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"The Brain Center at Whipple's" is an episode of the The Twilight Zone.
"These are the players, with or without a scorecard: in one corner, a machine; in the other, one Wallace V. Whipple, man. And the game? It happens to be the historical battle between flesh and steel, between the brain of man and the product of man's brain. We don't make book on this one, and predict no winner, but we can tell you that, for this particular contest, there is standing room only - in the Twilight Zone."
In 1967, Wallace V. Whipple, owner of a vast manufacturing corporation, decides to upgrade his plant to increase output by installing a machine named the "X109B14 modified transistorized totally automated machine," which leads to layoffs. Some former employees try to convince him that the value of a man outweighs the value of a machine, but their protests fall on deaf ears. Eventually, the board of directors find him neurotically obsessed with machines and retire him. Whipple joins his former plant manager at the bar opposite his factory and expresses deep sorrow at his misfortune ("It isn't fair, Hanley! It isn't fair the way they...diminish us"). A robot now runs his office.
"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."
Preview for Next Week's Story
On The Twilight Zone next trip, we move into the area of authentic folk singing. But this is folk singing like you've probably never heard before. The words and the music in this item are haunting indeed and this one provides one of the more odd excursions into the places of shadow. Gary Crosby and Bonnie Beecher star in a most unusual tale by Anthony Wilson. It's called "Come Wander With Me".
- The robot that ultimately replaces Mr. Whipple is "Robby the Robot" from the 1956 Sci-Fi film Forbidden Planet. "Robby" appeared in two other episodes of The Twilight Zone; Episode #2 "One for the Angels" (as a miniature toy) and episode #128 "Uncle Simon."
- The Whipple Manufacturing Corporation is referenced several times in the fourth iteration of the Twilight Zone. In the episode "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet", Whipple is revealed to have been the company to manufacture the mp3 that plays the mysterious podcast that serves to trigger the events of the episode. In the episode "Six Degrees of Freedom", Whipple is apparently the corporation in charge of building the rocket ship that the flight crew use. In the episode 8, Whipple takes a central role, as they are the ones employing the scientists and funding the expedition into the deep sea where the episode takes place.
- Cayuga Productions
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (in association with)
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)
Home media release
- Main article: List of memorable quotes from the first series