The W.V. Whipple Manufacturing Co. introduces a new automated manufacturing machine that will eliminate 61,000 jobs and the company's president, Wallace V. Whipple, is quite proud of his achievement. Not everyone agrees with him, especially the loyal and longstanding employees who will be out of work. Foreman Vic Dickerson has plans for the machine - plans that land him in the hospital. When the machine is fully operational, it's Wallace V. Whipple who learns just what it is he has created. Written by
At the moment Chief Engineer Hanley turns off the projector, the lamps in the background come on at precisely the same moment. Mr. Whipple is standing in the middle of the room. No one else was in the room to turn the lights on. See more »
There are many bromides applicable here - too much of a good thing, tiger by the tail, as you sow, shall ye reap. The point is that too often, man becomes clever instead of becoming wise, he becomes inventive but not thoughtful - and sometimes, as in the case of Mr. Whipple, he can create himself right out of existence. Tonight's tale of oddness and obsolescence from the Twilight Zone.
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This episode, written by Rod Serling, is essentially a Twilight Zone-d version of his film "Patterns," though the dialogue and the characters' motivation are nowhere near as interesting or as subtle as in that film. The ending is also somewhat predictable, unlike that of "Patterns," and the final speech is a tad obvious.
Comparisons to that film aside, however, the episode is not bad and certainly makes its point about dehumanization. It is also notable for having a black actor, Jack Crowder (the future Thalmus Rasulala), in a completely normal and important role, namely, that of a computer technician. Such casting was certainly a rarity for 1964, though at the same time it is not surprising for the series considering Serling's progressive views on race relations. Crowder's character even engages in some verbal sparing with Richard Deacon's character, Mr. Whipple.
All in all, the episode is worth a look, and is a must for "Zone" fans.
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