Teach 109 (TV Short 1990) Poster

(1990 TV Short)

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Flat and heartless
bob the moo9 June 2007
In the future, androids are used as training tools for surgeons to practice techniques on. As well as the physical side of the exercise, the potential "death" of the android shows the tutors how the potential surgeons deal with losing patients. Dr Garrett is a hot potential but has never really bought into the "human" nature of the android but that starts to change when her tutor Dr Winston assigns her android Teach 109 as her next patient.

This simple drama is on the theme of humanity as Teach displays learning and emotion and gradually breaks down the coldly scientific exterior of Garrett. The plot is that simple and whether it is any good or not depends totally on the delivery. Sadly this is totally middle-of-the-road from Kletter as writer and director as he fails to really bring out the heart of his characters – which is a pretty big failing when you consider the subject matter. His direction is so-so but the fact that the script doesn't ring true is his first problem.

This translates into two draft and flat performances from the lead two. Patric plays up the "android" side of his character but forgets that the point is he is supposed to be very human. Perkins is just as weak and not even the distinctive presence of Jones does anything to raise proceedings. Vaguely interesting then, but you do have to wonder what the point of it is when you consider that the heart of it is lacking to the point of non-existence.
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from the Perverse Destiny anthology
petershelleyau22 June 2004
This forgettable short is from the Perverse Destiny anthology, and the subject was later made into a feature film by the writer/director Richard Kletter, with a different cast.

The change of cast hopefully was an improvement, since here neither Elizabeth Perkins as a surgeon and Jason Patric as her android patient, make much of an impression. Both are mannered performers, and though their roles may make them seem well cast, it still doesn't allow either to bring much to the material.

Kletter only raises the energy level with the use of the Sam Cooke song "Wonderful World", which is repeated, and although he also uses Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place" for a car scene, it serves to highlight how static the movement is. The car, incidently waits while a piano is carried across the street.

Patric gets to sing a song at a piano, in a boyish voice supposedly to give his character poignancy, but the song is so lightweight that it doesn't provide the humanity his android supposedly yearns for. Rather, we think, this is a composer we can do without. And the climax stoops to using the expression "The operation was a success. The patient died".
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