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

05. Twelfth Cave

Season: 1
First Air Date: 17 May 1996 (Showtime)
Alternate Title(s): Blutiges Pergament (German)
La douzième caverne (French)
MGM/Showtime Photos: see Season One photos page
Real™ Videoclips: Hitchcock's introduction (1:31)
  Alex takes a cold shower (:44)
  Derek confesses to Rachel (3:02)
  Nick and Philip - the scroll is alive! (1:32)
  Derek - Hitchcock Showdown (2:00)
  8 more clips...
An old friend and Legacy member, Randolph Hitchcock, visits the San Francisco Legacy House to bring Derek a very special gift... an ancient Dead Sea scroll from a twelfth cave.
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"
Guest Actors


David Ogden Stiers "Randolph Hitchcock"
Earl Pastko "Harper"
William MacDonald "Jones"
Mark Saunders "Conway"
Howard Storey "Fire Chief "
Co-Executive Producer -
Producer -
Writer Robert Masello
Director Allan Eastman
This description by: Clair aka "Clarianna" (1996) - comment: this episode had one of the better B-plots with Alex going out on her own to help the ghost of a little boy haunting a B&B. This is also my all-time favourite episode! :-)


JUDEAN DESERT, NEAR QUMRAN. Three men digging in a cave. One, referred to as "John," finds an ancient sealed vessel which he opens under the watchful eyes of the other two. A scroll is unrolled by the first man at the protest of the other two. They say they should take it to the guy who paid them to find it. The first man finally agrees and tells the other two to start heading down first, he'll follow. As if under a spell, the first man who has possession of the scroll, cuts the ropes of the other two and they fall to their deaths.

PHOTO OF AN OLD VICTORIAN HOME. Philip, Derek, Rachel, Alex and Nick are at a meeting are discussing the reports of disturbances at the house in the photo. Alex offers to go check it out. Derek announces a piece of news, a donation from Randolph Hitchcock. He wants to donate something - don't know what yet - to the Luna Foundation. Rachel asks "Why?" Derek replies that Randolph new his father and they travelled together and he was a member of that Legacy house. All he knows is that Randolph is bringing a spectacular artifact and all he has asked to see all the Legacy members. So they're to meet in the study at 8:00 p.m. that night.

Randolph Hitchcock arrives that night carrying with him a tall box. Derek greets him at the door, telling Hitchcock how he could hardly believe he heard from him after twenty-one years (which is an overestimation relative to Derek's age and length of time at the San Francisco Legacy House, if you consider what's been said in other episodes.) Derek introduces Hitchcock around to the others and Hitchcock comments, "Raised a fine family here...makes me sorry I don't have one of my own" to which Derek responds by looking down with guilt-ridden embarassment. Hitchcock explains to the others that he used to be a member of this Legacy house but due ot a tragic accident and misunderstanding, he was forced to leave. He had been wondering how to make amends and with his contribution - the scroll - to the Winston Rayne Hall of Antiquities/Luna Foundation, he has found a way. He says it took him three expeditions to Qumran to find it and he know wants the Legacy to find out just what the scroll is exactly, although he thinks he might know. In the original Dead Sea scrolls, there is reference to other scrolls and a twelfth cave. Philip looks at it and wonders if it's written in Sumerian but then sees it's not. Derek looks it over himself. Philip is anxious to start researching it.

At the docks, presumably in San Francisco. Harper, the one who discovered the scroll first, is seen holding a cross

Back at the Legacy house, as Hitchcock is leaving, Derek says he is sorry for what happened to Alicia and hasn't forgiven himself. Hitchcock say he has and now it's time Derek do the same for himself.

In the control room, Philip and Derek look at the scroll. Philip says he's glad to see Derek and his old friend reconcilled after all these years. Derek says he is too.

click to view picIn another part of the house, Derek looks at an old photo which includes himself, Hitchcock and a woman (click thumbnail to view larger pic.) Nick walks in, see the photo and asks about the "babe." Derek says her name was Alicia and she was Randolph's fiance. Nick says if he hadn't been told, he would have thought she was with Derek, then goes on to ask what happened to her. Derek just says she died.

Back in the control room, Philip, who specializes in ancient languages, is trying to figure out which language the scroll is written in by picking out specific characters and running checks through the computer. He looks at his watch and sighs as he realizes how late it has gotten.

In the morning, Alex has her bags and is ready to leave to go investigate the disturbances at that Victorian house. She runs into Derek on the way out and he mentions that he had bad dreams. She's concerned about him.

Alex arrives at the Victorian house, a Bed & Breakfast now, just as some scared customers are leaving much to the despair of the owner. Alex asks for a room and the owner looks very relieved. She shows Alex to the best room, as they are talking about the renovations that have just been done recently to create a luxury bath and guestroom. She explains that some guests have seen the ghost and once it even tried to get in bed with them, which amuses Alex.

Back at the Legacy house, Derek is sitting at the piano, mindlessly playing a tune. Randolph Hitchcock walks in and asks what tune he's playing. Derek stops, looks confused and replies he doesn't know. Hitchcock is eager to see the progress on the scroll, eventhough he knows the lab is off-limits to non-Legacy members, but Derek says he'll make an exception.

