I can't help it, I liked it because of the presence of James Doohan
Jul 26, 2009
This episode of the classic television series is memorable to me because it co-stars James Doohan as police Lt. Branch. The plot is based on the use of drugs in consciousness-expanding (CE) experiments where the results are unexpected and deadly. When a man takes the drug, his body expands out, increasing his strength and he acquires significant mental powers, including the ability to read and influence minds. One of his first acts is to kill a night watchman, which brings Lt. Branch into the story. After a short time, the drug wears off and the user returns to normal, so tracking down the perpetrator of the crimes proves to be difficult when another murder is committed. The lack of morals generated by taking the drug is demonstrated when the user tries to force his research colleague to take the drug and join him in his crime spree. However, the arrogance and power exhibited as a consequence of taking the drug prove to be the taker's undoing as he is eventually shot and killed by the police in an attempted kidnapping and escape. Essentially a modernized remake of the classic Jekyll and Hyde story, this episode is another "danger of drugs" story, which was timely, given that it was first aired in 1964. Given his later role as Scotty in the original Star Trek series, I was extremely observant when Doohan was on screen, noting his speech patterns and mannerisms. Although his role here was only as a co-star, it was clear why he was able to win the part of Scotty as he comes across as intelligent and determined, skills needed if you are to be an engineer on a star ship.
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