It's funny that I do not remember ever watching the series, yet this particular episode has stuck with me ever since seeing it's original telecast in 1971. I always thought that this was an episode from some other series like, Marcus Welby, M.D.
A well written and well acted episode, it is a reminder that an innocent act of kindness can result in a life changing accident. In this episode, the character played by Frank Gorshin, a internationally renown billiards player, attempts to help some people trapped in a malfunctioning elevator and ends up injuring his hand so badly that it has to be amputated. Distraught that he can no longer work his livelihood and the social stigma of being disabled, the pool player anguishes in what he will do next and the affect on his relationship with his wife.
The doctors at New North Hospital propose fitting Gorshin with an experimental artificial hand that is electrically activated. Not trusting in the technology, Gorshin is challenged to a game of pool to test his hand and emerges triumphant with a renewed sense of confidence that he can overcome his new disability.
In those days (1971) artificial limbs were little different than the wooden peg legs of 100 years before only they were made of plastic and metal. A limb or a hand that was electrically operated was new and innovative ideas in that day. We had none of the terrific technology, the therapy and social support that is available today to help the accidentally disabled. I always felt that this episode offered hope to those who have lost a limb, especially war veterans, that there is life after such a tragedy. A truly unforgettable episode.
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