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

24. Lights Out

Season: 2
First Air Date: 14 March 1997 (Showtime)
Alternate Title(s): Ewige Finsternis (German)
Extinction des feux (French)
MGM/Showtime Photos: see Season Two photos page
Wicked little Scottish "faeries" infest the San Francisco Legacy House.
Derek de Lint

"Dr. Derek Rayne, Ph D"

Helen Shaver "Dr. Rachel Corrigan, MD"
Martin Cummins "Nick Boyle"
Robbi Chong "Alexandra (Alex) Moreau"
Daniel J. Travanti "William Sloan" (London House Precept)
Guest Actors


Hagan Beggs "Frederick " (a SF Legacy House Butler)


Co-Executive Producer Garner Simmons
Co-Executive Producer Gary Sherman
Producer Fran Rosati
Writer Bill Bleich
Director Rafael Zelinsky
This description by: Kris Kroner (1997)



Frederick the butler is removing four china cups and saucers from the coffee table in the living room when the phone rings. Despite the late hour, it's a delivery from Night Owl Express. The man has the proper credentials for the large crate he brings so Frederick tells him to come up to the house.

The crate is marked fragile and addressed to William Sloan, care of the Luna Foundation. The delivery man remarks that the house has security like Fort Knox. It's obvious he's fascinated by the house, "what is this place?," but he tells Frederick the ferry boat guy is waiting for him and is in a hurry. Frederick signs the receipt form and ushers the man out.

As Frederick carries the box down the hallway, he trips and falls, dropping it. As it hits the floor, it cracks slightly and a little ball of bright yellow light zips out of the box, and with a humming noise, proceeds to fly into all the light bulbs, breaking them. It then knocks a lamp over on Frederick's head before disappearing back into the box.

Derek, hearing the commotion, comes in and sees Frederick on the floor bleeding from his head. As he helps him up he sees the box, "what's this?" Frederick tells him it's for Mr. Sloan. Despite Derek's curiosity, he helps the butler out of the room saying he'll have Rachel look at the cut on his head. Right after they leave the room dozens of bright yellow light beings come out of the box and with a humming noise, zip over to the heating duct and disappear into the ventilation system.

Derek's office

Derek tells William Sloan in London, via the video-link, that the box came addressed to him. They had already contacted the delivery company and found the box was sent the previous day from Los Cruces, New Mexico. The sender's name and address turned out to be false and the fee was paid in cash. They could get no description of the person who sent the box and to further complicate matters, the guy who booked the box in can't be found. He's been missing since he clocked out.

Sloan tells Derek no one outside the Legacy knew he was planning on coming to San Francisco nor would they have know he canceled the visit since his itinerary is kept confidential.

Derek, extremely curious about what's inside, wants to open the box. Sloan tells him to go ahead but to do a through investigation of it first. Derek, with a smile replies, "you know me better than that." Sloan grinning, replies that he had to say it since, "You have a tendency to be a little impulsive."

Control Room

Nick and Alex have scanned, x-rayed and done a piezo scan on the box. They declare it has no wires, no explosives, no electronics, no anomalous electrical energy and no evidence of supernatural presence. Alex tells him the integrity of the box is substantial and all they found was a little crack that probably happened when Frederick fell. There are no occult signs or markings. Nick grinning, "It's just what it looks like. It's a box!"

Rachel, wearing a white zippered blouse and a miniskirt, comes in and says Frederick just had a bump on the head. She told him to rest but, "You know Frederick, he wants to clean up." She asks the age of the box and Derek tells her Nick is fixing an accurate age but he guess 600 or 700 years old.

They look at the box and Nick asks, "Why don't we open it up?"

With that, Derek asks Nick if anyone ever called him impulsive. He smiles back and says "Only you, Derek." Derek, grinning, replies, "Right, right."

Nick attempts to pick the lock but is unsuccessful so he asks Derek if he can get a cutting torch and "get this over with." Derek replies, "Do it."


Frederick cleans up broken bulbs while a fire burns in the fireplace. He leaves the room with the broken glass only to return and find other bulbs smashed. As he leaves again to get more bulbs the light beings follow him down the hall and smash all the lights in the hall.

