Dr. Jane Waterleigh wakes to find herself in an obese body, having just given birth to her fourth baby, and is called "Mother Orchis" and "Mother 417" by an all-female medical staff. The ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Host
Dr. Jane Waterleigh
Doctor Perrigan
Gene Lyons ...
Max Wilding
The Chief Nurse
The 3rd Doctor
Mother Daisy
Diane Sayer ...
Mother Hazel
Dee J. Thompson ...
The 1st Doctor
Alice Backes ...
The 2nd Doctor
The Amazon
Ivy Bethune ...
Jennifer Gan ...
The 1st Worker (as Ginny Gan)
Stacy King ...
The Female Worker


Dr. Jane Waterleigh wakes to find herself in an obese body, having just given birth to her fourth baby, and is called "Mother Orchis" and "Mother 417" by an all-female medical staff. The other Mothers, all of whom are corpulent and much larger than their helpers, the Servitors, tell Jane that there are no men, their only responsibility is to give birth, and Mothers neither read nor write. Jane, however, remembers her past life as a physician and wife, so two policewomen try to arrest her for "reactionism." The Doctors refuse to surrender her, and send her to sick bay, then to Laura, the historian. Laura explains that all of the men died decades ago, when a Dr. Perrigan developed a virus to control the rat population, but the strain mutated, killing all male humans, but sparing females, who were immune. Now only women survive, and they are sorted at birth into four classes--Doctors, Mothers, Servitors, and Workers--and raised in learning centers. When Laura tells Jane that she will now... Written by Lewis Amack

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Release Date:

28 December 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title comes from a verse in the Holy Bible. Proverbs 6:6 "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways..." See more »


Dr. Jane Waterleigh: Suppose that in ridding society of a pest it has gotten along with for centuries, you also destroyed society.
Dr. Perrigan: Sort of throwing the baby out with the bath water, hmm?
Dr. Jane Waterleigh: Or the operation was successful, but the patient died.
See more »

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User Reviews

Do We Make a Difference
21 October 2015 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

By this final year, it looks as though the series was experiencing a squeeze on story ideas. This is not typical Hitchcock fare. Instead it's science fiction more consonant with The Twilight Zone than a thriller series. Nonetheless, there's a nightmarish quality that holds interest despite poor production values (e.g. the obvious padding for obese effects) and a string of talky scenes.

The 60-minutes opens with Jane (Barrie) waking up confined to a bed in a nightmare world where everyone insists she and others like her are nothing more than obese brood mares. There are no men, only women, since the males die off early. How reproduction is accomplished with women only remains a mystery. Jane's completely lost in this bizarre world, thinking the entire experience must be a delusion. But it seems so real. So will she wake up, return to her real identity, and escape this nightmare.

Barrie's okay in the pivotal role, plus I really like the use of midget women lending an exotic air to her wake-up surroundings. There's also a subtle philosophical question that comes together at the end. Namely, is history in some sense predetermined such that only unavoidable fatalistic events take place, or is the horizon open to contingency such that our actions do make a difference. The episode deals with the question in an ironic way that I didn't see coming. All in all, the entry's definitely an unusual one for the series. And if you can manage the drawbacks, the 60-minutes is definitely not without rewards.

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