Written by Double Dragon
Wednesday, 04 August 2010 10:16


Writing copyright D. S. Brown. Image copyright ABC studios.

THE IMMORTAL TV movie aired in 1969 two years after THE FUGITIVE had left the air. The success of the TV movie THE IMMORTAL spawned a series which debuted Sep 24, 1970. The show followed THE FUGITIVE format of a man on the run from a relentless pursuer. In this case, 'The Immortal' Ben Richards is not falsely accused, but rather a source of rejuvenating blood which makes him the object of a feverish manhunt. Instead of being dogged by an obsessed police detective, he is pursued by an aged billionaire, Braddock and his hired minions. Braddock intends to keep Ben captive to prevent him from dying in an accident. Braddock can live eternally with blood transfusions from Richards.

Instead of seeking a one armed man, Ben is on the hunt for a possible twin brother who may have the same blood as he. To add some irony and action, Richards is addicted to fast cars, previously employed as a test driver. He crisscrosses the country and is involved in chases.

In October, 1970 Bantam released a tie in novelization of the series premiere concept. The TV series was based upon James Gunn's novel, THE IMMORTALS. Gunn was now adapting the TV series which sprung from his original novel! Talk about a convoluted path to publication.


THE IMMORTAL series didn't last long. One aspect of the series that could have caused problems had it been successful would be the aging of the main star Christopher George who was 39 when the show began. Of course he may have been able to hold age at bay. The actors who portrayed Radar O'Reilly on MASH and Richie Cunningham on HAPPY DAYS were able to sustain the illusion of being teenagers despite the shows running for a decade each.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 July 2013 22:56 )