Meanwhile: Nick gets the box open. Alex glances inside and announces it looks like it contains "garage sale rejects." Inside, among other things, they find an old silver pitcher, a cut saddle, a doll, bagpipes and some cloth.

Rachel sees the bagpipes and excitedly takes them out telling the others she used to play the bagpipes. They look at her, astounded, as she explains she took them up because she wanted to impress an old boyfriend who wanted to have a rock and roll bagpipe band. Alex, laughing, replies, "Far out, man", and Nick chimes in with, "Groovy."

Derek tells them to fix the dates and places of origin, "If we can find a pattern we may be able to find out whose idea of a joke this is." Rachel drones on the pipes as he talks.

Frederick then calls into the control room on an intercom phone. Alex answers and tells Derek that Frederick wants to see him because there is some sort of electrical problem in the hallway. Derek asks Nick to come along and they go talk to Frederick in the hall. He tells them all the lights in the library and this corridor keep exploding. Derek tells him to call an electrician in the morning since it could be a surge of some sort. Nick tells Frederick to leave the switches off and not replace any more bulbs. After Frederick leaves, Nick tells Derek the crate itself could be related to the weird happenings at the house.

Living Room

Alex settles on the couch with the silver pitcher, a reference book and her tape recorder. Frederick comes in with a glass of milk and 2 cookies on a plate. She grins and thanks him. After asking if she needs anything else he tells her he's heading down to the storage room in the basement for more lights. She asks how his head is and he replies it's harder than ever and thanks her for asking.

Alex begins to recite into her tape recorder about the age of the pitcher. The light beings come to the opening of the duct in the living room and chatter to each other. Then they come zipping into the room and knock over the milk glass, zap out the light bulbs, tip the couch she's sitting on over and knock down the drapes on top of her head. Laughing maniacally, they take the pitcher and conk her on the head with it before throwing it in the hallway.

Rachel hearing Alex's calls of distress, comes in asking, "what's going on?" and finds Alex taking the heavy curtain off her head. She's annoyed but not hurt. Rachel laughs delightedly at the scene.

Later: All 4 of them are in the living room trying to figure out what happened. Rachel checks Alex's head and declares her OK, probably because the drapes cushioned the blow. They all chuckle. Derek asks if she saw anything. Alex remembers hearing a high pitched sound and then the drapes fell.

Derek then dramatically recreates the accident by saying that Alex was startled, threw herself back, tipped the couch over and grabbed for the drapes which then fell on her head. They all laugh delightedly at his reenactment and Alex tells him she was drinking milk not scotch. Derek tells them he was only playing devils advocate. Alex remembers the drapes popping out and hearing the noise. She describes it as a hum or drone or it could even be voices. She remembers she was dating the pitcher at the time and what hit her was metallic. They look around for the pitcher and realize it's missing Nick gets up and reaches for her tape recorder and snags one of the cookies that Frederick had brought for Alex. He turns it on and the buzzing noise is obvious. She declares, "that's the noise I heard." Derek comments there may be more in Sloan's gift box than a pile of junk.

Derek's office

Derek tells William that he thinks the box is haunted and he'd like to send it to him immediately. Sloan chides, "I told you to be careful." Derek remarks they ran every available test and found nothing. Sloan asks if anyone was hurt and Derek tells him not seriously. "It just seems to hate lights." Sloan, with a grin says, "so turn them off and go to bed, its late enough even for you, Derek." He then tells Derek that they looked at the results of the scans and photographs of the box but were unable to find it anywhere in their database. He reassures him he's assigned teams to investigate further in the stacks in the library. Sloan prepares to sign off telling Derek to be careful, and "remember what happened to Pandora when she opened the wrong box."

Control Room

Alex Rachel and Nick enumerate the contents of the box. The pitcher came from 18th century Wales; the saddle,16th century English; the linen, 14th century Irish; the wood carving is Belgian, 17th century; and the bagpipes and the box itself are 13th century Scottish. Alex is still searching the database for the dolls origin focusing on a name match since it's embroidered, "Clarissa, Love Aunt Jeanette." Despite these findings they've been unable to determine how the things are related.

