Star Trek: Serenity
The large man of the chorus spoke: "Have you heard of ‘The Long Night’? If all societies are mapped to a mathematical equation they reveal that societies tend to collapse at the same time leading to a period of sterile chaos, the Long Night, these “nights” can last ten thousand years. But if one were able to control the chaos, bring about an orderly end, then this period could be substantially less, perhaps a single century. Zain’in believes the technology of this garden can bring that orderly end. Not to worry, however, this Long Night may not occur for a hundred years or more."
Zain’in is a Medusan. A creature of sentient electromagnetic energy suspended within a cloud of unknown elements. Zain’in became obsessed with the idea of individuality after learning about different life forms. He developed a environment suit that he could move around in like other bipeds. His interest in individuality grew into a study of societies and ultimately the theory of the Long Night.