The Brain Center at Whipple's
|"The Brain Center at Whipple's"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Richard Donner|
|Written by||Rod Serling|
|Original air date||May 15, 1964|
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 (whom Whipple had replaced with a machine) 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.
- Richard Deacon as Wallace V. Whipple
- Paul Newlan as Walter Hanley
- Ted de Corsia as Dickerson
- Thalmus Rasulala (credited as Jack Crowder) as Technician
- Shawn Michaels as Bartender
- Burt Conroy as Watchman
- Robby the Robot as Himself
"These are the players with or without a scorecard- in one corner a machine, and 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 all may book on this one and predict no winner, but we can tell you for this particular contest, there is standing room only, in the twilight zone."
"There are many bromides applicable here, too much of a good thing, tiger by the tail, as you sow so shall you reap. The point is that too often man becomes clever instead of becoming wise, he becomes inventive and not thoughtful, and sometimes as in the case of Mr. Whipple, he can create himself right out of existence. As in tonight's tale of oddness and obsolescence in the twilight zone."
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."
In Popular Culture
- Sludge metal band Melvins named a song on their album Hostile Ambient Takeover after the episode
- The episode was parodied in the Futurama episode "Benderama"
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0
- Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)