"The Sandkings" (1995)

This truly chilling 2-hour first episode of the revamped sci-fi series watches scientist Simon Kress (Beau Bridges) analyze soil samples from Mars in which alien eggs are preparing to hatch. When they do, the creatures begin building a city. A plexi-glass built in his barn works to contain them, at first...

Based on the novella by George R.R. Martin.

Official description:
Simon Kress (Beau Bridges) is a brilliant scientist who has painstakingly nurtured a highly classified project at a government-run research facility. This top-secret endeavor involves incubating eggs taken from Martian soil samples. Simon calls the creatures "Sandkings," and when one of them nearly escapes from the secure facility, the project is shut down. Even though the government facility is finished with the Sandkings, Simon's obsession is just beginning.

With the project ending, the scientist is forced to come up with a way to continue the project on his own. After stealing some of the eggs, Simon sets up a private laboratory in his barn. As the project progresses and the Sandkings begin to show some intelligence, Simon begins losing touch with the real world, alienating his family and overspending for supplies.

Overnight, the Sandkings build elaborate castles, form colonies, and construct their own rules for their new society. As Simon becomes even more fanatic, he enlists his son Josh (Dylan Bridges) to help chronicle the growth on videotape. The real tragedy starts when Josh loses the dog his grandfather, Colonel Kress (Lloyd Bridges), gave him. The dog is the Sandkings' first victim. As the creatures continue to mature and become more violent, they escape from the barn, and attack Simon himself. The poisonous bite begins eating away at Simon's body.

Finally Simon's wife, Cathy (Helen Shaver), has had enough, and she and Josh move in with the Colonel. But before they leave, Josh finds a runaway Sandking in his room and decides to take it on as a pet. After staying at his grandfather's for a few hours, Josh sneaks back home because he misses his dad.

At this point, it's obvious that Simon's experiment, though initially well-intentioned, has gone seriously awry. The Sandkings have formed their own army and are after Simon. When the Colonel and Cathy come looking for Josh, the whole family witnesses the Kress home go up in flames with Simon along with it. But did the fire kill all of the Sandkings?
Director: Stuart Gillard
Additional Cast: Kim Coates

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