Dr. Martin Nodel, a brilliant geneticist, tries a formula to advance evolution on himself with amazing and disturbing results.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Dean Hardwick
Andrew Johnston ...
Dr. Greeson
Reverend Leblanc
Kathleen Duborg ...
Edward Diaz ...
Sara Johnson ...
Sharon (as Kirsten Williamson)
Terri Lynn Ibisoglu ...
Female Student
Brent Fordham ...
Overweight Student
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:


Dr. Martin Nodel, a geneticist of some repute, believes her has made a major breakthrough in genetic engineering. His experiments on small animals have provided advances in evolution and now it only remains for him to test it on humans. He has no authority from the university to do so and therefore injects himself. The changes come rapidly. Physically, a large, triangle-like blister develops in the palm of his hand. Blisters also form on his back and it appears to be a map. He launches a special study program for eight of his brightest students. As he explains to them, he now senses what they must do and they set off into the woods where they make an amazing discovery. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

28 March 1997 (USA)  »

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Per the title, the shape of a double helix is of a twisted ladder configuration and who's most often used reference is to the shape and structure of DNA that was first published by James D. Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. See more »

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User Reviews

Well-Mounted, But Flawed, Episode Based Upon Genetic Research.
9 August 2010 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

Hard science fiction, in both book and film form, has found fertile origins for its creative stimuli within scientific literature that deals with research in genetics, especially material depicting the significance of DNA as a schematic for each individual human's identity. The manner in which genes are expressed not only signifies how our bodies function, but also our physical characteristics; in essence, who and what we have become. The discovery of introns in 1993 was responsible for revamping this complex genetic background, noteworthy since intron sectors of DNA are not translated into a form of protein. This film posits possible extraterrestrial contact for its storyline although its plot components carom well away from even the most mild believability factor. Ron Rivkin performs as a famed geneticist, Dr. Martin Nodel, whose employing university classes are considered as of premium worth to his students. He believes that the somewhat obscure introns may be of pivotal importance to future human generations. Because this genetic material seemingly does not code for protein, Nodel cultivated a formula that he hopes will activate it. By an ultimate effort to apply the scientific method, he clandestinely injects himself with the formula, hoping thus for some type of visual evidence that will allow him to create a theory with respect to intron function. It is a successful experiment, as Nodel does display physical changes and, in conjunction with these, his native efficiency as a scientific researcher decides him to select a highly talented crew of eight students from his classes to assist in a completing a project of which only he is enlightened while leading the bewildered octet into a remote region near their university's grounds. Nodel's reluctant hope for revelation stemming from his bodily alterations becomes the essential propellant for a storyline that, unfortunately, will be found to be unacceptable to those viewers who will prefer more logic than is provided here, as a good deal of silliness prevents the piece from reaching a threshold of plausibility. The film begins in pleasing fashion, its most engaging moments being a result of the able playing of Rivkin, whose naturalistic acting mode is focused upon his character's interaction with his department dean, his students, his son, and himself. Due to Nodel's being diagnosed as a victim of an oft-fatal genetically-predicated malady, Wilson's Disease, his chosen academic discipline holds increasing import relating to his potential for survival. Unhappily, the film steadily unravels as it proceeds, Nodel's relationship with his son Paul (Ryan Reynolds) developing only shallowly. In addition, a scene wherein Nodel's chosen coterie of students must disrobe at his direction in order for him to examine them for possible tattoos or scars, is gratuitous as well as absurd, and the work's hurried climax will strike a number of viewers possessing rudimentary intelligence as being merely foolish.

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