Philip and Nick look questioningly at each other as Hitchcock walks into the control room with Derek. Hitchcock asks questions...Philip and Nick answer. Turns out the carbon dating on the scroll came back as 11,000 B.C. which they think is impossible since there was no written language at that date - how can it be? Derek stands there with a faraway look.

In a shack near the docks, John Harper is praying for forgiveness about murdering his two colleagues back at the cave. He puts up pages from the bible all over the inside of the shack. We then see he has a strange x-looking "brand" marking on his forehead.

Legacy house. Derek, with his Sight, is getting "flashes" of a terrible fire. Rachel walks in and see's the terrified expression on his face and expresses her concern but he talks sharply back to her when she asks what's the matter. It seems he doesn't remember calling her away from another patient to come see him about something important. He sounds mad. She wonders why he's sweating so profusely and he leaves abruptly.

At the B&B, Alex is taking a shower. The bathroom door opens and the water immediately turns cold. The door slams, then she hears a child crying.

At Harper's shack, Hitchcock shows up and ridicules him about his decrepid surroundings and wonders what he did with all the money he got for finding the scroll. Harper says it was "blood money" and gave it away to the families of the men he killed and now he wants the scroll back because it has to be destroyed. Hitchcock threatens that he'll stay alive if he forgets about the scroll. Harper reveals that he knows Derek Rayne has it. "The scroll will do with him as it sees fit," sneers Hitchcock.

In the morning at Rachel's house. She's coming downstairs and is startled to discover there is an intruder - but it's just Derek. She's relieved but confused. He says he broke into her house because he had to. He tells her about seeing the images of fire and hearing voices...voices he's heard before. He then shows Rachel the photo with Alicia Summers in it and says it was taken just before her death. He goes on to explain that the operation they were on was suppose to be a simple one, get the data and get out. Alicia ended up getting ripped apart by whatever it was. When she died, he heard the voices of the damned. He tells Rachel that Randolph Hitchcock loved her so much - Rachel asks if Derek loved her too and he says yes. That's something he's never told anyone, he admits. He keeps seeing the image of fire. Rachel explains that people who have the Sight also have a certain instability or a degree of losing touch with reality. That's why he came to her, Derek says, before something else happens. He's afraid.

Alex is going over some old photos with the B&B owner and finds out that the couple who built the house had a young son who died of pneumonia. The B&B owner tells her the disturbances started just after the renovations to improve the rooms and baths were complete. The room Alex stayed in was the biggest part of that job.

Derek is on the docks. Harper comes up to him and tells him he wants to save his life.

Nick and Philip are in the lab. Nick says the carbon dating for the scroll keeps coming back as 11,000 B.C. and the composition of the ink and scroll has been tested. The scroll is made of human skin, the ink is human blood. Under the microscope, they see the blood is moving - the scroll is alive.

Back at the docks, Harper warns Derek about Hitchcock. Harper asks if something terrible happened between them in the past. Derek answers, "Alicia." A woman - that is the reason, Harper replies. He reveals that Hitchcock has scars buried deep and never forgives - nor does the scroll. It will drive him mad, he'll hear and see things, first it will take his sanity then his life. Then Harper looks to see if Derek has the "mark" on his forehead as he does.

Back at the haunted B&B, Alex hears the child's crying again. The bathroom door moves. As she's going to it, the door slams shut. She then realizes something, this was the child's room...the one they tore up and renovated.

Harper is back in his shack. Someone outside poors gasoline all around it and torches the place. Harper can't get out because the door has been chained shut from the outside.

Derek is asleep over the scroll. Philip asks when he got in cause they were worried. To Philip's amazement, Derek tells him the scroll is biblio-Hebrew and it's a confession to murder. Not just any confession - the first murder confession, written by Cain. It's curses with exile, madness and death to whoever possesses it...which happens to be Derek at the moment. Derek realizes what Harper had been telling him about the scroll and Hitchcock are very true.

At the docks, Derek and Philip arrive to talk to Harper only to find the fire department just finishing up putting out the fire. Philip asks what started it and the fireman says arson. Thinking Harper is long dead now, they get back into the Explorer to go and that's when a burnt Harper whispers from the back that it's him and to drive on.

At the Legacy house, Hitchcock arrives after receiving a message from Derek to come. Derek confronts him - says Hitchcock knew when he brought the scroll to the Legacy, what it was and what it would do. Hitchcock breaks his friendly front and tells Derek he never forgave him for Alicia's death. Derek says Alicia loved him (Hitchcock) but Hitchcock says if it hadn't been for Derek, she'd be alive and his wife right now. Hitchcock asks about Harper and says he's dead (admission of arson, I'd say) and Derek says he's not. Harper walks in, says he can't go untilhe has the scroll. The he grabs it from Hitchcock and jumps into a rather large fireplace with a fire in it. As he's dying and the scroll is burning, a demon bursts forth. Nick pulls Harper out and subdues the flames but it's too late, he's dead. Hitchcock escapes. Philip looks at Derek's forehead and sees the mark is gone so all should be well now.

Back at the B&B, Alex is in bed. The ghost of the boy appears and comes to her bedside. She says she knows his name is Benjamin and states that this is where he died - in the nursery. He says he's cold. She asks him if she gets the owner to re-do his room - will he stop wandering around the house. He nods. He says he's cold again. She lets him in her bed under the covers so he can go to sleep peacefully now.

Description last revised: 13 December 1996