episode #36 - Expanding Human

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episode #36 - Expanding Human

Post  BoG on Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:27 pm

Episode #4 of 2nd season
Air Date: 10/10/64 Arrow writer: Francis Cockrell Arrow Director: Gerd Oswald

Another version of the old Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story, with the added dimension of the superior man / Uberman concept. There's a hulking murderer with super strength skulking around - his latest victim is a night watchman - and the two suspects are a couple of university professors (Skip Homeier and Keith Andes, who happen to resemble each other), under scrutiny by a police Lt. (James Doohan). It turns out that one of the suspects is using some kind of mind-altering (or mind-enhancing) drug to change himself into a stronger & smarter type of human (or homo superior, though there is also a physical change that resembles acromegaly for some reason). Accompanying this change is an aggressive attitude, grand (if chilling) plans and a complete lack of compassion (see also Space Seed on Star Trek TOS)
This one slows down in the middle, but the final act is exciting and suspenseful. There are also some ideas brushed over that are rarely touched upon on TV: the possibility that 'expanding' the mind with drugs may change a person's perception of reality, that there may be more to reality than what we see with our limited views (see From Beyond/1986). This was an early presentation of such theories and experimentation which was beginning at colleges & universities, and which would flourish in the subsequent years. The danger, as shown here, is that expanded consciousness and abilities may not be of a benevolent nature and the long term goal may simply be the replacement of the current top of the food chain. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
Outer Trivia: Star Trek TOS actor alert - a lot here - Doohan would start playing chief engineer Scotty in about a year; Homeier would appear in 2 episodes, Patterns of Force and The Way to Eden; and Andes would play an exotic alien in The Apple; also, Peter Duryea has a small role - he showed up as part of the crew in the 1st TOS pilot, The Cage.
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