Derek encourages Rachel to try out the bagpipes because it would be interesting to hear what an instrument that old sounds like. She grins, suggesting that might wake the dead and that's not advisable in that house. Derek then suggests Alex and Rachel go get rest because it'll be a long night. Rachel agrees and says if you hear melodic wheezing its either the pipes or her lungs collapsing.

Rachel's bedroom

Rachel, standing near the fireplace, begins playing the bagpipes. As soon as she starts piping the light beings come joyfully under the door, laughing and humming. Suddenly, Rachel thinks she hears something and stops piping. The beings quickly disappear and hide. She looks around and opens the door to the bedroom, but sees nothing.

Derek's office

Derek using special audio equipment and headphones, plays the tape from Alex's recorder. On the wall is a framed picture of a bluish-gray triangle with a door in the middle of it. Derek plays the tape at many different speeds but is unable to discern anything so he gives up, rubbing his eyes as he heads out of the office on his way to bed.


In the upstairs hall, he stretches. Then hearing very high-pitched laughter coming from downstairs he descends the staircase. Some of the light beings are hiding in the suit of armor. As Derek gets to the bottom of the steps, other light beings pull the rug out from under him and he falls. As he lands on the floor, they knock the suit of armor over and throw the pitcher at him. Nick hears this and comes running down the stairs asking what happened and if he's all right. Derek gets up and tells him he heard something in the living room.

Living Room

Nick goes in, tries the light switch, sarcastically mentioning, "no light, what a surprise." He looks around the room and comments, "It looks like a party was going on until you crashed it!" The room is trashed. There are beer bottles everywhere and the chess set has been moved around. Nick grins, "It's just your beer drinking, chess playing, things that go bump in the night." He studies the chess board for a second, picks up a piece and comments, "Wow, this guy was one move away from checkmate when you interrupted, no wonder they got angry." Derek sees the pitcher on the floor and picks it up, "This was thrown at me!" Nick looking at the living room, says, "These guys are regular party animals."

Derek, not amused, tells Nick to get Alex and Rachel up and run tests to analyze the residue in the pitcher and do chemistry on the stains on the doll. Nick asks what he's looking for. Derek replies he doesn't know but prankish behavior aside, he doesn't want to make a big mistake and underestimate these beings.

Nick agrees and leaves.

Derek's office

Derek drinks from a china cup as he talks to Sloan via the video-link. William laughs saying the whole thing is fairly comical and asks if Derek has had one too many beers. Derek replies that he's considering it and reminds him the box was intended to be his problem. Sloan reminds him he did apologize about that. and that the line between malice and mischief can be very tenuous especially with sprits.

Nick enters the office and tells Derek they're getting somewhere. Derek switches the video link feed to the control room.

Control Room

Sloan greets everyone from the large overhead monitor. Alex begins and says the doll belonged to Clarissa Mayhew, born in London March 5, 1856. Her aunt was Jeanette Montpelier. Sloan interrupts to tell them she was precept of the Paris house and she was murdered. Alex says that in 1865, Clarissa was visiting her aunt in Paris and they were found bludgeoned to death in their sleep. The stains on the doll turned out to be human blood.

Nick tells them the pitcher was 18th century Welsh. The residue in it was lethal. Sloan pops in with "Selwyn Roberts, Legacy member, poisoned in Cardiff, May 19, 1761."

They bring up the saddle and cut bridle and Sloan looks down, then says, "Heinrich Olsdorff, died from a fall in a hunt under suspicious circumstances in Vienna 1705."

Derek asks where Sloan is getting all the information. He tells them he opened a file of mysterious deaths of Legacy members. "What you have is souvenirs of murders. I'll download my file and you can match the rest of the artifacts."

Derek is determined to know what they are and who sent them. Sloan pipes in with, "The what is more important at the moment than the who. Your safety is foremost. Once we find out how many murders are connected we'll find out who was responsible. Derek, if you need anything, remember, we're here." Derek thanks him and Sloan breaks the connection after warning, "Keep the lights on!"

