arrive in Connemara and split up to search for the sepulcher and/or the little girl in a red coat.

Shamus Bloom fixes the lock, turns the key and gets the surprise of his life as the demon enters his body and takes over.

Julia enters the shop where Shamus just got "possessed" and she sees the fifth sepulcher. Shamus makes the move on her, she whacks him over the head with a heavy object and is out of there quickly as he is chasing her. Julia calls Alex, who is back at the Legacy house, to tell her to contact Derek quick because she's found the fifth box and she can't get her own cellphone to work.

Derek meets an anxious Nick outside a pub - no Julia - so they go looking for her. Nick gets mad at Derek because he thinks Derek shouldn't have split them up.

Rachel & Kat are getting ready for bed. Shamus shows up with the "fixed" box and entices Rachel to turn the key to open it. In a mesmerized state caused by the demon, Rachel believes Shamus is her dead husband come back to life and he says he's going to give her son back to her. (You can guess how.) After it's too late, Rachel realizes this guy isn't her husband and screams which brings Kat to her room, who screams. Derek and Nick hear them and go running to the rescue. Nick chases after the possessed Shamus and shoots him. The spirit leaves Shamus body as a oozing rotting mass with maggots. (Yuck! I really hate maggots.) Derek and Nick then see Julia's "crucified" dead body on a scarecrow post in field.

Back in the U.S. Father Philip performs the memorial ceremony and they throw Julia's ashes into the water.

An unconscious Rachel is brought back to the San Francisco Legacy House to recover along with Kat. Derek gives Philip the key that Julia was safeguarding and welcomes him back into the Legacy. Nick's mad at Derek for allowing Philip back in because it's against the rules but Derek says he never left in spirit. Philip goes to work decoding the inscriptions off the fifth box.

Derek gives Kat the fifth key to safeguard because she's truly an innocent soul and the demon has no power over her. Rachel wakes up in an unreasonable state and abnormally pregnant. She thinks the Legacy is going to take her "baby" away and tries to leave but ends up going into labor. She gives birth to a demon who looks like her son Conner (so he can make his "Mommy" do what needs to be done for him) and goes about trying to assemble all the keys and the sepulchers.

In the research lab, Alex and Philip are working on the computers when the power goes out. Philip goes to see if it's the generator and winds up in a church where he meets up with a woman appearing posthumously, "Helen" or "Ellen" (couldn't tell which). From what I could gather, she apparently committed suicide by drowning sometime after a sexy nighttime swim with Philip where he told her that he chose God and the priesthood over her and their love/lust. She comes onto him and he gives in (God forgive him) and surprise! It's the demon boy Conner and he's now got one of the sepulcher keys.

The demon next appears as Julia to Alex, who is feeling way guilty about staying behind whilst Julia went to Ireland where she ended up getting killed. Alex asks forgiveness and the demon gets the second key.

As Nick is stalking around looking for Kat, he sees the demon boy and shoots only to find that he must have somehow shot Kat by mistake. He asks forgiveness and the demon gets the third key. (Are you beginning to see the pattern here?)

For Derek's key, the demon poses as Derek's father, Winston Rayne, who tries to turn Derek over to the dark side (hmmm...that sounds familiar) and Derek, who knows that this is not his father, still feels guilty after plunging a sword through him and asks forgiveness and well, you know.

Four down, one key to go - Kat's! Derek finds Kat and takes her up to the roof where he finds all five sepulchers placed in formation. Rachel and "Conner" try to get the key from Kat, Rachel says it's okay to give it to her. The demon, thinking he has it made, asks for the ley from his "mother" and she DOESN'T, she finally realizes he's a demon, not her son. They struggle and he goes over the side of the roof but he ended up getting the fifth key anyway.

The five keys go into the sepulchers and the gateway to hell is open for the five evil spirits to come through and bring disaster to the world. Philip finds out if they call it's name they can stop it. Derek calls its name - Azazel - whacks off the demon's head and they all turn the keys to the five sepluchers to lock the spirits back inside. All done!

*** In the pilot, Father Philip's surname was Connelly (a mistake) not Callaghan as it was in the rest of the series. See P:TL FAQ

Description last revised: 18 October 1996