Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Immortal, The

US tv series (1970-1971). Paramount Pictures/ABC. Pr Richard Caffey, Howie Horwitz, Lou Morheim. Exec pr Anthony Wilson. Dir Allen Baron, Michael Caffey, Joseph Sargent. Writers Stephen Kandel, Robert Specht, Dan Ullman, William Wood. Created by Specht. Based on The Immortals (1962) by James Gunn. Novelization The Immortal * (1970) by Gunn. Starring Christopher George (Ben Richards), Don Knight (Fletcher), Carol Lynley (Sylvia), Barry Sullivan (Jordan Braddock). 90min pilot plus 13 1hr episodes. Colour.

In the pilot, Richards finds he possesses a strange blood type that cures all known diseases and makes him immortal (> Immortality). This proves a mixed blessing. His problems begin when he donates blood to Braddock, a dying billionaire, and the elderly industrialist suddenly becomes years younger. Braddock learns the effects are only temporary, and that he will require ongoing transfusions; he thus has Richards imprisoned, with plans to drain his blood as needed (this is thus a Technofantasy form of the Vampire legend). The series proper was recast slightly, with a different billionaire, Maitland, substituted. Richards's chief nemesis becomes Fletcher, Maitland's assistant, who pursues the escaped Richards vindictively, much as Gerard pursued Kimble in The Fugitive (1963-1966). [BC]

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This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.