Since they realize they'll be working all night, Nick decides to make coffee and asks if anyone else wants some. Alex and Rachel do, Derek declines, but gives him a flashlight and tells him to keep it on. Nick switches it on saying, "Deal."

Breakfast Room

Nick enters and flips on the light switch. He puts the flashlight down and opens the cupboard to make the coffee., He's putting water in the pot when the light beings zip out, smash the coffee pot as he fills it and then with a shrill humming noise disappear again.

Nick looks around the room and sees a glow from under a metal cake cover and lifts it up carefully. The light beings come flying out around the room and then disappear, but not before breaking all the lights in the kitchen. He turns on the flashlight, grabs a cast iron frying pan and calls playfully, "come out, come out wherever you are." One of them comes out and dives him but misses. He swats at the light with the frying pan. After he misses, he continues to tease the light, asking if it's going to give him another chance. It continues to fly at him and he finally smashes it against the wall with the frying pan where it explodes in a ball of fire.

The rest of the light beings become angry and swarm him, coming at him from all directions. There are dozens of them and he stands little chance. They knock him down and he gets cuts on his chest, face and stomach as they continue to attack him. He retreats to the door of the room as they keep up their attack. He holds up his right hand to protect his face and one embeds itself into his hand as he crawls out of the room. They attempt to follow but he shuts the door behind him. Then, he grabs his injured hand, wincing from the intense pain.

Control room

Nick sits in a chair while Alex holds a magnifying glass over his hand so Rachel can see as she probes the wound. Nick insists there is something definitely in his hand. She agrees as she holds his wrist steady with her other hand and cautions him to hold still. She calls for more light and Derek comes in with a large torchlike flashlight, saying "Try this" and warns, "Watch your eyes," before turning on the large, very bright light over Nick's hand. Immediately flames shoot out of his palm and he yells in pain.

He tells them he heard that same scream when he crushed one of them. Derek comments that there has to be a reason why they're photophobic, they run from light; it kills them. Nick puzzled, says, they were there when the regular lights were on and they crashed the bulbs but it didn't kill them. Derek tells them that that particular light has a full range of infrared and ultraviolet light - it has the full range of sun. That's what kills them. They're afraid of all light but only sunlight kills them. As Nick responds that "they" are definitely out for blood now, Rachel, who has been probing in the wound, finally grasps the object and extracts it.

She holds it up in the tweezer but it's too small to determine what it is. Derek puts it on the microscope and exclaims in amazement as he sees a warrior dressed in medieval armor carrying a large ax and a sword. They put it on the overhead screen and Derek declares, "Seeing is believing, if I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed it." As they all look at the screen he comments, "that explains how it could break the lights and why Nick was in such pain. It kept slashing away inside him until the light killed it." Nick looks at the weapons and comments, "These guys are really loaded for bear."

Derek's office

Alex and Derek are assembling more full spectrum lights as they talk to Sloan on the video link. William says that if he didn't see it he wouldn't believe it and cautions them to be careful while he tries to figure out the connection and why it was sent there.

Derek comments that whoever sent it meant business. Sloan declares, "Light sensitive, tiny, ruthless, flying creatures. You know what we're dealing with? An infestation of fairies." Alex says doubtfully, that Tinkerbell didn't go after Peter Pan with a battle-ax. Sloan tells them that the Victorians sanitized the ancient legends and created the images of tiny gentle things with gossamer wings. Most of them are only paranormal gnats. Some of them are anything but gentle. He closes the link, saying, "Keep in touch."

Control Room

The group hears yelling throughout the ventilation system and realize it's Frederick. They had thought he went home but then Alex remembers he said he wanted to go to the storage bin. Nick grabs the lights and heads for the door with the others following. Derek stops the women, telling them that the more they know the better and to input the armor into the database and keep the lights close.


Derek and Nick begin searching for Frederick with their full spectrum flashlights. They don't find him upstairs so they proceed to descend into the basement. Inside the rooms in the basement are many sheet shrouded articles. They get to the storage room and see his bloody body lying on the floor. The fairies realize Nick and Derek are nearby and they exit his body from the wounds all over it and swarm Derek and Nick. They ward them off with the lights. Many of the fairies explode and the others run away. Nick hands Derek his full spectrum light and drags Frederick's body out of the storage room.

