episode #08 - The Human Factor

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episode #08 - The Human Factor

Post  BoG on Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:14 pm

Air Date: 11/11/63 Arrow writer: David Duncan Arrow Director: Abe Biberman

This episode takes place at a remote military outpost in Greenland, an area so far removed that even the Eskimos don't go there. There's an earthquake in which a man is lost; another officer (Harry Guardino) seems to go batty over this event, seeing visions of the dead man, as if he is being haunted by him. The on-site psychiatrist (Gary Merrill), meanwhile, has developed a new machine (a recurring plot device on O L) which, if two people are both hooked to it, can read minds. During another quake, the minds of these two men are switched. The crazy guy, now in the psychiatrist's body, has the real shrink locked up.

I didn't see much point to this one, except as a thriller involving the old mind switcheroo, clumsily mixed with the theme of isolation. Guardino hams it up a little, first as the nutty guy, then as the psychiatrist stuck in the wrong body. But, the mind-switch plot could be played anywhere - why this special location in Greenland? Why does Guardino's character escalate to wanting destruction for everyone? And, it's kind of dull for a thriller. Sally Kellerman has an early role here as Merrill's assistant; in an early scene, the machine reveals her attraction to him, though he's an older cold fish - which she herself describes him as scratch but she does play a key role here. BoG's Score: 5 out of 10
Outer Trivia: Star Trek TOS actor alert - Kellerman also played a psychiatrist a bit later in the 2nd pilot of TOS, Where No Man Has Gone Before.
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