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The Immortal (1970)

Season 1 Episode 6

Man on a Punched Card

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Oct 29, 1970 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
7 votes

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Episode Summary

Man on a Punched Card
Two engaged computer technicians serve as Fletcher's newest weapon in hunting Ben. They have developed a program that can analyze information about Ben and predict his next move -- with alarming accuracy. To the man Ben is nothing but statistics to feed into his computer so he can earn $1000 a day from Maitland Industries for his services. His finacee, however, leaves the project to help Ben escape from Fletcher. Her daughter is critically ill, so she offers to destroy the computer records on Ben and his brother in exchange for a transfusion to save her daughter's life. Fletcher searches her apartment and discovers this information. With the hospital surrounded, Ben has to trust the woman, the doctor whom Fletcher strong-armed for information, and the computer technician who feels his fiancee jilted him in order to escape from Fletcher and erase the database on Jason Richards.moreless

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  • An exceptional episode from a very underrated series, highlighted by the teaming up of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher George.

    The computer looks odd by today's standards: it takes up most of a room. The old-fashioned punch cards (from which this episode takes its name) also are relics of a computer era that an entire generation knows nothing about. And yet, this episode is timeless.

    "Man on a Punched Card" features Lynda Day George (series star Christopher George's wife) as a computer technician who has a past hidden from her fiancé (played by "SurfSide 6" star Lee Patterson). She has a little girl from a previous love affair, and that little girl is sick. A transfusion from Ben could save her. The problem is, she and her fiancé have the job of finding Ben by using the computer program he designed -- a program that can predict Ben's future moves based on his past actions.

    The episode is an interesting study in human emotion. To Duane (Patterson's character), Ben's life is just statistics to pump into his computer program so the computer can tell him (and Fletcher) where Ben will show up. Terry (Lynda), however, is torn between her love for Duane and her absolute devotion to her ailing daughter. At first Duane is more like Fletcher (so brilliantly portrayed throughout the series by Don Knight) -- the money he's making to track down Ben is more important than anything, including Ben's wishes or what Ben could mean for all of mankind instead of being the personal fountain of youth for Arthur Maitland. After Terry runs off to save Ben from being captured by Fletcher, Duane feels jilted; however, after Fletcher ransacks Terry's apartment, discovering the information about Terry's past (and coldly relaying that information to Duane), he has a change of heart. Fletcher obviously hoped that Duane would be so angry that he would rededicate himself to his work with the computer to find Ben (the man Fletcher claims stole Duane's fiancée away) quicker. However, Duane finds the invasion of Terry's privacy disgusting. Instead of helping Fletcher, he turns the tables on him, helping Ben to wipe out the computer bank's files on Ben's brother Jason.

    Shimon Wincelberg and Stephen Kandel wrote the script that is suspenseful and sweet without being preachy or saccharine, and the actors deliver exceptional performances. "Man on a Punched Card" is a highlight of the short run of "The Immortal", and proof positive that this series should have been given a chance to succeed.

Lynda Day George

Lynda Day George

Terry Kerwin

Guest Star

Lee Patterson

Lee Patterson

Duane Hollenbeck

Guest Star

Barry Cahill

Barry Cahill

Dr. Joe Lacey

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions