Amazing Stories: Season 2, Episode 12

The Eternal Mind (29 Dec. 1986)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Fantasy | Horror
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 53 users  
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Applying experiments with chimps to himself, a dying scientist transfers his mind into a computer. But his unique survival after physical death brings unexpected heartaches.

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(as Michael Riva)
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Title: The Eternal Mind (29 Dec 1986)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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John Baldwin
...
Katherine Baldwin
Gregory Wagrowski ...
Ben Oltman
...
Frank
Paul Tauger ...
Technician #1
Aaron Seville ...
Technician #2
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Applying experiments with chimps to himself, a dying scientist transfers his mind into a computer. But his unique survival after physical death brings unexpected heartaches. Written by Anonymous

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29 December 1986 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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[last lines]
Ben Oltman: [to Katherine] You... you just killed your husband.
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User Reviews

 
What happens when you transfer a mind to a computer?
22 June 2007 | by (muenster, germany) – See all my reviews

John and Katherine Baldwin are members of the team working on the 'Lurec Project'. They want to find out how to transfer someone's mind to a computer. John is very ill. He is going to die before the scheduled conclusion of the project. John is not an old man yet. He would like to be the first to transfer his mind because that would give him a chance of survival. He asks the others to skip some of the tests so that he will be able to transfer his mind in time. They speed up the project and John gets his chance. Will the transfer be successful?

I especially liked the beginning - when they transfer some of a chimp's memories to their computer - and the ending (I won't say why because I don't want to give it away). But I think that the story is not very original. It reminded me of one of Stanislaw Lem's stories (it's from 'The Star Diaries', but I don't know if it's included in all editions of that book). In that story, a man visits Ijon Tichy (the hero of a lot of Lem's stories) and tells him he has invented the soul. He shows Tichy a crystal and says he has been able to extract his wife's mind and put it in the crystal. Tichy is not sure if that was a good idea... Lem's stories are often a mixture of philosophy, science, and satire. To my view, some passages in his works are dragging, but I like his works so much that I recommend them to anybody who is interested in both science fiction and philosophy. If the above sounds interesting to you, try 'The Star Diaries' (a/k/a 'Memoirs of a Space Traveller') or 'Solaris'. ('The Star Diaries' is probably the better choice for an entry into Lem's works. I think it is more accessible since it's not a single long work but a collection of short stories.)

Perhaps this story was inspired by the story I've mentioned. Or there's a third, even older story that both Lem and the writers of this episode used. (It's hard to tell as long as one doesn't know all stories written before Lem's...) Even if this episode was inspired by Lem's story there are not only similarities but also differences, so I think it's enjoyable to watch even if one knows Lem's story.

All in all, the story may not be very original, but it's still a good episode in my opinion.


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