Way Out (1961)

Season 1 Episode 1

William and Mary

Aired Friday 9:30 PM Mar 31, 1961 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

William and Mary
William Pearl gets the bad news from his doctor: he only has a month to live. Dr. Landy says he can keep William's brain alive in a glass jar, after his body is dead. William never got along with his wife Mary; he was a cheapskate and was mean to her. When William dies, Mary is at home drinking and dancing. William's brain (and the attached eyeball) are coming home to Mary. But William's days of mistreating his wife are over; now she has the upper hand. To prove her point, she blows some cigarette smoke into the brain jar, making William's eyeball squint. [note: "William and Mary" is the name of a famous college-- the names kind of go together.] [trivia: perhaps this episode provided inspiration for the movie "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" (1962).]moreless

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  • This is an excellent debut. In 1961 critics saw great potential in this series based on this episode. Today, it still amazes many who see it. Also, it is somewhat more science fiction oriented that other Way Out episodes.moreless

    This quirky story of a grouchy, unsympathetic professor who dominates his wife completely, even from his deathbed, was an awesome way to kick off this truly different series. Right from Roald Dahl's opening monologue, this is a treat. Interesting dialogue was a hallmark of Way Out. The conversations between (1)Professor William Pearl & and his wife, Mary, (2) Between Dr. Landy and William, and (3) between Mary and Dr. Landy are all quite funny while at the same time rather unsettling. Oh, and Mary's ending line is PRECIOUS!!

    The one quibble a viewer may have with this tail is the fact that there is only one very quick (a second or less) view of William's living brain in the tank. However, this does not effect the impact of the story. I have seen several copies from different sources of the episode, and all had this quick view. I have no way of knowing if this was how it was originally broadcast. If you enjoy odd tales with cool twists, then by all means seek this one out.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions