Playhouse 90

Project Immortality

Season 3, Ep 36, Aired 6/11/59
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  • Episode Description
  • Dr. Lawrence Doner has been diagnosed as having a fatal form of leukemia. The Space agency people are concerned, and they dispatch Martin Schramm to Dr. Doner to convince him to submit to the process of answering questions designed to probe his thought processes for the remainder of his life. The object of this knowledge is to build a mechanical brain that thinks like Dr. Lawerence Doner. Doner is reluctant to do this, because he wants to be with his family. A compromise is reached when it is agreed that Schramm will live in the Doner household. There is an excellent scene for the punsters of the world when Schramm arrives with Doner to meet Mrs. Doner. Mrs. Doner points out a tear on Doner's coat. Mrs. Doner responds with, "Whatsoever shall ye rip, so shall I sew". Dr. Doner comes back with, "Man does not live by thread alone" . Now we know how much they care for each other. We feel better knowing also that they are well rounded thoughtful intelligent people. Schramm is totally dedicated to probing Doner's mind and learning all about his thought process. Doner grows weary especially after his son shows some need for fatherly attention. There is an exchange, and Schramm agrees to back off. Dr. Doner is called to Cape Canaveral by the scientists who have a problem with how to proceed. Doner and Schramm travel by train to the meeting. Along the way, Doner notes that the Platka cabbage farmer has never varied his crops on the land, and he wonders if the farmer knows something that he does not know about farming. They arrive and all of the scientists give their presentation to Doner one-by-one. You know that this has taken more than eight hours, because Doner looks tired. The leukemia is taking a toll. Doner goes to the board, writes an equation, and explains to the people there that they have to use this formula. It is impressive to see this kind of brain power at work. The rest of the show is spent in a time lapse kind of motion where family and Schramm are sharing a dying man's fleeting time. The last inevitable congress is convened in a hospital room where goodbyes are said. The final scene shows the Computer designed by Schramm being tested. The results are verified and the world has the use of Doner's virtual mind and all is right with the world.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Loring Mandel

  • Lee J. Cobb

    Dr. Lawrence Doner

  • Patty McCormack

    Ketti Doner

  • Kenneth Haigh

    Martin Schramm

  • Gusti Huber

    Mrs. Doner

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Notes (1)

    • This is a well written story that deals with death in a way that makes death an opponent. It showcases Lee J. Cobb's acting ability. You can view this episode at the Museum of Radio and Television near 54th and 6th Avenue in The City of New York.

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