The Projected Man (1966) (film DVD review).

The title ‘The Projected Man’ refers to a teleportation experiment. In the nature of such early films, something goes wrong. The Farber Research Foundation is carrying out the experiment. Pathologist Dr. Patricia Hill (actress Mary Peach) is brought into teleportation to solve some problems by Dr. Bryan Steiner (actress Bryant Haliday) and introduced to Dr. Chris Mitchel (actor Ronald Allen). The problem is that organic material cannot be teleported. Hill is smart for pointing out that the polarity is wrong. The head of the foundation is Dr. L.G. Blanchard (actor Norman Wooland). Just so you recognise the major players.

Privately, Blanchard confers with Mitchel, who works for him, not to tell Steiner that a minister is visiting, although this does tend to look like a scientific advisor. Blanchard himself is under instructions to discredit Steiner and sabotage the demonstration.

Hill’s knowledge resolves the problem, and a monkey is projected. Mitchel thinks Steiner has been told about the visit, but they decide to act surprised instead. The experiment is sabotaged, and Mitchel’s alliance changes.

That night, at a dinner, Blanchard tells Steiner his project had to be dismantled, who storms out, although scientific advisor Professor Lembach (actor Gerard Heinz) is willing to give it a second attempt. Blanchard gets Latham (actor Derrick De Marney) to go and steal the tapes carrying the experiment’s information.

Steiner gets secretary Shelia Anderson (actress Tracey Crisp) to press the right buttons after pre-programming to teleport him. Mitchell and Hill come back too late to stop it, and his destination changes, causing serious damage. Alas, half of his body is somewhat melted, and he can kill with a touch. Inspector Davis (actor Derek Farr) is on the case to find out what’s going on.

Of course, things are going wrong from this point on, and spoilers and various bodies mount up.

Up until the transformation, things are pretty straight-forward. They even give a viable explanation for how teleportation works: transforming an object into energy and projecting and reassembling it somewhere else, as you would with a television signal. Once the problems have been sorted out, it is sabotage that enviably causes the biggest problem.

As with many British SF films from that time period, it is done in a non-spectacular way but is still rather compelling as people, even those involved in the experiment, try to have normal lives until they are called into action. In many respects, there is a similarity to the electrifying tricks from ‘The Avengers’ episode ‘The Positive Negative Man’, although that happened a year later than this film, so you do have to wonder if it was an influence on it.

You would think someone would have thought of using water to short-circuit Steiner rather than bullets.

Oddly, it is a satisfying film if you accept the low budget and follow in the tradition of only being one step away from our reality.

GF Willmetts

February 2024

(pub: Reel Vault, 2018. 87 minute film. Price: varies. ASIN: 5035D)

cast: Mary Peach, Bryant Holiday, Norman Woodland, Ronald Allen, Derek Farr and Tracey Crisp

check out website: https://reel-vault.com/index.html


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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