Control Room

They return upstairs and Derek announces that Frederick is dead and they found his body in the basement. The fairies had swarmed him. Derek asks what they found and Rachel acts out saying angrily that they need a minute to think about this. Derek firmly responds, "I'm sorry Rachel we don't have a minute. The creatures out there are working themselves into a frenzy. They haven't figured out how to get into this room but it's only a matter of time."

Alex and Rachel then relate what they found. They put the coat of arms that they found on the chest plate of the armor up on the screen. They have determined they were the Clan Cavendish. They were a vicious marauding band of highwaymen who turned to the occult to help them escape the law. In 1296, the Legacy assisted other clans and an army sent in by Robert the Bruce and stalked and captured the dreaded Cavendish . They were tried, convicted and burned at the stake, their souls damned to eternal darkness, never to see the sunlight again. That's the effect sun has on them and explains their grudge against the Legacy. Rachel relates that Ian Cavendish, their leader, was heard responding to the curse banishing them into eternal darkness, "We can drink enough of our enemies' blood before dawn to hold us though the daylight hours."

They work on a plan, realizing that it's near dawn and they can wait for them or they can go out after them. Derek feels that hunting them won't work because they hid when they went after Frederick. "They had to know we were armed. We have to trap them somehow." Nick asks what they should use for bait and Derek, looking at the screen, replies seriously, "The Scottish clan."

On a table, Derek puts in the tape that he had been studying, telling them he was able to isolate something on the tape. He turns it on and the high pitched droning and humming becomes the unmistakable drone of bagpipes playing.

A short time later

Derek puts up a schematic of the original heating duct system on the main screen, saying the ducts converge in the northeast corner of the basement where the old furnace used to be. He figures if they could lure them down there they could seal the room. He looks at Rachel as he says solemnly that it could backfire on us and asks her if she's sure she's game. Rachel replies, "I can do it."


Rachel plays the pipes in the dark seemingly alone. The fairies begin to come out of the ducts and circle around her humming and droning but don't attack her. There are lots of them and more and more keep coming as she plays. From the shadows, Derek tells the others to wait as more fairies spill out of the ducts drawn to the sound of the pipes, "We need all of them." Derek eventually commands, "Now!" With that they jump out of the shadows and turn on the full spectrum lights.

Rachel stops piping and runs to the safety of the group. As the fairies dive them, some explode from the lights, appearing like sparklers as they burn up. Suddenly, the rest of the fairies all disappear and hide. Derek looks around reminds the group that they blocked the exit, so they're still in there.

Suddenly, they swarm at the team and continue to dive them, smashing the full spectrum lights one by one. Derek calls for the team to retreat, "We have to get out of here. They'll kill us!"

They're unable to flee as the fairy swarm continues their relentless attack from all sides, injuring them with their tiny weapons. Derek yells to Nick to break the window in the corner of the room. Nick, under attack by the fairies, grabs a piece of wood and heaves it at the window breaking it which allows sunshine to stream in. One by one they fairies explode and die.

Derek's office - later that morning.

Sloan on the video phone takes total responsible because he let himself take the situation lightly and Frederick lost his life. He somberly admits that he knows he has ultimately responsibility for the safety of the organization and the Legacy members.

Derek with a butterfly bandage over a cut on his forehead says that since a death occurred at the house it's also his responsibility, shared or otherwise.. They discuss that they both lost sight of the fact that the box was sent for a purpose and they still want to know who or what sent the box. William tells him he'll have a Legacy courier get the box and bring it to London as soon as possible and get a complete workup going. Derek sighs, says thanks, and asks Sloan to give his best to Patricia and the children and signs off.

Sloan's office - London

Sloan sits in his office and stares at his desk for a moment.


"Maybe living behind this big desk has taken the edge off. Being out there, the mission, the goal, the adrenaline, the rush. And, if I was wrong, it was only my own life that was on the line."

He gets up and leaves his office, turning off the lights as he exits.

Description last revised: October 1997